A Guide To Choosing The Best Gym For You

The new year is coming, and with that comes our resolutions. So many times we've made the pledge to join the gym and lose some weight. But how often do we follow through on that pledge? Maybe it's because there are too many options when choosing a gym. What classes do they offer? Is there a spa? What are the facilities like?

We're here to guide you to the perfect gym for your body, your spirit and, most importantly, your wallet!

How much are you willing to spend?

Lots of gyms are flashy and have incredible facilities, like spas, pools and other luxurious accommodations. But don't get blinded by the glitz and the glam; these places are often expensive. Gyms can cost anywhere from $10 to $125 a month — and sometimes even more than that! Map out a budget for yourself so you don't get sucked in by aesthetics. Know your budget and stick to it. If you can afford a fancy gym, great! But there are lots of perfectly good gyms that'll give you what you need for less money.

Figure out what you want from your gym.

How do you work out the best? Classes offer a fun, group dynamic. If that's something you like, which classes are you interested in? Personal training gives you one-on-one attention. Or do you just want to do your own thing? What equipment are you looking to use? Do you need basic dumbbells, a treadmill and eliptical or more? Some gyms offer perks like day care services, basketball courts, tennis and more. Do you want the bare bones, the elite or somewhere in between?

How far away are you willing to go?

Some people are willing to drive 45 minutes in traffic to get to their gym, and some only want to go down the street. Most gyms offer an "all clubs" membership, meaning you can use any of their locations with your membership. This can be beneficial if you like taking classes and the class schedule at location B fits in your schedule better than that of location A, even if location B is farther away. But if you want to work out on your own time — or feel you might slack off if it's too far away — it may be better to join a gym that's nearby.

What kind of social environment do you want?

Are you looking to make friends...or more? Or do you just want everyone to leave you alone? Some gyms are same sex only; these types of clubs are usually women only, if that's your style. Do you get intimidated often? A more laid-back club may be your jam.

When do you think you'll be going?

Figure out when you can work the gym into your schedule. Then find out each gym's hours of operation. Some gyms are open 24 hours, but others aren't. If you're a night owl, finite hours may pose a problem. Also make sure you find out the gym's holiday hours, too.

Take these tips into account before joining a gym next year, and you'll be sure to pick the right one! Good luck!

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