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How to Choose a Health Club
By Chad Tackett
The health clubs in the Global Health and Fitness (GHF) directory offer outstanding services: a large selection of high-quality equipment, health and fitness knowledge, and other attractive amenities such as steam room/sauna, Jacuzzi, massage therapy, and more. However, health clubs vary greatly, not only in services and equipment available but also in pricing structure.
Many join a health club with great intentions and then windup unhappy and dissatisfied. Starting a health and fitness program is hard enough--don't make it more difficult by joining a health club that doesn't meet your needs.
Before simply joining the first health club on the GHF directory, do a little research. First, click on your home state (or state you are traveling to). Next, do a search by city; this will bring up an alphabetical listing of all the health clubs in your area. Click on each health club listing--this will take you directly to their web page where can learn more about their services, equipment, rates, hours, etc. Once you've narrowed down the list by location, price range and services, you should talk with the health club's sales staff and plan a visit to the club.
When shopping for health clubs consider the following:
- Try Before You Buy
- Make Sure They Have What You Want
- Member Profile
- Costs and Contracts
Some health clubs have a one-time initiation fee and require purchasing a minimum of three months up front. Depending on your budget, you may want to find a club that allows you to go on a month-to-month basis. In addition, find out if the health club debits the funds directly out of your Visa or checking account. This can make it easier to pay membership fees but make sure that it's easy to cancel if you decide you don't like the club. Be sure you read the contract before you sign so you're not "locked" into paying even if you move out of town or change health clubs.
Also, have a clear idea of what you can afford
to pay and stick to your budget no matter what sales incentives are offered.
And don't be afraid to bargain. If they're asking $49 a month and all you
can afford is $39, offer $39 (if they've met previous criteria) and let
them know you're prepared to join then and there.
|- Bio: Chad Tackett has degrees in Exercise and Heath Science and Nutrition, is a Certified Personal Trainer, and is a regular guest lecturer to both professional and lay audiences on the principles of effective exercise and good nutrition.|
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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