The start of the new year often means it's time to join a gym (and if you wait until after the resolution-focused gym goers start slacking off, you'll get some amazing deals).
But before heading out to join a gym this new year, there are a few things you should know about yourself and potential gym partners. While an affordable monthly gym membership may be the most attractive quality when looking for a place to workout, there are other things to look around and check out.
Our fitness experts and gym owners want to offer some things to consider before you jump and join at the closest gym to your home.
"Always consider the environment. How does the gym fit your personality and goals? Does the gym offer what you need to accomplish your goals? Will you feel comfortable there? Are the people who exercise there friendly? "
"Before joining a gym, you need to decide what your specific goals are. From there, decide what types of programming will not only help you achieve those goals, but also keep you coming back for more. Are you the fitness class type? Do you work better one-on-one with a trainer? Or are you a lone wolf who likes a gym with a variety of equipment? Choose the gym that has the best of what you need!"
"Know what your goal is when joining the gym. Then, you'll know what to look for. If the group classes are important to you, find out the days and times they are offered and first see if they fit within your schedule. Always keep in mind that there are more costs than just the gym membership, including travel time. Extra costs should also be factored into pricing and choice of gym. Most people will have a better chance of using the gym if it is within six miles of their home or business."
Achour Esho used to be a professional boxer, but turned into a gym owner and nutrition enthusiast. His gym, FLO Fitness & Martial Arts, offers a wide range of classes including crossfit, muay Thai kickboxing, and women’s bootcamp.
Lisa Payne is a health and fitness expert in Chicago, specializing in personal training. She is a fitness writer for Demand Studios, Today's Chicago Woman magazine, CheekyChicago.com, and on her own blog Paynefully Fit. Lisa is also an adjunct professor in exercise physiology, a brand ambassador for LARABAR, and works for Kate Hudson's athletic company "Fabletics".
Stephanie Mansour (aka Step-It-Up with Steph) is a body image and confidence coach for women. She is also an in-home personal trainer, yoga, & Pilates instructor. She's been featured on CNN and TV stations across the country for her holistic approach to women's health and fitness. Get her free guide to have more confidence and feel good about your body.