As the new year begins, many of us are making resolutions- “be more active”, “eat better”, etc. After speaking with a friend of mine that had shared interest in joining a gym for the new year, I got to thinking about helping her find a gym that best suits her needs. This is often important when you are looking to get into fitness, continuing your fitness journey and/or changing up your fitness routine. Choosing a place to workout that best meets your needs is VERY important as it is not only a time commitment, but a monetary one as well. The first step is to locate gyms near you- many gyms are national, but some are specific to certain regions. I am currently a member of Equinox, previously a member of 24 hour fitness, and NYSC (New York Sports Club)-when I lived on the East Coast. It is important next to think about what it is you want to get out of your gym/studio membership. If you are into niche workouts such as barre, yoga, crossfit or cycling, you are going to want to look into specific studios (note that single classes can be expensive- look into purchasing a package). Studios that I have heard great reviews about include Pure Barre, Cardio Barre(tried-loved!), CorePower Yoga, SoulCycle(LOVE) and FlyWheel(really enjoyed). After you have researched a few studios or gyms in your area, go into them and check them out. Obtain a week (or 3-day) guest pass at the gym and/or see if the the studios offer a first class free. You want to know what you are investing in before you make the investment. Talk with a membership advisor and tell them you are interested in joining a new gym/studio and you would like to trial their classes/equipment before you commit to a membership. (As a consumer you have the right to and should do so-it’s beneficial). It is also a good idea to ask about multiple gym/studio memberships, especially if you travel for work. Choose a few classes that week, or during the trial, that will best represent the type of classes you will be including in your workout routine (or new ones you may want to introduce) and times that work best for your schedule (classes before work/after work/midday)- and TRY TRY TRY. Before committing to Equinox, I checked out a few local gyms. I went on tours of the facility and was able to obtain a guest pass in order to see if the classes that they were offering were ones that I would be interested in taking and that they were challenging enough for me. For me, I go to the gyms for the classes. You can get a variety of different workouts daily which will help keep your routine exciting and help keep you motivated- from barre to bootcamp to cycling. I also enjoy substituting some workouts at studios such as cycling at SoulCycle and taking a barre or hot yoga class elsewhere, but most gyms will offer classes similar to these workouts. Now that you’ve tried out a few gyms/studios in your area you are ready to see which facility(ies) best fit your budget. If you are going to be spending a lot of time at the gym, it is worth it to invest in one that may be a little pricier if the facilities are nice (i.e. showering, towel service, juice bars). Doing the research (like you would with most investments) is an important step to take in order to find the RIGHT gym for the NEW you.
Some other gyms/facilities that I know of include- Curves, Planet Fitness, Orangetheory, LA Fitness. Check your local area for gyms/studios that are specific to your region or search for nationally known facilities. Once you choose the RIGHT gym for the NEW you, you will be on the road to achieving those resolutions and living a happy, healthy lifestyle. Happy Searching and Happy New Year!