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Joining a Health Club: Is It for You?

Joining a Health Club:
Is It for You?

What are the advantages of health clubs?
What are the disadvantages of health clubs?
How do you join a health club?

Joining a health club can be a fun fitness option if you're serious about exercising several days a week. Clubs offer a variety of exercise classes, cardio exercise equipment, and strength training options. Some even have pools, saunas, and showers. But health clubs aren't for everybody. A family membership can be expensive. And you may find the health club is crowded at the time of day you like to work out. Some clubs place restrictions on the hours when teens can use the facility as well. Before your family signs up, you might want to think about whether a health club can help you meet your fitness goals. back to top

What are the advantages of health clubs?
Private health clubs generally have a wide variety of services and fairly new equipment. But your family will pay more for those benefits than you will to join a public gym or school program. Joining a health club is no guarantee that you will get fit, but there are some advantages.
  • A good health club always has a trainer on the floor to answer your questions about proper weight lifting form and to teach you how to use the equipment.
  • Because health clubs have a variety of options, you will be less likely to get bored doing the same exercise all the time.
  • You will meet people who are interested in the same thing you are—fitness! Who knows, you might even make a Fitness Friend. back to top
What are the disadvantages of health clubs?
Joining a health club isn't the only way to get in shape. In fact, there are several disadvantages to belonging to one.
  • If you prefer exercising alone or feel self-conscious about working out in front of other people, a health club may not be right for you.
  • If you have to get a ride to the health club or if it's a hassle to get there, you're more likely to miss a workout.
  • If you don't like the fitness staff or the other people who work out there, you're probably not going to go.
  • If you love being outdoors, exercising inside a club might not be your thing. back to top
How do you join a health club?
If you want to join a health club because your best friend goes there or you like its ads, you may regret it. Remember, the only good health club is the health club you like to use! Before you ask your family to put money down, ask yourself these questions:
  • Is the club at a convenient location? Will I still go if I have to walk or get a ride there?
  • Is it open during the times I want to use it? Some big city gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while others close early on weekends or have limited hours.
  • Will I have to pay for extras like towels or a locker? These can add up quickly!
  • Does it offer the kinds of classes that I want? Check the class schedule to make sure the class you want is offered at a time that's good for you.
  • Are the facilities clean, and is the equipment well maintained? You can't use broken equipment. And moldy showers are a sure sign that the club isn't concerned about your health. back to top
Last Modified Date: 1/8/2001
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