Finding a Gym Near You
The most important thing to look for when joining a gym is convenience. Gyms that are too far out of your way, chances go down that you'll actually show up. If it's on the way home from work or just minutes from your house, you'll be much more motivated to get to that early morning spin class or weight workout. The following list gives you the inside scoop on the best gyms in your area:
- Health Clubs in Baltimore, Maryland
- Health Clubs in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Washington Sports Clubs in Washington, D.C.
- Sports & Health Clubs in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland
- Fitness First Health Clubs in Washington, D.C.
- Health Clubs in Denver, Colorado
- Health Clubs in Huntsville, Alabama
- Health Clubs in Kansas City, Missouri
- Health Clubs in Memphis, Tennessee
- Health Clubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Fitness in Orlando, Florida
- Health Clubs in Portland, Oregon
- Health Clubs in Seattle, Washington
- Health Clubs in Queens, New York
- Helath Clubs in Reno/Tahoe
You can also visit the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) to find gyms in your area.
What to Look For When Joining a Gym
Aside from convenience, you'll want to make sure your gym has everything you need to reach your goals. Doing things you enjoy is the best way to ensure you'll actually use your membership. There are other important things to consider and the IDEA Health & Fitness Association offers great tips for choosing the right gym for you, including:
- Find out about any additional sign-up fees or extra charges before signing on the dotted line.
- Visit the gym during the times you want to exercise to make sure it isn't overcrowded.
- Take tours of the gyms you're interested in and make sure they have the cardio and weight training equipment you want to use.
- On your tour, pay attention to the details. Is it clean? Are the machines in good shape or are there too many 'Out of Order' signs? Make sure the temperature is comfortable and there's plenty of air circulation.
- If you're interested in fitness classes or programs, take a look at the class schedule to make sure they have classes you enjoy at convenient times.
- Make sure staff members are qualified experts. Personal trainers and fitness instructions should have accredited certifications, have knowledge of anatomy, physiology and exercise and should also be trained in CPR.
- Last, make sure the gym belongs to a professional association such as theInternational Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association. That will ensure they're keeping current with safety standards.
You don't have to join a gym to get a good workout, but gyms offer more variety, more energy and more resources for getting you started on the right foot. To get the most of your gym membership, do your research and don't settle for less than what you need to a great workout.