11 AnswersAlicen Ronan, NASM Elite Trainer , Fitness, answeredYou don't need a gym membership to workout so you should definitely consider finding fitness a routine that works for you. While a gym may offer an assortment of equipment to aid in your workout, there are many activities you can do that require little to no equipment and cost very little or are free. Walking is probably one of the easiest fitness activities you can do without spending any money and can be a great boost to your cardiovascular health. Fitness DVDs are another way to get a great cardio workout and you can do them at home. DVDs can be purchased at a variety of stores or your local library may even have fitness titles available to borrow. A pair of hand weights or a set of resistance bands are other relatively inexpensive items that can really help you with the strength training portion of your routine. Many cities have used sporting good stores which can be a huge help if you feel like you need exercise equipment to workout but are on a tight budget.
As the Nike logo goes, Just Do It! This reasoning may be easier said than done. Prior to joining any gym, figure out your fitness level. Are you active and ready to take your fitness to the next level but do not have the equipment needed? Or are you inactive and hope that joining a gym will help you become active? Both of these answers may be yes but you still need to find the appropriate facility for you. Now is the time to do your research. Here is a quick list of items you should use when visiting your next facility:
- Would this facility be on the way to or from work?
- If no to the above, would this facility be within 3-5 miles of your house?
- Does this facility offer personal training and/or the opportunity to meet with a trainer for free to see if personal training would be something of interest to you?
- Group exercise classes available? These are great ways to teach people exercise and often included with your membership
- Do you have to sign a contract and are there ways to get out of the contract?
Use these and more prior to deciding about joining. Lastly, many gyms will allow you a free day/week pass so try that out and that may help you decide.
1 AnswerNational Academy of Sports Medicine answered
Determine whether the club matches up with your specific preferences. Beyond that, look for a studio that has convenient locations and a very interactive staff. Ensure that the personal trainers are certified by a nationally accredited institution and that the studio carries liability insurance. This way, you can feel confident that the staff is knowledgeable and will safely lead you to your health and fitness goals.
2 AnswersJulie DuBois, NASM Elite Trainer, RD , Administration, answeredGetting a good night's sleep is so important to your overall health. If you're waking up with a stiff back, it may be time to take a look at your sleeping position and/or your mattress. Sleeping on your side or back is the most ideal position, but if you can only sleep on your stomach there are some things that can help. If you sleep on your stomach, you can place a pillow underneath your hips to improve the natural curves in your spine. If you are a side sleeper, a pillow between your knees may help. Back sleepers can place a pillow under their knees to improve back pain. Additionally, you can stretch first thing upon waking to improve a stiff back. Bending forward to touch your toes is one great stretch. Reaching down to each foot with your legs apart can also stretch each side of the back. Curling your back up like a cat on your hands and knees is another great stretch. Strengthening your core muscles with plank positions while exercising can also improve lower back pain and stiffness.
Absolutely not! Regular exercise is about regular activity, not regular gym workouts. Find activities that you enjoy doing and plan on engaging in them regularly. Be sure to work hard and have fun in whatever you do. The gym sometimes helps to provide a routine or a social element to regular activity that can be very helpful. Be sure to recruit family and friends in your non-gym exploits to gain the same benefits.
1 AnswerWhat feels better than getting to the gym regularly and completing a tough but fun workout? Getting paid for it! Working where one works out might return a bigger reward than imagined. As of July 2012, the average annual compensation for these health-club positions was the following:
- General manager: $95,333
- Assistant general manager: $64,092
- Spa director: $59,492
- Fitness director: $55,441
- Maintenance manager: $50,479
- Tennis instructor: $33.83
- Yoga instructor: $30.26
- Group cycling instructor: $27.35
- Personal trainer: $21.31
- Maintenance worker: $13.05
2 AnswersTroy Taylor, NASM Elite Trainer , Fitness, answeredNo, in many cases your large warehouse clubs are more about volume of memberships than true expertise in the field. The most important element in any fitness facility is the staff. With a quality staff you can have almost any variety of available equipment and develop a program that will meet your needs. If you pursue the highest quality staff first you will probably find yourself in clubs that maybe are not the largest but the best equipped and the cleanest. I believe excellence is contagious and when the staff is excellent the environment will be excellent.
5 AnswersDr. Michelle Cleere - Sharecare Fitness Expert, PhD , Psychology, answered
Psychologically gyms can be a great place for people who are new to exercise because it can provide easy access to equipment and social support. However many people end up feeling a sense of confusion because they don't know how to use the equipment or use it properly and they end up frustrated because they don't get the support they were looking for.
Gyms are great but there are so many things you do without a gym and these things end up costing you a lot less money and many times provides a greater sense of satisfaction. For example, walking, bicycle riding, hiking, shooting baskets, tennis, swimming, etc.
If you own a Wii there are some great fitness programs. You may hire a personal trainer to come into your home for a session or two to help you set up a program.
5 AnswersDr. Dede Bonner , 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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