The Top 10 Benefits Of A Gym Membership

By:    Published: May 13, 2012

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If you have been working out at home or are thinking of starting an exercise program, you may wonder if a gym membership is worth it. Working out at a gym can help improve your fitness level and overall health. Joining a gym may give you the incentive and convenience to exercise on a regular basis. The prices, amenities and equipment can vary greatly among fitness facilities, so it is important to find a gym that meets your needs. Below are some additional benefits of a gym membership.

Camaraderie

Sticking with an exercise program can be a challenge at times. Joining a gym can help you develop a support system of other people who are working towards similar goals. You may make friends or find a workout buddy, which can be beneficial in sticking with your routine. Being in an environment where everyone is working towards physical fitness can have a positive effect.

Assistance From Experts

If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to exercise, you may see limited results or even injure yourself. Joining a gym allows you access to fitness professionals, such as personal trainers, aerobics instructors and nutritional experts. Fitness professionals can help you develop an exercise program, correct fitness mistakes and answer questions. Be sure to ask if training is included in membership dues or costs extra.

Exercise Classes

Although classes available will vary greatly among gyms, some common classes offered include cycling classes, dance classes, yoga and water aerobics. Since most gym memberships include free exercise classes, you have got nothing to lose by trying something new. Trying a variety of classes can help prevent boredom and you may even find something you love.

The Extras

A gym membership may come with additional perks beyond classes and exercise equipment. Some gyms offer massage, stream rooms, tanning, a swimming pool, spa and juice bars. In addition, some fitness centers also sell exercise clothing and supplements. The convenience of having all things fitness in one place is a great benefit to joining a gym.

Fitness Testing

Often gyms will offer their members fitness tests, such as body mass index and fat testing. This helps you determine what your starting point is. You’ll be able to track progress easier if you know where you started. Seeing improvements and knowing you are meeting goals can be one of the most motivating factors when it comes to exercise.

Access To Equipment

Most gyms have a wide variety of equipment to choose from. For instance, various types of weight machines that work almost every body part can be found. Cardiovascular machines, such as treadmills, bikes and stair climbers are also usually standard equipment in most gyms. Having the opportunity to use varied equipment can help you find what works best for you and keeps you challenged.

Motivation

Staying motivated is one of the most important factors when it comes to exercise. By seeing others who are reaching their fitness goals, it can help you feel encouraged to stay the course with your own program. The fact you invested money into the membership may also convince you to use it.

Competition

If you are the competitive type, a gym membership offers opportunities to play sports, such as volleyball, basketball and racquetball may be a good fit. Some gyms have leagues you can sign up for or pickup games you can join. Competitive sports can be a great workout and break from fitness classes or using exercise machines.

Variety

A common reason why people sometimes don’t follow through with their exercise program is they get bored. Doing the same type of exercise repeatedly may also not challenge you enough. Depending on the gym you join, you may have access to a variety of options when it comes to working out. Between classes, cardiovascular equipment, weight machines and more, you will have several choices to help you stay motivated.

Convenience

If bad weather or no childcare has ever prevented you from working out, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to workout outdoors all year long. Working out at home can also be a challenge with family members around. A gym membership offers the convenience of being weather proof. In addition, many gyms have childcare available while you are working out.

While there are obviously several benefits to getting a gym membership, it is important to pick the right gym. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should look for a gym that is close to either work or home. Be sure you’ll be able to afford the dues, or you’re likely to drop the membership in a few months. Ask about the credentials of the gym staff. Trainers should be certified through a reputable fitness organization, such as the American Council of Sports Medicine. Also, consider what amenities are important to you when choosing a facility.

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