Literally millions of Americans could benefit from spending more time working out (you know who you are). In fact, less than 5% of adults spend 30 minutes being physically active every day, and only one in three adults get enough physical activity each week.
One great way to get motivated and moving is to join a gym. A good gym or fitness center offers unique learning opportunities for people of all fitness and skill levels. For many, fitness centers become a place to build a community around a shared commitment to staying healthy.
Choosing the right gym can be the difference between a successful fitness journey and another year avoiding the scale. Use these tips to recognize if a gym is a good fit for you, and get your health back on track:
- Check the Equipment
Abacuss Sports recommends paying attention to equipment and floors when surveying a potential gym. Think about what kinds of workouts you’re most likely going to do, and make sure that the gym has plenty of the equipment you need to get the job done. If you’re a runner and the gym only has a handful of treadmills, you might have to fight for a machine if you show up during peak hours. Similarly, if you enjoy bodyweight exercises, make sure that the gym has supportive and clean flooring that you won’t mind staring at while you plank.
- Figure out the Culture
Huffpost writes that a gym’s culture should make you feel welcome and match the way you like to exercise. If you like to get “primal” while you lift weights or run circuits, make sure the gym doesn’t have a “no grunting” or “quiet exercise” policy. A good way to figure out a gym’s culture and clientele is to check out its branding materials and signage. Almost 85% of people agree or strongly agree that signs “convey the personality or character of the business.” If this gym’s sign shows a fist snapping a barbell in half, and you’re primarily looking for yoga classes, consider looking for a different establishment.
- Plan Your Schedule
You’re unlikely to frequent a gym that doesn’t offer classes or hours that work with your schedule, according to U.S. News and World Report. If you can only work out after regular business hours, and the classes that most interest you are scheduled for mornings, you might not get a good return on investment for this gym’s membership. Similarly, try to find a gym that is only a few minutes away from where you work or where you live. Working out is already a time commitment, and if you spend twenty minutes of the hour you have to work out every day commuting to the fitness center, you might stop bothering to go at all.
By following these three tips, you can find a gym that is right for you. Stay motivated by good features, inspired by good people, and stress-free with a good workout schedule for the best fitness experience.