5 Tips to Get Most from Your Health Club

You’ve forked over the hefty initiation fee with the best intentions of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So why aren’t you using that gym membership?

Here are five tips to motivate you to get back in the gym and make the most of your investment.

1.) Personal Training

Visit your sales advisor or the gym manager and request a fitness evaluation. According to Carol Espel, the National Director for Group Fitness Programming for Equinox Fitness Clubs, these evaluations are often included in new membership packages, but most people don’t take advantage of them. Evaluations often include an individual workout plan developed by a personal trainer. A fitness evaluation targets areas for development and helps you measure your progress.

2.) Take a Class

Group fitness classes are a great way to recharge your fitness program. Call ahead to the gym manager and inquire about the different types of classes offered, then try something new like spinning, kick-boxing, hip-hop aerobics or cardio groove. Learning about new classes can be a great “ice breaker” – ask an attractive gym member about their favorite class.

Once you’ve decided to sample a new class, arrive early and be sure to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know you are a first timer. Stay after class to follow-up with any questions about technique. For example, if you sample a yoga class ask about a specific pose that may have confused you.

3.) Join a Training Group or Team

At the Fitness Formula clubs in Chicago, members can participate in a group marathon-training program for the Chicago Marathon. Health clubs also coordinate members for 5k running and walking events and hold free training seminars to prepare members for race day.

If you are fan of team sports, see if your gym has a co-ed softball or volleyball team you can join during the Summer or a basketball team in the Winter.

4.) Take Advantage of Special Programs

Many noted fitness gurus and health experts schedule appearances at fitness centers and gyms. Take advantage of these free guest speakers to learn about the latest trends in health and nutrition. Check for upcoming special events on your gym’s website or information board.

Fitness clubs also offer fun extras such as Salsa lessons, cooking demonstrations and trips. Stay informed about all the free offerings and plan to attend one session each month.

5.) Learn the Peak Hours

If a noisy gym intimidates you, seek out off-peak times to workout. Ask the front desk attendants or the gym manager about slow periods. Espel suggests coming late in the evening or before work. During these less busy periods, you can get a pool lane to yourself or have your pick of the cardio machines.

With a bit of research, you can be sure to get great value from your gym membership, get inspired to try something new and get your body in the best shape ever.

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