|If you feel that you are ready to join a gym, shop around before making a decision. Usually, a membership sales person will give you a tour of the facility. He or she will give you insight on how valuable a sense of community and a high level of customer service are to their club. If your sales person is pushy and intimidating, then that gym probably isn’t a good fit for you. Also, make sure that the gym meets all of your needs. If you work out before work and go directly to the office, make sure that the locker room facilities meet your needs. If you need child care, check out the child care programs to make sure they are adequate. Ask for a guest pass to try out the gym before you commit to a membership. You may find that it is hard to find a piece of cardiovascular equipment to use, or that there is a line for the showers during the time that you work out, which can be an inconvenience. If you are interested in group exercise, look at the schedule to make sure it fits with yours.
Once you have found a gym to belong to, take advantage of all of the new member services that the gym offers. For instance, sign up for the orientation, which is usually given by a personal trainer, and get all of your questions answered about how to use the equipment. Some clubs even offer a couple of complimentary personal training sessions for you to get acquainted with the facility.
Even the most avid exerciser can feel intimidated when exercising in a new gym for the first few times. The most important thing you can do to make this gym your new “home” is by developing a sense of community as quickly as possible. Most health clubs offer a variety of activities in which you can participate, and meet new people. Get out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with the woman next to you on the treadmill. Find group classes that fit your exercise level- you will see and meet regular attendees, who will become your friends. Try to recruit some of your friends from the office to join the club with you- you may even get a free month of membership for any referrals.
Congratulations on making the decision to get in shape and improve your quality of life this year. Do not let a little thing like a gym membership keep you from realizing success. So, don’t push the issue until you feel that you are truly ready to join a gym. And remember, you don’t need a gym membership to succeed in reaching your fitness goals. All you need is determination.