What Are the Benefits of Gym Membership?
Joining a gym or health club can be a big decision, one that requires discipline, dedication and commitment. Many people waste their money by signing up for gym memberships and then using them very infrequently. Before joining, make sure that you have researched the different gyms in your area and picked the facility, location and price that is right for you. Some gyms offer discounts through your insurance provider or employer. Once you find a gym, you'll discover the ways a gym membership can improve your life.
First and foremost, working out at a gym can improve your health. In addition to helping you to burn fat and calories, cardiovascular exercise also helps to strengthen your heart and prevent against risky medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Cardio exercise can also help you sleep through the night more soundly, relieve stress, have a more positive attitude and increase energy levels. Gyms offer a wide variety of cardio choices through both machines, like the treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike, and group exercise classes, such as cardio kickboxing, aerobic dance and group indoor cycling. At a gym, you can also enlist the help of a personal trainer, who can guide you on the best methods and techniques in order to reach your fitness goals.
Cardio exercise machines at the gym will help you to burn calories and fat. Strength training will help you build lean muscle mass, as it tones and sculpts your body, which will help boost your metabolism. The weight-training machines at the gym can simplify your workout while also letting you target whichever area of the body you would like. For example, the leg press will strengthen and tone your quadriceps and glutes, the lat pull down apparatus will strengthen your back, the chest press will work your chest and the front of your shoulders and the overhead press machine will work the front, top and side of your shoulders.
Gyms and health clubs provide options for meeting new people. Many of these facilities tend to have sociable environments since most people are there for the same reason, giving everyone something in common. You may find the group fitness classes especially friendly, as they generally focus on a specific activity, such as kickboxing, dance or core work, and attract like-minded people.
Access to Amenities
Along with working out, your membership benefits can usually be rounded out by extra amenities. These days, many gyms have designated yoga and Pilates studios, lap pools, saunas and steam rooms. Your facility may also have an onsite spa that provides massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Some places offer tanning and child care services, and a wide majority of gyms have some sort of juice bar and sportswear store on the premises.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.