If you’ve just moved, hitting the gym or joining a group fitness class can be a great opportunity to de-stress and disconnect from the pressures of unpacking and settling in. If you attended exercise classes or the gym regularly in your previous locale, it can also help you ease back into your routine. Another benefit of joining the gym is that you can meet new people and socialize. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing a gym or fitness class in your new neighborhood.
Location, location, location
Generally, the further the gym or class, the less motivated you’ll be to attend, even if it’s something you really enjoy. Therefore, it’s best to choose a gym or class that’s located as close as possible. This gives you the best chance at maintaining your commitment.
Other things to consider in terms of location include:
- Is it easily accessible by public transportation, or is there a convenient parking lot next to it?
- Do you prefer it to be close to home or work? Consider when you plan on going to the gym (weekdays, weekends, or both), and choose accordingly
Services and facilities
What are you looking for? Aerobic equipment (treadmill, elliptical, etc.), strength-training equipment, a pool, sauna, personal trainer, or specific fitness classes? Once you decide what you want from a gym/class, you can choose one that’s best suited for you. Also, if you only want to do one specific thing, you may be able to choose an inexpensive membership as opposed to paying a lot for a comprehensive program.
In terms of facilities, you’ll have to do some legwork here – before signing up, go to the actual gym and assess the cleanliness of the locker rooms, showers, exercise rooms, etc. Does it look well maintained? Does the equipment work? While you may not want to pay a lot for gym membership, be wary of super-cheap options, which can often come with sub-par facilities.
Many gyms/classes are in a similar price range, unless you’re looking for extras like personal trainers, a pool, sauna, etc. However, what may be more of a deciding factor than cost is whether the gym/instructor offers a trial membership, the option to pay monthly (as opposed to an annual membership), or special deals (such as family memberships or seasonal promotions) that can significantly lower the cost.
Feel free to ask neighbors for recommendations or if they’ve heard of any deals. You can also check with your physician to see if you can deduct membership as a medical expense.
As always, before signing any contract, make sure to read the fine print thoroughly.
Are you going to the gym purely for exercise, or would you enjoy meeting new people too? Depending on your goal, you may prefer a popular local gym, as opposed to a hole-in-the-wall that’s on the cheaper side. If the social component of your workout is really important to you, fitness classes may be a better option than straight-up machine use. On the other hand, if the social component isn’t at all a factor, you may consider setting up a home gym as opposed to going outside for your workouts.
After you move, you have so much on your mind and seemingly endless tasks – it’s easy to postpone signing up for a gym or fitness class. But the sooner you sign up for a gym or fitness class, the faster you can destress, get into routine, and meet new people. So don’t push off joining the gym or finding a fitness class, because the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll start reaping the benefits.