Anytime a person comes to me and says, "Isabel, I need to lose weight and fast. Will joining a gym help me achieve my goals?" I simply tell them that no two people are alike. It's all about what works for you. There are a lot of good reasons to join a gym, but there are also some drawbacks.
Reasons You May Want to Join a Gym
- Motivation. Everyone at the gym is there for one reason—to exercise. Being around people who share the same objective can motivate you to dig your heels in and get your workouts done. If going to the gym will encourage you to exercise regularly, then I say go for it!
- No Distractions at Home. There is always something to do or someone who needs you at home. These distractions can easily take priority (in your mind) over exercising. When you do most of your workouts at the gym, the dishes, dinner, phone calls, laundry and anything else you "need" to do will just have to wait.
- Access to Exercise Equipment and Fitness Classes. You don't need much exercise equipment to get a good workout. However, doing the same old exercise videos and running on the same old treadmill can bore you to pieces. When you opt to workout in a gym, you have access to tons of equipment and a variety of fitness classes, so you rarely get bored.
Reasons You May Not Want to Join a Gym
- You May Get Stuck in a Contract. Plenty of people join a gym and use their memberships religiously. Others start off with a boom and then fade away. If you are one of the faders and you sign a 12 month contract, you'll be stuck paying for a year long membership that you never use. Basically, it will be a waste of money.
- Fees are Continuous. Most contracted gym membership fees are collected via automatic bank draft. If you lose your job or run into financial hardships, there is no way to stop the gym from pulling money out of your account until your contract expires. If your finances are really messed up, the money the gym takes out of your account can cause overdraft charges and other financial hardships.
- Overcrowding. Gyms are in the business of making money. The more members they have, the more money they make. These facilities can be pretty crowded during peak hours. If you hate crowds or are uncomfortable exercising around others, the gym atmosphere may not be for you.
- Germy Equipment. Sweaty bodies and dirty hands—it's no secret that the exercise equipment and locker rooms at gyms are stomping grounds for germs. Anytime you come into contact with germy equipment, you become vulnerable to illnesses and infections. If you are a germaphobe or slack about hand washing, you may be better off exercising at home.
Some Ways to Combat Gym Drawbacks
While it's not necessary to join a gym to lose weight, some people thrive in this type of setting. If you're not sure if a gym is right for you, go to a nearby facility and ask for a free trial membership. This will give you a chance to use the facility for a couple of weeks to see if joining is something you really want to do.
If you feel like a gym membership is what you need to get off your hump and exercise, negotiate with the fitness club to save a little cash. Some gyms will waive their registration fees or offer as much as 30 percent off membership prices–all you gotta' do is ask.
If you detest the idea of being trapped in a contract, ask for a month to month membership. Most gyms don't advertise the month to month thing because it eats into their profits. With this type of membership, you simply pay as you go. When you get sick of going, you can quit without paying any additional fees.
Your dream of losing weight is only a reach away. Watch this video to find out how the Diet Solution Program has helped me when I need to lose weight and fast.
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