So, you’ve decided you’re ready to join a gym! Good for you! Joining a gym can be a great way to stay motivated to workout. Even if you go by yourself, the collective energy of being around other people who are also focusing on their health might give you the push you need to stay consistent.
Joining a gym is an exciting time and we want to make sure you make the best choice for you! So, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things to check before signing on the dotted line.
1. Check with your health insurance company for potential discounts
Many health insurance companies offer discounts for gym memberships. Some insurance companies partner with specific gyms and offer free or deeply discounted memberships. So, before you start calling around and interviewing gyms, call your insurance company first!
2. Decide how far you’re willing to drive
This is important! Much of the time, convenience is king. If you found a gym you love but it’s 25 miles from home, it may not end up being the best option. Make sure you assess what your routine is going to be. You want to make this as easy as possible on yourself so you follow through on your commitment. Map out where various gyms are in relation to work and home and pick one that makes the most sense for your daily lifestyle.
3. Figure out their hours
The greatest gym in the world isn’t going to be the greatest choice for you if their hours aren’t convenient. If you’re a super early morning or super late at night gym goer, you might need to check on gyms with a 24-hour schedule. Figure out what times of day you’re most likely to workout, and choose a gym that suites those hours. Again, make it easy on yourself!
4. Check on their class schedules
If you’re interested in taking classes (which is a great idea!), make sure you look over the gym’s class schedule before committing to a membership. Classes are a great way to make new friends and have fun while you exercise. Most gyms have an extensive class schedule these days, but it’s important to pinpoint what classes you’re most interested in and make sure those classes happen during times you can attend.
Speaking of classes, make sure you clarify whether or not they’re included in your membership. Often they are, but not always. Make sure you ask exactly what will be included.
5. Ask about contracts and cancellation policies
It’s always a good idea to ask about a contracts, hidden fees and cancellation policies. Often, gyms will have a registration fee that you might be able to talk them out of. Another fee you’ll want to ask about is a possible maintenance fee. Many gyms have done away with them, but it’s always worth asking.
Next, make sure you ask about whether or not there is a contract involved. Some gyms have no contract, others have varying contracts that range from 6-24 months. If you’re signing a contract, make sure you also ask for clarity on the cancellation policy.
If the gym doesn’t have a contract, they usually require 30 days notice to cancel. If they do have a contract, cancellation fees can be hefty, so make sure you ask for the their policies in writing. It’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up for!
If you’re not sure how much you’re going to use your membership, it might be best to go with a gym that doesn’t have a contract at all.
It always feels good to go into things with both eyes open. We hope these tips come in handy on your hunt for a new gym to call home! And make sure you use the iTrackBites app to log all of your exercise time in your activity log. Your BITES may adjust depending on your workouts!