Deciding on a Fitness Center: Tips for Choosing

Joining one of the many fitness centers in your area can have a lot of benefits, but can also be a big expense. Since most centers ask you to sign contracts that can be difficult to cancel, make sure that joining a fitness center is for you and that you are happy with the one you choose, before signing on the dotted line.

Deciding on your Needs

Since you are reading this I guess you would be more interested in weight training than aerobics, swimming and other things. Now those are important but it does not matter to some people whether there is a swimming pool available. You might not be concerned with the number of aerobics classes held each day.

All you want to do is weight train. So choosing a gym that has a wide variety of exercise equipment is idea for you. Now if you are still not sure, you need to look for a location that has a variety of programs and exercise equipment. Maybe once you get started you can decide on your specific needs.

Shop Around

There are many fitness centers out there, too many to review individually. But keep in mind that they are not all alike. If you want to join, make sure to find a club that suits you. Do your homework and comparison shop-it will definitely be to your advantage. Here’s what to look for:

* Make sure it’s convenient to work and/or home. If it’s not, you won’t go.

* Request a free or guest pass to try out the facility.

* Ask about the qualifications of the staff. Unless you already know what you’re doing, you want to work with professionals.

* Visit your choices during the times you would most likely go to exercise and check for crowding conditions.

* Check out the cleanliness of the exercise areas as well as the locker rooms and bathrooms. Make sure exercise equipment appears to be in good condition.

* Ask for operating hours and class schedules to make sure they fit your needs.

* See if child care is available on site.

* Talk to other members and see how they like it.

Joining a fitness center can be a major expense, so use these tips to avoid any financial surprises and get the most for your dollar.

* Before you shop, determine how much you’re willing to spend. Don’t go above this amount. Working out should not break the bank.

* Find out exactly what is included in the monthly fee and what is considered “extra.” Be sure to get a price list of services.

* Skip low-cost “trial memberships.” You will most certainly be pressured later on to continue at a higher fee. Don’t join until you’re ready to make the commitment and only pay what you’re willing to pay.

* See if you are eligible for discounts through your employer or health insurance company.

* Completely understand all refund and cancellation policies before signing a contract.

* Review the contract at home, without the pressure of a salesperson. Ask questions and make sure you understand what you’re signing.

The Benefits of Joining

Fitness clubs allow you access to equipment that you could not afford to purchase or have no room for at home. Many also offer a variety of classes led by trained professionals, therefore increasing the variety of exercise options available. You also have access to fitness professionals who can provide guidance and help you develop a personalized weight training program.

For those who HATE to waste money, joining a fitness center can be a good motivator, feeling compelled to go so they get their money’s worth (this is true only for those who really go out of their way to get value from their money, no matter what they’re spending it on). Those who would just be constantly interrupted trying to work out at home may find getting out of the house to exercise the only way to go.

Alternatives to Fitness Centers

Remember, the large fitness center chains are not the only way to go. Some employers as well as local hospitals or wellness centers have fitness facilities.

Also, make sure this is the best value for you. A few hundred dollars investment in work out equipment you can use at home will still give you excellent fitness results. Or you could join a fitness class through your local YMCA or community center, where membership is not required.

5 of the Best Health and Fitness Magazines

The maintenance of health and well-being is vital for so many today. We don’t all have the opportunity to hire a personal trainer or nutritionist to provide the necessary heath tips or advice needed. There are several informative magazines that can provide the same health information and guidance you would receive from a professional. The top 5 recommended magazines for health and wellness are outlined below.

Prevention Magazine is one of the most informative magazines published for health and wellness. It provides you with healthy solutions an individual can follow realistically. There are articles that reference everything from types of vitamins to take daily to tips for healthy weight loss. Simple and easy to follow healthy recipes are provided in every monthly issue as well. In addition to the great health tips, Prevention magazine also has created a new and informative publication entitled “Advancing Suicide Prevention”. This is a bimonthly magazine that addresses issues that plauge so many today. One of the leading causes in the death of the elderly is suicide due to depression. It is often left untreated and undiagnosed and thus has caused it to be the highest rate for suicide among the elderly. Prevention Magazine has provided many with advice and guidance that they may not have sought out otherwise. The magazine is such a great resource that you can often find it in physician offices available to read while waiting to see a doctor. If you are searching for a complete guideline for health, Prevention Magazine is always a great resource.

Shape Magazine is an inexpensive fitness publication that has been around since 1981. It’s focus is the female population and has proven to be a great source for safe and effective work out tips and weight loss advice. Another feature in addition to fitness, is the Beauty and Style section. There are many topics discussed such as essential skincare tips, how to maintain healthy hair, and suncare. Topics that women find vital to everday functionality. Healthy eating is also discussed and foods that “assist” woman with the various changes in life are outlined as well. One example is Soy. Many soy based products are pictured throughout and are discussed as to how they can be beneficial to maintain health and be a source for relief with hormonal changes many woman may experience. Overall, Shape is an informative magazine that woman will find useful or many reasons not just fitness.

Men’s Health is a magazine that focuses primarily on men with relation to fitness, relationships, nutrition, weight loss, and overall health. It’s a guide that men find useful without having to visit a gym. There are intriguing articles like ” 6 weeks to a 6-pack” that spark the interest of many. The topic of Sex is often written about as well. You can find articles like “Is she satisfied”, that help men to assess their personal relationships. While these articles may interest some, most can find that the magazine focuses on Health and Wellness. Home gym equipment is often outlined and the types of weights that can be used for certain body types, result types as well as proper technique are discussed. There are also books suggested for reading such as ” Eat this, not that, The Best & Worst Foods in America”. Despite what some may think, this magazine also has a “soft side” Topics such as What we get from giving are published to get men to see the gratification of giving vs. receiving. It also outlines how volunteering improves self-esteem, boosts your health and even makes you more attractive to women. Not bad for $1.49 per issue (on-line subscription)!!

Children’s Health Magazine is a derivative from the publishers of Men’s Health Magazine. The main goal of this magazine is to raise awareness of many issues that today’s youth are faced with. Obesity among children in America is an increasing problem. There is a real need for fitness and health advice that help parents to understand the severity and solution to this and many other problems.

The first issue of this magazine is due to be on stands September 15, 2009. The first lady, Michelle Obama will grace the cover as an advocate for children’s health. It is vital for America’s children to get started towards a healthier lifestyle and this magazine will allow parents the ability to take better care of their children’s minds and bodies.

Women’s Health magazine is the 5th most recommended magazine. Similar to Men’s Health Magazine, it outlines information specific to women. There is a vast array of topics and features. The fitness topics discussed always outline safe ways to work out and provide pictures of positions as a guide. Nutrition is of course another major topic discussed as women are always looking to gain insight on the latest “food raves or diets”. Because this magazine is so informative, it is difficult to pin point each area. You can be assured, however, that everything you need to know about fitness and health will be found in this magazine.

Fitness Tips for a Busy Life

Do you know you should get into shape, but have lacked the discipline to get there? Whether you are objective is to build muscle, lose weight, or just improve your cardiovascular health, most people fall short in the “follow through”. Knowing you need to get in shape, and having a fitness training plan are great, but without actually executing the plan, you are not going to meet your goals. It can be quite a task to balance your career, family, relationships, money, and a work out schedule, but there are some small things that you can do to make sure you incorporate your fitness training into your busy schedule.

Commit to a specific schedule. First thing is first. Develop a plan. As the saying goes, without a plan, your planning to fail. If your serious about your goal, write down your plan. The plan doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple exercise regime will do. Your plan can be a 6 mile jog each morning, or it can be 5 push ups each morning. It can vary depending on where you are at physically and what your expectations are.

Utilize the weekends. During your week, you may have a lot of tasks to tend to. On the weekends, fitting in some time to work out will make a big difference. Doing less intense workouts during the week, and more intense work outs on the weekends will help you balance your schedule.

Make your work out a priority. Do not allow your workout program to be removed from your schedule. Things will always come up to tempt you to reschedule your workout program. Make sure that only important things and emergencies distract you. If this happens, then make sure that you reschedule your workout for a later date to compensate for it. One tip is to do your workout in the morning. Even if the workout is only a 10 minute set of push-ups and sit-ups, fitting it in will get your heart beat going and can help you burn more calories throughout your day.

Drink water before each time you eat. This is a very simple tactic, but it is a very effective tactic. Drink two 16 oz. glasses of water before each time you eat. This will not only help suppress your hunger, it can benefit your digestive system too. Many times we eat because we think we are hungry, but we are actually thirsty. This method will wash that problem away.

Invite others into your goals. It is good to inform important people in your life what you are doing so that you do not go through it alone. Ask for the support of your wife, husband, parents, children, co-workers, or your close friends so that they can help you stay committed to your fitness training plan. You can also form a buddy system with those who are also working out. With this accountability, you and your friends can help each other achieve your goals.

Do not beat yourself up. There may be times when your schedule interrupts your work out schedule. There may even be times where you get lazy and don’t work out for a week. That’s not good, but at the same time, don’t give up. If you fall off of a horse, just jump back on. If you struggle to be disciplined with your fitness plan, the key to success is to not give up. Having friends to workout with will help you with this. They can encourage and motivate you to stay the course.