How to find the right fitness facility

Joining a gym can be a great way to get healthy. Monthly gym membership fees may provide the motivation sedentary men and women need to get off the couch and pursue their fitness goals, and the right gym can foster a love of exercise that lasts a lifetime.

Finding the right fitness facility is not necessarily as simple as signing up at the one nearest your home or office. Finding a facility that best suits you and your goals may require consideration of a host of factors.

Personal goals

Fitness facilities are not all one and the same. Before shopping around for a facility, men and women should make a list of their fitness goals and what they’re looking for in a gym. Aspiring bodybuilders may want a facility with an array of free weights and strength training machines, while men and women whose ultimate goal is to lose weight may prefer facilities geared more toward cardiovascular training. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults participate in both strength and cardiovascular training, so facilities should provide both options. But some gyms may focus more heavily on strength training, while others may offer an extensive selection of cardiovascular equipment. Choose the facility that best aligns with your workout.

Amenities

Amenities are another important factor to consider when choosing a fitness facility. Facilities that offer a host of amenities like steam rooms, hot tubs and saunas might provide more motivation to visit the gym for adults accustomed to inactive lifestyles. In addition, such amenities might aid in adults’ recoveries.

Workout alternatives

Men and women who have never been very enthusiastic about traditional workouts may want to look for facilities that offer more options than weightlifting and cardiovascular training. Many gyms host classes like yoga, Zumba® and Pilates. Each of these are effective alternatives to more traditional workouts. When shopping around, look for facilities that offer classes for people of various skill levels, as exercises such as yoga can be very difficult for novices.

Swimming is another effective alternative to traditional workouts, and many facilities have their own pools. Adults are more likely to exercise if they enjoy their workouts, so people who love to swim may want to limit their searches to facilities with swimming pools.

Hours of operation

Hours of operation is another important factor that should not be overlooked. Working adults, especially those with families, may have very small windows of free time in which to exercise. Even if the most pristine and inviting facility won’t do men and women much good if it’s not open when they’re available to workout. Before shopping for a facility, men and women should write out a weekly schedule, making note of when they’ll be working out and making sure to find a facility that accommodates that schedule.

Adults looking for a new fitness facility should consider a host of factors to ensure they find one that best suits their needs.

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