Looking for a health club? Consider comfort

Paula Reece
Paula Reece

Going places with which we’re familiar, doing things that come easy and spending time with special people with whom we can be ourselves. Those are all forms of comfort. But when you think about comfort, do you also think about a health club?

Walking into a health club or gym for the first time can be intimidating. So when you’re looking for a health club home, there are many factors to consider in choosing the right one. There are such obvious factors as location and amenities. But it’s important to also consider such less obvious factors: What health clubs represent, the programs they offer and what members experience.

Do a little homework before you go into a health club. Call ahead and see how you’re greeted. A friendly and knowledgeable voice that invites you to come in makes a good first impression. Check the Web site to see what’s offered.

Location is an important factor for many people, but not always the most important. If a club is too far away from home or work, you might find yourself using that as an excuse for not going. The amenities should match your activities and lifestyle.  Amenities might include weights, group exercise, a pool, racquetball, locker rooms and child care. Make sure the club offers what you like to do and need in a health club. Extra amenities are nice, too, so you have the option to try something new.

Try a health club first. Before making a commitment, see if the club feels right. Find a club that offers a free trial or money back guarantee. Then, actually go in and work out a couple times. By using the club, you can tell how well it’s maintained and cleaned. Ask yourself if everything appears touchable.

Here’s one of the most important pieces of advice of all: Meet the members. Nothing tells you more about a place than the people using it. Moms who take their little ones to child care are careful with whom they leave their kids. Ask the person next to you on a cardio machine about their experiences. 

Your own member experience should begin with the first phone call. The salesperson should be concerned about you and your wants and needs. Not everyone joins a health club for the same reason. If you’re new to exercise, see if the club offers an orientation program to get you started. Maybe you want to hire a personal trainer.  Ask for trainer biographies, certifications and training specialties.  Finding the right match for you will help in your success.

Our members tell us what’s important. They find comfort in coming to a place that offers their favorite activities in a clean environment. Hearing their name when they walk in the door, visiting with friends and getting motivated and energized by a workout from an instructor who really cares about their needs is what it’s all about. 

Choose a health club where you feel at home, the facility fits your needs and you’re welcomed. That’s comfort.