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Joining a Gym - The Good, The Bad, and The Stinky

There are many benefits to gym membership as well as negatives to consider. Finding the right gym can be difficult. If you are a female you would not necessarily want to join a gym for bodybuilders, and likewise, if you are a male, you will probably not consider joining a Curves Gym for women. Many establishments also have a minimum age for joining a gym.

 

The variety of fitness equipment found in gyms typically far exceeds anything you could dream of owning in your own home. In addition to weights and workout equipment, most also offer treadmills, exercise rowing machines, elliptical machines, and stair climbers.

 

Gyms may offer tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts, as well as swimming pools, saunas, rock climbing walls, and running tracks. You may even be able to hire your own certified fitness instructor for an additional charge. These personal fitness trainers will help you learn the ropes and develop an exercise routine specifically for you. Other professional staff can include nutritionists who will work with you to develop a diet to help you reach your goals.

 

Professional gyms usually offer a multitude of classes, such as cycling, aerobics, kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, and many more. Combine these with the excellent opportunity to meet new people and socialize with your peers, and gym membership seems like the way to go.

 

But, there are some negatives to joining a gym. Membership can often be expensive, between joining fees and membership fees. Some gyms still charge a one time “set-up” fee to join, which can range from $75 to $300 depending on the gym. In addition to the joining fee, memberships can cost anywhere from $30 to $300 per month. Some gyms do offer payment plans on a per visit basis, usually for a premium, or even on an annual basis, typically at a discount. Always ask any gym you consider joining if they offer a free trial membership, or if they will allow you to take a tour of the gym before you join.

 

Of course, gym membership becomes even more expensive if you a trapped in a contract and you stop going. With all of your other obligations in your life, it is easy to forget about the gym. If you stop going and are unable to get back into your routine, try to get out of your membership and stop paying the exorbitant monthly fees.

 

Privacy is also an issue for many who join gyms. Being surrounded by other people, in either better or worse shape, can be intimidating and distracting. It is difficult to be yourself when you feel like there are other people watching you.

 

Gyms can be messy, unsanitary, and even stinky. While the majority of gym members make an effort to clean and wipe the equipment after each use, some do not. These can leave sweat, germs, and body odor on the equipment prior to your use. As with any environment where many people gather, the gym atmosphere can help spread colds and other airborne illnesses. Showers and locker rooms are especially prone to germs.

 

Overall joining a gym can be very worthwhile. It is up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons, and if you can find a membership in your price range. Remember to ask for a free trial or a tour before joining any gym.

 
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