Joining a health club used to be a luxury but now with obesity rates rising finding ways to stay in shape are no longer for the rich and famous. The problem becomes to join or not to join especially in this economy.
Joining a health club can be one way of keeping your fitness goals. In fact according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportclub Association a health club membership can up your chances of reaching your fitness goals but joining means paying a fee to use the facility. So the question becomes – should I join or is my money better spent another way?
In full disclosure I used to own a fitness center. I understand the need for fees and contracts and member commitments, however I also have been a member at various clubs and understand the decision to keep or toss a membership card. Here are some thinks to about when you are deciding to join or not to join.
Will you use the facility – Number one reason I hear for dropping a membership is “I just don’t use it”. Yet the person had get ideas to start a program and fronted the enrollment fees, monthly dues, and sometimes more to begin. Why pay anything if you won’t be using it. Be honesty with yourself.
Do they have want you are looking for? Classes, personal trainers you trust, supplemental services, i.e. towels, lockers, massage, tanning, juice bars, etc
What is the cost? If you can’t afford it look for something less expensive that still meets your needs.
Where is the room in your budget? Are there other monthly fees you can let go of to take on the club membership without strapping your cash flow?
Is it close enough? The average person will not commute more than 5 miles to a facility. If you are further ask yourself if you will still get there when its cold, hot, rainy, your tired, other errands need to be done, the house is a mess, etc. If you can’t answer a resounding YES you may want to consider another spot.
Will you exercise outside of the club? Many people have trouble staying focused if they are working out at home, outside, or in different places each time. If you need the routine and ritual of walking through the club doors to keep fitness a priority – become a member!
It’s a great idea to explore and “try out” different clubs. There are many styles from everything included to bare bones facilities out there. Each has its own personality, membership base, and offerings. Finding one that really fits with you is as important as finding a great pair of jeans. It’ll keep you coming back over and over – which might be why most people have more fitness success when they are members.