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5 Things to Consider When Getting a Gym Membership

Thinking of finally getting started on an exercise routine? Good for you. After all, according to the American Heart Association, adults require a certain amount of exercise per week to improve aerobic health and strengthen muscles. In fact, scientists recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week to improve your health.

Worried about how to squeeze in the exercise and where to get it done? Invest in enrolling in a gym to make sure you get your recommended amount of exercise. However, before you shell out any money, consider these points

1. Is the location convenient for you?

The last thing you want is for your gym to be so far out of the way that it would just take too much time and effort to go to. Take a look at your daily routine and factor in work hours and travel time. Choose a location that’s along your daily route to and from work, and decide if it would be more strategic for you to have a gym by your workplace or by your home. Don’t forget to consider ample parking space!

2. Will the opening hours suit your schedule?

Do you like working out in the morning or at night? Check what time the gym closes and opens. If you’re a morning person, make sure your gym opens early enough that you can workout before going to work. If you prefer working out after work hours, make sure the gym you choose stays open until past office hours. If you work at odd hours, consider joining a gym that stays open 24/7.

3. Do you like the space?

Check out gyms you’re considering before committing to a membership. Do an ocular, or ask the associates if they have a trial day pass so you get the feel of the place. Is it clean and well-maintained? Are there enough machines and equipment for the number of people who work out there? Make sure you check if the equipment they have is sufficient for the types of exercise you want to be doing. Don’t forget to check out the locker room facilities, too!

4. Are the instructors and trainers accredited and good to work with?

Ask about their in-house trainers and coaches, or even schedule a trial session. Do you think they’re helpful enough? Do you like their style of helping you out? If the gym offers group classes, enroll in a trial class or sit and watch. Do you think you’ll enjoy the classes?

5. Consider the value you’re getting for your money.

Check the rates and make sure you know what you’re paying for. Some gyms can be two or three times more expensive than others—if you’re choosing the more expensive option, know what you’re paying extra for. Is the space newer or better maintained? Are the trainers more hands-on? Does the more expensive gym offer more conveniences? Take everything into account. Check out their payment schemes and how long a contract is and how tied to it you’ll be. The last thing you want is to be paying for a place you won’t go to or will hate going to.

Trisha Bautista is a freelance writer, food and product stylist, social media manager, and violin teacher. She was formerly editorial assistant and social media editor for Women’s Health Philippines, and the assistant lifestyle editor and social media editor for Cosmopolitan Philippines. She enjoys discovering easy recipe hacks, working out by herself and trying out DIY workout programs, traveling outdoors, and enjoying wine and whiskey.