It might be the start of a New Year, but you can guarantee we’ll all still be making the same old New Year’s resolutions. Giving up smoking, cutting down on caffeine… there are plenty of things we choose to do to try and make sure that we lead healthier lives, but probably most popular of all is the choice to start up (or renew) a gym membership.
The first thing to consider when joining a new gym is finding the best membership to suit you. Choosing a gym membership can come down to much more than just which gym is cheapest – different gyms will have different offers and facilities that might suit you better. Consider your choice akin to buying a bespoke suit – you aren’t just making a singular purchase, but considering each individual component to get the best end result. With that in mind, In The City Magazine has some advice to bear in mind before joining up…
Make sure you can actually get to the gym!
It doesn’t matter if you’re an early bird that uses exercise as a way to greet the day, or a night owl blowing off steam before bed, there is no definitive time of day to hit the gym. One thing to bear in mind is that different gyms have different opening times. As such, it’s best to thoroughly check your gym before signing any contracts – signing up for a gym which opens at 9 am and shuts at 7 pm probably won’t be any good if you have a work pattern that means you seldom make it in time! The same applies for classes; if you are interested in taking part in a particular exercise, make sure that activity is held at your gym at a time you can actually make.
Does your gym have what you need?
With the sheer abundance of gyms (both national chains and independent locals), you might be fooled into thinking every gym offers more or less the same facilities and equipment. Even if certain staples *can* be found across the board (after all, you’re unlikely to find a gym that doesn’t have any kind of treadmill!), make sure your gym has exactly what you want. Decide on what’s best for you – do you mind using communal showers, or are you only comfortable in a private shower stall? Do you like to have a swim after working out? Or do you need to fully relax post-work out in the sauna? By figuring out exactly what you want, you can start to eliminate gyms until you find something perfect for your needs.
The right kit to get fit
Despite what Rocky IV might have taught us, there’s no shame in making use of special equipment when it comes to getting fit. The best way to approach getting equipment is to find things that will not only help you exercise but stay safe whilst doing it. Knee supports and suitable footwear are essential if you intend to do lots of cardio (especially if you take up jogging), whilst wrist supports and gloves offer huge benefits for weight training. Ultimately, do some research to find out what exercises you will be doing and what you will need to do it effectively and safely.