Part of the reason people join gym’s is because they can go to a specific place where the one main focus is exercise and there are exercise machines of many different kinds to work all parts of their bodies. A gym membership can be the key to consistent exercise.
I joined my first gym when I was 17 years old. Since then I have had a membership at a gym almost continuously for over 40 years. I will turn 60 this year and I know that I owe my good health and fitness partly to the consistent exercise I have given myself.
The Distraction When Exercising at Home
Except for sports activities, I find it hard to be really consistent doing exercise at home. There just seem to be to many easy distractions. If I am not distracted by other people, I distract myself with all the other things I do around the house. Most people mean well but they just don’t really get their full regiment of exercise at home. That’s the reason why there is a huge market for exercise classes and for gyms.
Different Kinds of Gyms
There are a wide variety of types of gyms. From the 24 hour fitness chain style mass marketed gyms, to local private owner gyms. I belong to the local YMCA where I live and its pretty cheap and has everything I need. Some gyms are a bit hyped up with fitness fanatics and can be a bit of a see and be seen environment, with a lot of people under 30. The local non chain gyms will tend to be more personalized and connected to the local community. Check out your local YMCA or a locally owned gym.
Classes are Included With Gym Membership
At most gyms there are a variety of classes you can participate in that are free with membership. From bicycle spinning to water aerobics and yoga, there are lot of group classes available. It’s also usually possible to get time with a personal trainer through your gym, who can take you through a workout specifically tailored to you.
Classes work well for many people who are also wanting some social interaction and enjoy exercise with other people.
Exercise Machines of all Kinds
Beside the standard free weights like bar bells and free weight systems, most gyms have a variety of interactive machines. Some are weight based with electronic preset programs, others are manually operated. For the legs and for building up endurance and heart health there are step machines, treadmills, stationary bicycle machines (both recumbent and upright). For stretching most gyms will have mats with exercise balls.
The Cost of Gym Membership
Gyms can be very reasonable from as little as $20 or less a month when paid annually, up to thousands a year for the more elite country club style places.
The average price for a membership is around $30.00 a month paid annually. Some gyms also will allow a month to month payment, but that is not the normal payment model for most gyms.
If you have never belonged to a gym, it can really work, but only if you go consistently for long enough to bond with it. Too often people mean well, join and then never really go enough to get the benefits. Gyms can be a profitable enterprise because so many people pay for membership and then don’t actually use it, the gym can sign up a lot more members than they actually have room for.
I have found that early afternoon and later evening is usually the slowest and least crowded, Mornings and right after the work day is the busiest times.
Go check out a few gyms in your area, get a tour then ask for a free pass to test out the facility and see what they offer and you they feel about the staff and the overall facility. If being healthy and fit is what you want, a gym membership can really work.