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How to Find a Gym and Start Exercising


There is hardly a week that passes without an article or study touting the benefits of exercise. Exercise to cure cancer, exercise to lose weight, feel better, livelonger, and stop dementia, the list appears endless. The benefits of exercise sound fantastic but there is just one problem. You have to exercise to gain the benefits! For many, this is a big problem.

So, what can you do to get yourself motivated to join the wonderful world of exercising? A great solution is to join a gym where you are in the company of like-minded people. Joining a gym for the first time or after a period of inactivity can be a little scary. I hope this article will make your fitness journey a little easier.

Aren't all gyms pretty much the same?

The short answer would be. ??. NO. Every gym has it's own personality both in the equipment and the type of people it attracts. Some gyms cater to weight lifters with lots of free weights and little else, while other facilities might cater to working women and offer activities such as yoga, spinning or aerobics. There are locally owned gyms and nationwide chains. Small gyms as well as mega fitness centers. There is a gym for everybody but it will take a little footwork to find your perfect fit.

What's the most important feature when looking for a gym?

In my opinion, location must be considered before anything else. Absence will not make the heart grow fonder. A gym more than 10 minutes from your home or office will end up not getting used. If you like to work out in the morning you might want to stick with gyms close to home. If you're a lunchtime sweat maven then a gym near work could be a better option. Some of the larger chains may have facilities by both work and home. In addition, if you travel, gyms with multiple locations may let you work out for FREE, or at a discount, if they have a facility at your travel destination.

Other Features to Consider

Membership Clientele - Check out the other patrons in the gym you are considering. Each gym has it's own personality. Is it mostly women or men? Is everybody wearing fashionable workout gear or is it a shorts and t-shirt crowd? Does it cater to families or is it an adult's only gym?

Equipment - The quality and variety of equipment is very important if you plan on starting a comprehensive fitness program. Is the equipment well maintained? Check to see how many machines are "out of order". Check to see if free weights are offered as well as machines. Is there an adequate cardio section with plenty of bikes, climbers and treadmills? These tend to be high use pieces of equipment so it is important that the facility have several.

Hours - Everybody has different times for his or her workouts. Make sure the gym you choose will accommodate your schedule. If you are an early bird and your gym opens at 10:00 a.m. then you are probably going to end up not using it despite the other features you find appealing.

Price - Don't get fooled by a low-ball price. Make sure the membership includes the use of everything of interest to you. Some gyms have a low membership fee and then charge extra for using the tennis courts, pool, classes etc. Read the fine print. Also, there are all-inclusive low priced gyms that are in the business of selling memberships and don't really care what happens after you sign up. You may find that half your town has a membership and you have to wait in line to use the equipment.

Management - Is there an active owner or manager on the premises? What is there policy regarding restacking your weights and the playing of loud music? In some gyms, anything goes and you may hear 3 or 4 different stereos playing at the same time, weights are thrown around and you can never find the equipment you would like to use. This is a sign of poor and inattentive management and should probably be removed from consideration.

Everybody is different and there is not a single solution for picking the ideal gym. The key is to find a place that you feel comfortable and that you will use on a regular basis. Working out is a habit that takes time to form. Don't make an impulsive decision that will cause you to lose your desire to get in shape.

Before making a commitment, visit and workout at a few gyms that you are considering. Most facilities will let you try them out for a few days. Make sure you go at the times you would if you were to join. This will give you a feel for how crowded the equipment is at that time. Now, the only thing left to do is just go out and GET STARTED!!

Here is a list of several gyms with nationwide locations. These will offer a good starting point on your quest for the perfect gym. Check for locations in your area.

http://www.powerhousegym.com/
http://www.goldsgym.com/
http://www.worldgym.com/
http://www.ballyfitness.com/
http://www.24hourfitness.com/

Mike Brooks is a life long follower and proponent of the fitness lifestyle. Mr. Brooks believes that being healthy is a choice and includes not only a proper diet but total fitness of the mind, body and soul. His column appears weekly at http://www.ultimatehealthreport.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Forbes

Make Exercise Fun And You'll Eat Less Afterward, Cornell Finds
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Test subjects who thought of their workout as a “fun run” or added an entertainment element to their exercise regimen ate less afterward than subjects who regarded the workout as something to be gritted out. The former group seemed to view the workout ...
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TIME

Obesity: We're not overeating, we're under-exercising, study suggests
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A new study suggests that under-exercising, rather than overeating, may be at the heart of America's obesity epidemic. Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine report a strong correlation between the rise in obesity and a striking drop ...
It's Lack of Exercise—Not Calories—That Make Us Fat, Study SaysTIME
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New York Daily News

Staying sedentary may be just as harmful as exercise is beneficial
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Six hours of sitting is as bad for you as one hour of exercise is good, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found. 'Avoiding sedentary behavior throughout the day may represent an important companion strategy to improve ...
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Is exercise work or play? Weight gain or loss depends on your answer
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It's a common rookie mistake, but plenty of diet-and-exercise veterans make it, too: With an act of will, you muster yourself to the gym or the track, and you gut your way through an arduous workout. When you sit down to dinner or go to the break room ...



myfox8.com

'Missing' boy found in basement tells authorities of grueling forced exercise
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Combining aerobic, resistance exercise may be best for diabetes
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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Exercise programs that combine aerobic exercise and resistance training may be better at helping people with diabetes control their blood sugar than either type of exercise alone, a new analysis of past studies says.

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KSPR

Jumping jack to become official Missouri exercise
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. • Arms up! Legs out! The jumping jack is about to become Missouri's official state exercise. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday adding the jumping jack to a list of more than two dozen official symbols and things. The ...
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PsychCentral.com (blog)

Research Suggests Holistic Exercise Can Help Dementia Patients
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In fact, a new study, published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, suggests that patients with dementia can benefit from a holistic exercise program. By combining the elements of yoga, tai chi, qigong and meditation, researchers from ...

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CBS Local

CU Study Finds Pregnant Women Who Exercise Have Babies With Less Fat
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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A new study shows women who exercise may have babies with less body fat. The study by the University of Colorado tracked 800 pregnant women. It found women who exercised regularly in the third trimester gave birth to babies ...



Exercise stations proposed for Naperville Riverwalk
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A Naperville fitness expert has proposed installing exercise stations at the city's Riverwalk, but officials say the plan could be a stretch in that location. Instead, members of the Riverwalk Commission suggested the stations might be a worthwhile ...

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