Health clubs offer healthy options

Paula Reece

There are many ways to improve health and fitness, but exercise tops every list. Health clubs offer a healthy option as a place to exercise. Clubs aren’t the only option, however. Other options include exercising outdoors or using your own exercise equipment at home. The best option might be to combine all three.

Whether you’re joining for the first time or joined health clubs in the past, many factors are involved in making your decision a successful one. Joining a health club won’t make you fit. What you do when you get there is what’s important.

Here are some essential factors to consider in making your health club choice:

Everyone is at a different point in their fitness journey, at a different stage in life and face personal obstacles to overcome. Define before joining a health club your obstacles, goals and expectations. What’s important to you?

Choose a club that makes you feel comfortable the moment you enter. Take into consideration the friendliness of the staff, other members, music, and smells. Can you picture yourself there? Sticking to a consistent exercise program can be difficult. If you don’t enjoy being at the club, your chances of a success will diminish. A health club should be more than just a building with exercise equipment. You should enjoy a relationship with your club.

What about the members? Take a tour of the club at the same time you plan to use it. This will give you an idea of the type of members with whom you’ll be exercising. Look around and see if you can relate to the other members. Asking members why they belong to a club could be helpful, especially if you ask those who’ve been members for a long time.

Knowing what to expect after you sign on the dotted line is important. Is there a free introductory program that will help you become acquainted with your new fitness home? A brief tour of the club isn’t sufficient to get you started on the right foot. You should feel comfortable knowing what you plan to do on your first visit.

There should be a variety of equipment options. Equipment should be clean and in working order. This will indicate the club takes pride in its facilities and maintenance is important. If you’re a runner, make sure there are high-quality, runner-specific treadmills available. If you like to stretch, make sure the carpeting is padded and clean. Make sure everything is touchable.   

Variety in a club will not only add value to your membership, but also keep you motivated. Check out the group exercise schedule for classes. Get to know the instructors and personal trainers along with their credentials and teaching styles. Take the time to watch a small group training session or group exercise class.   

Choose a club that offers educational pieces, including beginning classes, newsletters, seminars and workshops. The more you learn, the more engaged you’ll become.

Making a health club decision is an important one. You need to find value, comfort, motivation and education. When all these pieces come together, you’ll be on your way to developing a successful relationship with your club and healthy lifestyle.