- Recommendations- Ask your friends which gym they go to and why they like it. Also having a friend at the gym makes you more likely to go regularly and the support system will help you achieve your goals.
- Location- Since getting up out of the house in of itself can be a reason we avoid going to the gym, having a membership at one near your home makes it harder for you to justify not going.
- Hours- Do you need a gym that is open late? Or are you an early morning person? Be sure to take note of when the gym is open so you can be sure you can get there in accordance with your schedule.
- Staff- The staff can really make or break your decision, were the staff helpful? Did they put too much pressure on you to buy a membership? In choosing my gym the staff was extremely helpful, friendly, and supportive. All the qualities you need to feel confident and keep you coming back.
- The other members- Most likely you will get a tour of the facility before you join; you need to feel comfortable in your work out environment not intimidated. Look around and see what kind of clientele this facility caters to and whether or not you will be relaxed and comfortable there.
- Cleanliness- This is especially important in the locker room, make sure that the showering facilities are properly cleaned and maintained. Also take note to see if towels are readily available to clean the machines.
- Equipment- Make sure the equipment has clear instructions for use, or that the staff is available to help you. See if there are any ‘out of order’ signs on the equipment it could indicate that the gym is poorly maintained. Also be sure to check if the machines have time limits, if you like to run for an hour on the treadmill but there is a half hour limit it may not be the right gym for you.
Angie Picardo is a writer at NerdWallet, a financial literacy website where you can find information on making a host of financial decisions from gym memberships, retirement, to divorce finances.