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Finding a Chicago Gym

In the summer, Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world for fitness. During the warmer months you can run along the lakeshore, bike along miles of forest preserve paths and join softball leagues. Unfortunately those months are few and when the windy city gets cold, those who want to stay fit need to look for a Chicago gym. It is a big city, but if you follow a few easy tips, finding the perfect spot for you should be easy. When looking for a gym it is important to do a little planning and research. Ask yourself what you want your gym experience to be.

Start by identifying your fitness goals Goals What are your reasons for joining a health club? Are you concerned about your overall wellness and health, or do you just want to look good on Oak Street Beach come summer? Are you hoping to gain more energy and decrease your stress? Are weight loss and better nutrition important to you? Maybe you are recovering from an illness and your doctor has recommended you improve your fitness. Being aware of your goals will help you select a gym that is suited to your needs. Location If your workout can be fit conveniently into your daily routine you will have a much greater chance of going consistently. Find a gym that is close to your neighborhood, office, or businesses you frequent often. Talk to your neighbors, coworkers, doctors and friends; find out where they go and what their experiences have been.

Once you have assessed your goals and gathered the names of a few gyms, take time to visit them. Visit the Gym When you enter the facility, look around a little, absorb the atmosphere. Is it clean and well maintained? Is this a place where you will feel comfortable and welcomed? Are the other members the type of people you could talk to and get inspiration from? What are your preferences? Some people prefer loud, anonymous spaces. Others prefer a smaller personal location. Take a tour of the Club. Do they offer up to date equipment? What do you like to do? Do you prefer free weights or machines? What types of aerobic equipment is available. How much training will you receive on the equipment? What else does the club offer: personal trainers, nutritionists, massage therapy? Is there parking near by? Many gyms have a very different feel depending on the time of day you visit, so it is wise to stop in around the time you plan on working out. Ask about the hours of operation. Will these hours work with your schedule? Does the gym offer classes that work with your schedule? Talk to the Staff If the gym offers the services of a personal trainer or nutritionist, you should ask to speak with them. If you use these services, you will be spending a great deal of time with them and it is important that you feel comfortable with their style and personality.

Are they licensed and certified? From what organizations did they receive training. Does their philosophy of health and fitness match your personal goals? A good relationship with your fitness counselor will improve the odds that you will follow their prescribed plan. Talk to the members Feeling comfortable with the other members is as important as feeling comfortable with the staff. Do they seem friendly and approachable? Ask the members about their experiences with the club and the staff. Do they have trouble getting on the equipment they need when they are ready for it. You may even find a fitness companion, which is an excellent way to increase motivation. Ask your tour guide for testimonials of member success. Understand your contract Make sure you understand what is included in your fee, so you aren’t paying for anything you don’t want. Be sure you know the length of your membership. Some gyms require a year or more, some as little as six months.

Under what conditions can you cancel your membership? If you have done all your homework and feel comfortable with your decision, this should not be a scary step. Finding and joining the perfect health Chicago gym is a major purchase. Treat it like you would any other big health and financial decision you make, do your research: • Identify goals • Get referrals • Visit the health clubs • Talk with the staff • Talk with the members • Understand the contract You will find that a little work in the beginning will ensure a great outcome in the end.


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