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6 steps for choosing a gym

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Consider these factors when choosing a gym that's right for you.

Consider these factors when choosing a gym that's right for you.

A gym membership can be a significant investment. Follow these six steps to make sure that you use that money to join a facility that is the best fit for your fitness journey.

1. Create a budget
When you look at different gyms, it may be tempting to splurge a little for your dream location. However, when it comes to a monthly membership fee, that little extra will add up fast. Decide on what price will fit into your budget before you start looking around so that you’ll be less tempted to overspend.

2. Write out your deal breakers 
Do you love workout classes? Can’t live without your favorite cardio machines? SHAPE magazine recommended making a list of what you’re looking for in a gym to help select the perfect option. Try not to compromise if you can help it. If you settle for a gym that doesn’t provide everything you need, you’ll probably end up paying for extras on top of the membership fee.

3. Look for a convenient location 
When it comes to gyms, going local is typically the best option. According to fitness industry consultant Jim Thomas, most people typically won’t regularly drive more 15 minutes to go to the gym, despite their best intentions. You may make the long commute for a few weeks, but over time you’ll likely lose your motivation.

4. Think about hours
A gym membership isn’t very useful if the facility is closed whenever you want to work out. Think about the time that you usually like to work out and make sure that the gym is open then with plenty of time to spare. You don’t want to feel rushed when you exercise. If you’re checking your BABY-G watch every few minutes to make sure you finish before the doors close, you’ll leave feeling stressed and frustrated.

5. Ask about cleanliness 
Gyms should make you healthier, not sicker. However, exercise facilities tend to be breeding grounds for germs that cause common illnesses like the cold or flu. Make sure that staff members regularly wipe down equipment with a strong disinfectant and also clean warm, wet areas like locker rooms and saunas.

6. Try before you buy
BODYBUILDING.com reported that it’s important to always try a gym before purchasing a membership. Even if you like what you see, ask for a trial membership or guest pass so you confirm that the facility is the right choice for you.

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