Gyms and centers frequently run specials on their health and fitness membership fees. The timing will vary, but many offer great deals after the first of the year, when many people are making resolutions regarding weight loss or improving health. If possible, choose a time when the gym you want to join is offering an attractive health and membership fee special.
Typically, a health and fitness membership term is for one year, although some ask for three year commitments. Try to get a one day pass or trial health and fitness membership before you sign a long term contract. This will allow you to actually work out at the gym and at the time of day you will normally visit so you can see for yourself that you will be able to have access to the machines or classes you want.
A trial health and fitness membership will also allow you to test your commitment to going to the gym. Some people become enthused with the idea and sign a contract, then find they just can't work it into their schedule or that the gym is too crowded at the time they need to go.
Verify what amenities are covered under your health and fitness membership. For example, if you need to bring the children, is supervised care free or must you pay an extra fee? Does your membership cover all of the classes offered, or is there an additional charge if you wish to take, for example, a yoga class?
Many gyms offer personal trainers who will work with you on an individual basis and develop a nutrition and exercise program tailored to your needs. However, these are normally not included in your basic health and fitness membership. Rates are usually less than engaging a trainer on your own, though.
Be sure and get all the fees involved with joining the gym, and not just the membership fee. For example, is there an initiation or registration fee that you must pay in addition to dues? Few gyms tack on laundry fees to cover towels, but a handful will. Don't hesitate to ask what other fees will be involved.
If you are not sure whether you will like working out at a gym, see if you can find one that offers a month to month health and fitness membership. You may have to pay a registration fee and then of course your monthly dues, but you do not have a long term commitment that you must continue to pay or suffer a potential blotch on your credit report.
Don't sign a health and fitness membership contract with the first gym you visit. Finding a place to work out is a very personal choice. Take the time to check several before you commit to a health and fitness membership so that you can find the best gym for your needs.
Read your health and fitness membership contract carefully to make sure it accurately reflects what you have been told verbally. If the contract makes no mention of free classes but you were told there was no additional charge for them, ask why they are excluded. Or if you were told the term was 18 months and the contract states 36, object. If you cannot get the health and fitness membership contract to reflect what you are expecting, do not sign it. Your contract is a legal credit commitment, and you will have little choice except to pay off.