With New Years resolutions around the corner and the frightful winter weather among us, you may be on the lookout for a good fitness center. Perhaps you have gotten into a fitness routine rut and need a new place to mix things up and motivate you, or maybe you want to meet some new people. Whatever your reason, joining a gym has a lot of benefits. Below are some main qualities you should look for when finding your new gym.
This depends on your budget, but everyone deserves to get the best deal possible on a gym while reaping the benefits it offers. Many gyms offer major discounts around the new year when lots of people have the initiative to sign up, and some offer crazy deals in the summer when everyone has taken their workouts outdoors. Be aware that the salespeople at the gym signing you up will probably try to sell you lots of extras. This is fine, but only purchase them if you are actually going to use them. You may want to be cautious about entering an extremely long-term agreement if you might be one of those people, or if you decide you do not like the gym and need to get out of your agreement. This is a great reason to request a free trial period. That way you can try the establishment for a week and if it is not meeting your needs, you can look elsewhere, no damage to your bank account done.
Demographics and Schedule
One important thing to consider when choosing a gym is who you will be sharing that space with. Will every class be jam packed? Or, jam packed with senior citizens who work out at a much slower pace than you? A really key part of choosing your gym is knowing that your workout needs will be met. If you sign up for a gym that has classes, your expectations might be different than what you get. You may be expecting a high-energy bootcamp class full of motivated fitness soldiers and arrive to find three senior citizens. While you can still work out just as hard, this could affect your overall experience. Or, you may want to swim laps after work every day after five pm, but there could be a swim team practice at that time. Hack through the potential inconvenience by talking about peak hours and questions with the gym manager or front desk and asking the questions that you need to before you buy so you can make sure this gym works with your busy schedule.
Classes and Equipment
A common reason people join gyms is to get into classes. Classes are a way to have someone tell you how to work out and motivate you. The group of people you take the class with encourage you to keep going, and above all classes are a fun way to work out. There are dance classes, Zumba classes, boot camps, classes strictly for abdominal exercises, the list goes on. Take a look at the classes, their schedule, and if they cost extra money as factors on whether you should join a particular gym. Equipment is another important thing to research at your potential gym. Depending on the kind of weight-training you do, make sure the gym has the right dumbbells, weights machines, and cardio machines. Take a look and see if they are in proper condition.
In conclusion, a gym can be a great way to get out of a fitness plateau and be a little more social. If you find the right gym it can rock your fitness world. Great gyms are clean and offer things like classes, personal training options, safe places to store your belongings, locker rooms with great amenities, childcare, enough equipment to go around, and programs to help you increase your fitness, and care about your safety.
A common complaint of many hard working people is that they don’t have enough free time to devote to a fitness regimen. With careers, school and family it can seem like there is not enough time in the day for this extremely important part of life. However, it is so important to add activity into your life for you can sneak fitness into your life in many ways. Read on for some tactics.
Walk Or Bike To Work
This is a super easy way to get in the recommended amount of daily exercise (depending on the distance you live from your job) and is an especially great idea if you have a career that requires you to be seated all day. Taking in the fresh air and stretching your legs before diving into the daily grind is a great way to improve your work-life balance while you fight a sedentary lifestyle. This also gives you time to think, be outdoors, and escape from the constant input of daily life. If you make it a habit you can observe seasonal changes and enjoy the great outdoors despite being trapped in an office all day. Sitting is the new smoking, and if you have a job where you are sitting 9-5, you especially need to be doing some kind of activity during or outside of work. The only requirement for this is some comfortable walking shoes and clothing that is not difficult to walk in. If your job has a strict dress-code, you can always pack your work clothes and change into them once you are at work. You can also get off at an earlier bus stop or park farther away from work to get in more walking time.
Wake Up An Hour Earlier
Rising an hour earlier buys you the time you need to get an actual workout into your day. Many gyms have boot-camp and other fitness classes at dawn, or you can work out at home or do some outdoor exercise. If you feel like you will be too tired make the effort to get to bed earlier, and have your fitness clothing and shoes laid out the night before to motivate you when you wake up. It may seem difficult, but waking up an hour early is worth it to add years to your lifespan by including fitness in your life. This eliminates the stress of trying to find a time to work out, by the time the rest of the world is waking up, you will have checked that off your list which makes you feel good about yourself and eliminates the stress of taking care of that obligation after a long day’s work.
Try Working Fitness Into Your Lunch Break
Most employers give you a lunch break for a reason, it is a time to reset your energy and take some much-needed self time so that you don’t burn out by the end of the day. You could use this as a time to sit even more, or you could do the smart thing and use this time to get away from the screen, do some exercises or get in some walking. You could walk to a cafe for lunch or, if you stay in the office, could use the time to do some calisthenics. Even just doing some squats and lunges will help your muscles from atrophying. You might be able to sit on a stability ball while you work to strengthen your core, and you can keep small pieces of exercise equipment like dumbbells at your work area. If you take care of these fitness basics at work you will feel more relaxed about the kind of exercise you do outside of work like canoeing or dance class.
Make Time With Loved Ones Active
This is a major life-hack that adds fitness into your life. If you take all the sitting time you do with loved ones and dates going to dinners, seeing movies and having down time, and turned those into walking, hiking, or other workout dates, it will probably vastly increase your fitness over the course of time. You could take your loved one to a fitness class. Take your grandma to Zumba, your sister to Yoga, and go for a walk in the park with your significant other instead of just watching the tube or eating food. Invite your girlfriends to a game of beach volleyball instead of hitting the club for drinks. You will be strengthening your relationships by doing activities that make you and your people feel better about themselves while your strengthen your bodies!
These are just a few ways to hack into a sedentary lifestyle. Even if you are not sedentary there is always room for more fitness in life. Tiny changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing crunches while watching TV, all of these small tweaks can add up to great fitness results.
Exercise is an especially important thing to do for yourself during times of stress, and for many of us the holidays can be a hectic time of year with all the shopping, events and travel. The cold and dark winter weather makes it more challenging to exercise outside and your fitness goals can tend to drift away during the winter months. To make sure this does not happen, be proactive and use this time to check out some indoor classes and even dance it up!
Barre Classes are a remixed version of ballet warm-ups, exercises and stretches. The class is said to help give you the long lean body of a dancer because it lengthens and strengthens muscles without shock to joints. The instructor(s) plays upbeat music and the exercised target your whole body using free weights and exercises using your own body weight. Of course, large portions of the classes are done at the ballet bar, followed by lots of stretching. You do not have to have dance experience to try this. All you need is your self, a good attitude, practical workout clothes (probably not too baggy so you can make sure your form is just right) and a pair of socks to prevent slipping in order to have a great workout and have some fun.
Hip-Hop Dance Class
This is a great way to not only burn some calories, but you can also pick up some new dance moves and make friends. Hip-hop is a type of dance that evolved from hip-hop culture and often includes stretching, across the floor exercises, and learning a group dance that might even end in a performance eventually. There are all different levels of classes whether you are a dancer or novice. The music is of course of the hip-hop genre and it can be really fun to dance at different levels of intensity and let yourself have fun in these classes. There is frequently a portion of the class devoted to abdominal exercises as well. This class helps you build stamina while you pop and lock it. Hip-hop classes require loose fitting, comfortable athletic apparel that is easy to dance in with some lightweight athletic and/or dance shoes, and many people in these classes like to add a little edge to their style with hats and other accessories.
If you have not tried this exercise-dance craze that has swept the nation, you need to get out there and do it. This is a great exercise class for all ages because it is low-impact and you can go at your own pace. It is a program that combines international music with dance moves at changing paces. This tones your muscles without you even realizing it cause you will be having too much fun grooving to the Latin beat. All you need is a pair of lightweight athletic shows and flexible clothing to give you the room you need to dance it up. The upbeat atmosphere Zumba creates will knock out any winter gloom you may be carrying around.
The varieties of indoor classes now are endless and mixing up your exercise routine is a recommended way to make sure you are using all of your muscles in different ways, increasing your fitness level even more. You won’t get in great shape by hibernating through the winter and exercise is important to feel happy, so get out there and give something new a try.