TIPS ON FINDING THE RIGHT GYM MEMBERSHIP FOR YOU
NEW YEAR: NEW GYM MEMBERSHIP
From a financial perspective, signing up for a new gym membership at the beginning of the year makes complete sense when the sign-up deals are everywhere. On the other hand, signing up for a gym membership in January with the rest of the country is, frankly, one of the most insane thing you could think of!
Think past January when contemplating how you are going to spend the remaining 11 months of the year when the New Year frenzy has passed.
Here are our top five JackRabbit tips on how to choose the right gym membership for you.
HANG ON, WHO IS DEALING OUT THIS GYM MEMERSHIP ADVICE?
Melanie, JackRabbiter, mother of two, Ironman triathlete, short-order cook, and a member of the Cherry Creek Athletic Club for over ten years. As the expat product of Scottish parents, believe me when I say I make sure I get every penny’s worth from each month I am a member!
MONEY, IT’S ALL (NOT QUITE) ABOUT THE MONEY
Yes, there is no denying you have to pay out of pocket for a gym membership, but let’s get that into perspective.
When you take into consideration the long-term benefits of being part of an active community, the pay-off is immeasurable. As a mother of two always delightful, angelic children (!) with a work/life balance like a house of cards, I quickly realized that monthly gym dues are way, way cheaper than therapy.
Determine what a gym membership is worth for you. What are your reasons for joining in the first place? Is is purely fitness (probably not), is it to be challenged, is it to meet a new circle of friends, is it to be alongside your favorite workout pals?
TIME, TIME, TIME
When it comes to time, a gym membership can be a great way to get bang for your buck. Training for an Ironman when you have a family/work and the need to prep food five times a day, means the actual time you have for training becomes a matter of debate – which sort of defeats the whole purpose. Likewise, you have a full-time job, and your motivation wains throughout the day – choose your workout time wisely.
Bam – get to to gym, get it done, showers are there and you can be in and out and ready for the rest of your day. So, timing of classes (and how busy they are!) could be a major decision to how you approach choosing what is right for you.
Consider if you’re a morning or and post-work kind of training person. And the million dollar question: do you think your motivation to train will change as the year moves on.
WINTER/SUMMER: GYM WITH THE SEASONS
Apart from the obvious: winter drives us indoors, summer gets us to the outdoor pool, do your research on what a gym offers during the varying seasons.
Training in the winter in Colorado, I fell in love with the hot yoga classes, access to a sauna to warm my bones before venturing outside for a run when cabin fever hits, and the fact the gym does specific ski conditioning classes – even if they do border on Navy Seal intensity.
Summer – the options of a pool outdoors is a huge selling point, but also summers are spot on at a gym if you continue to take advantage of personal trainers, who usually offer specials in the hotter months.
And, the reality of life is sometimes your schedule means you’re left to train in the heat of the day, an air-conditioned environment can be just as useful as a heated one in the winter.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Ever heard the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results’. Same goes for fitness and training. Even if you do everything right one year, repeat that the next and you won’t make progress. Consider what you need as an athlete and an active peep to see what will challenge you.
When you sign on the dotted line of a gym membership contract – set yourself a goal of trying something new every month or season; not only will it keep it interesting (nothing sucks more than training boredom – apart from maybe injury!) but will spread the load and your body and mind will thank you for it
LIFE, CIRCLES, AND A VILLAGE
While I love my family – both the ones I gave birth to and my adopted JackRabbit family – being part of another community of people who understand my need to move, who don’t care that I usually look like c**p, will push me when I need it and leave me alone when I’m working through life’s stresses, is another part of the great village that makes up life and a community.
What I’ve learned from a decade of being part of this community I call my gym family is to look beyond the classes and consider a gym for what its community will mean to you.
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