Gyms/Health Clubs

Gyms/Health Clubs

Gyms/Health Clubs
Gyms offer access to equipment, exercise classes and personal trainers. Exercising at a gym offers benefits such as scheduled exercise classes, which help establish a routine. Also, exercising along with other people is a good motivator in meeting fitness goals.

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  • 5 Answers
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    A , Health Education, answered

    When touring the facility, be sure to ask, “What are the terms of the contract?” Don’t get roped into an extended contract, especially if you aren’t sure how committed you are at this point. There shouldn’t be any pressure to sign anything, especially a long-term agreement. Ask if you can try the gym or club for a couple of weeks or start with a month to- month membership.

    Other good follow-up questions include, “Are there any services, classes, or amenities that cost extra?” “Will the club offer a trial membership or waive the initiation fee?” “What is your cancellation policy (and any penalties)?”

    Price depends on geographic location and how nice the facility is. Decide on your price range ahead of time. Most facilities charge between $30 and $50 or more per month.

    Assess later if this facility seemed more service oriented or sales oriented. International award-winning master personal trainer and the CEO of Catalyst Fitness in Atlanta Bill Sonnemaker, MS, explains, “The staff should encourage you to use the facility, not just belong.”
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    The simplest answer is NO, you don't NEED a gym membership. The only thing you need to have a successful healthy lifestyle is consistency. Your workouts should occur where you are motivated to consistently workout in a safe and effective manner. The "where" is not important as the "how often."

    Some thoughts for you to consider...

    1. Your home will be a perfect workout space, if you are self motivated, want to economize time, and have a area (basement/garage) at home to provide safe, effective and fun workouts that you do on a regular basis. For an small initial investment, you can supply your home gym with ample workout equipment that will surely deliver results if you are consistent with you workouts. Ask an NASM personal trainer here on Sharecare to assist you with your purchases and putting together a safe and effective workout regime.

    2. If you find motivation from being around other like minded healthy people then having a gym membership can be a good solution. Especially if you want the variety of having machines, weights and maybe even some classes to participate in. Caution: don't get caught in all the hoopla of the amenities a gym has to offer. Focus on what will bring you to your health and fitness goals, everything else is just extras that are there to lure people into join the healthclub.

    3. Get outside. A change of scenery and activity will always stimulate a workout program. Get out of the home or gym and go run or walk on the boardwalk, do some interval training in the park, go shoot some hoops, whatever makes you motivates you to move is going to make you a happier, healthier person.

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  • 1 Answer
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    A answered
     While your fitness efforts may be paying off when you look in the mirror, chances are you could be getting the same -- if not better -- results in a shorter amount of time if you cut out exercise time-wasters. Here are the top five to trim from your routine.
    • Getting too much rest. It's true that your muscles should get a bit of rest in between intense workouts, but sitting idly on the machine or standing around the water fountain isn't doing you any favors. Instead, separate your exercises into muscle-specific moves. That way, while you do a set for one muscle group, your other groups are resting. Or, do cardiovascular exercise in between strength training to burn more calories and promote muscle recovery.
    • Watching TV or reading. It might make working out more bearable, but watching TV or reading while you sweat it out can make your workouts longer because you could go easy on yourself while you're focused on these activities.
    • Chatting with friends. The buddy system is a great way to stay motivated, but it's important to keep your socializing to a minimum when you're getting down to business. You might not achieve your maximum cardio potential if you're trying to save enough breath to tell your pal about your latest life happenings. Isolate the chitchat to warm-ups and cool-downs.
    • Using the wrong form. No matter how much time you spend doing exercises and how much energy you exert while you're at them, you're wasting your time if you're doing the moves incorrectly. If you don't have the right form, you could be hurting or straining your muscles, and you're probably not getting the benefits you think you are. Do some research online and watch a few videos to learn the proper methods, or ask a trainer at your gym for a demo.
    • Doing too many reps. It might seem like doing 20, 40 or 60 reps on a weight machine is a good idea, but you can get better results quicker if you just increase the weight you're using. If you're using the proper amount of weight, you shouldn't be able to do that many reps. Anywhere from eight to 15 reps is standard for general muscle conditioning. If you feel like you could do more, add weight.
  • 8 Answers
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    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of

    No. Working out at a gym is simply one way to make exercise more accessible to you. It is very possible to lose weight by exercising outside of gym. Weight loss is the result of “burning” or expending more calories than you consume through food and beverages. This creates a caloric deficit which leads to weight loss. You can increase your caloric burn or expenditure by doing any kind of physical activity that you enjoy. For example, walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, and even strength training with free weights or resistance bands at home will promote weight loss. Although you can do any or all of these activities at a gym, you can also do them at home, outside, or even when traveling, provided that you have the correct equipment.

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  • 3 Answers
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    High temperatures and high humidity decrease the body’s ability to keep cool. Exercising outdoors in extremely hot weather may cause heat illness. Heat illness occurs when sweat does not evaporate from the body, thereby increasing body temperature. (This answer provided for NATA by the Southern Connecticut State University Athletic Training Education Program)
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  • 3 Answers
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    A , Health Education, answered

    Dr. Larry Hamm, a cardiac rehabilitation specialist at George Washington University, warns, “Most of the fitness clubs, not all, but most clubs hire personal trainers who are only minimally qualified without requiring any kind of college degree or a degree in exercise science or exercise physiology.”

    One quality check is to ask if this facility belongs to a professional fitness association, such as IDEA (www.ideafit.com) or IHRSA (www.ihrsa.org). Make sure the staff’s personal certifications are from an accredited organization.

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  • 4 Answers
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    A , Health Education, answered

    When touring the facility, ask, “Has anyone ever been hurt here? What emergency procedures do you have in place?” You may not get an honest answer, but ask anyway. Also ask if this facility carries liability insurance in case you get injured.

    The entire staff should have completed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training at bare minimum. Ask the staff what they would do if someone had a heart attack on their premises. If they don’t say, “call 911 immediately,” don’t go there.
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  • 12 Answers
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    Before you start looking for a gym, sit down and write a list of the most important qualities in a gym for your particular needs. Once you've done so you'll know what to ask for and request when you meet with the sales team.

    Lifestyle questions:

    • What time of day will I work out? - The gym needs to be open during the hours you are available.
    • Will I shower and dress there? - You'll want ample lockers and clean working showers, counters and well lit mirrors with outlets for hair dryers etc.
    • Will I work out around my work schedule? - You'll want your gym within walking distance to your job so you can go before and after work, or during lunch breaks.
    • Do I need childcare? - You'll want to be comfortable with the daycare facility and the caregivers, and so will your child.
    • Is my gym simply to work out, or do I want a spa and retreat? - If you just want to work out, you don't want to be paying for fancy facilities, but if the gym is where you pamper yourself, you'll want a good steam and sauna room.
    • Do I want a restaurant or business center? - If you want a place to meet clients or to work on your computer, this will be important to you.
    • Is it a franchise? Can I go to other facilities while traveling?
    • There are many gyms and fitness centers that are affiliated with hotel chains. Finding one that has facilities where you frequently travel can be instrumental in making sure that you stay consistent with your workout, even while on the go.

    Workout questions:

    • What kinds of workouts do I plan to do? - This will clarify how elaborate, or simple, a gym you need.
    • Will my workout be machine dependent? - You will want new functioning machines and enough of them that during the busiest hours you won't be waiting for equipment.
    • Will I be more likely to attend group classes? - If group classes are your thing, you'll want to make sure that there are plenty of classes available at the times you'll attend, and that the teachers are well respected with a good reputation.
    • Do I need a personal trainer? - If so, you'll want to make sure that your gym is fully staffed with certified personal trainers who have reputable certifications like NASM.
    • Do I want to swim? - You'll want a pool that is a comfortable temperature, clean and large enough to accommodate multiple swimmers during the busiest hours.

    Answering these questions will help you clarify your most important needs. Now you're ready to factor in cost. While there are many good deals, it's only a good deal if it meets your needs.

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  • 4 Answers
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    A gym environment should be comfortable, motivating, and nonjudgmental. Many gyms offer trial memberships that can serve as a beneficial tool to get a sense of the gym environment. Many gyms pick a specific type of client they cater to such as bodybuilders, families, or athletes. The gym you ultimately pick should feel like a safe haven and give you the feeling of belonging to a larger community. Just remember, not all gyms are created equal!
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  • 6 Answers
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    I would recommend joining a Gym or Health Club that is in close proximity to either your Home or place of Work.  If it is too far away then there is a bigger chance of finding excuses to miss workouts.
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