Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What to Look for in a Fitness Facility: Does Yours Measure Up?

Dear Readers-
Today, please enjoy a guest blog by a fellow friend in academia - Kimbo Yee, Kimbo is a PhD student in Exercise Physiology at Michigan State University.
Be Extraordinary,
Hello everyone.  I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for Katie today.  It’s an absolute pleasure for me that I get to share some of my thoughts with you. As someone working in the exercise science field, there are a multitude of topics I could’ve chosen to write about today, but after visiting a friend this past weekend and working out with them at their gym, I’d actually like to share some of my thoughts about what you should look for in a fitness facility.

When I asked my friend why they chose that particular fitness facility to workout at their primary reasons were: 1) Cost and 2) Location.  Those are two of the biggest factors that most people would comment about if you asked them why they workout where they do.  Although both cost and location are important, I believe the choice in a fitness facility goes much deeper than that and should be made while considering other important factors that are often overlooked.  In the rapidly growing health and fitness industry, more and more fitness facilities are opening left and right and of all varieties.  You see everything from a lot more 24-hour facilities, YMCAs, “everything and more” globo clubs like Lifetime Fitness, CrossFit gyms, and the good ol’ standard fitness facilities like Powerhouse Gym and Gold’s Gym.  It can be a tough decision figuring out which place will work best for you and the obtainment of your goals.  This is a common problem I get from people looking to start working out somewhere so here are a few key things I tell them to think about and look into when determining what fitness facility is the best for them.

Environment with Positive Energy
I’m a firm believer in that you have to have fun when you workout.  It’s one of the drawing traits to the particular forms of exercise a person engages in.  It only enhances the motivation to go to a place and get a workout in.  A fitness facility that is fun, welcoming, and that is full of positive energy only enhances the motivation to workout and lead a healthy lifestyle.  It should be a place where anyone can come in and feel that someone is interested in their goals and wants to help them achieve them and live an overall healthier lifestyle.

Interpersonal Service
I’m talking about service as in the interpersonal relationship between a client and the personnel at a fitness facility.  From the personal trainers to the front desk worker, everybody should care for every member that comes through the doors and should be ready to provide any support and motivation you may need.  You should not be viewed nor treated as just “another member of the gym”. 

Nobody wants to work out in a place where germs are aplenty.  Any proper fitness facility should be clean around the clock.  A high priority should be placed on the sanitation of equipment, locker rooms, bathrooms, and floors.  When deciding on a fitness facility, try to keep a lookout for the availability of clean towels and personal sanitizers and equipment sanitizers.  You’ll want to make sure that the cleanliness of the facility is up to your own standards.

Professional Staff
A well establish fitness facility should have a team of dedicated fitness professionals who are well educated, experienced, and certified.  This team is usually comprised primarily of personal trainers and coaches, but can also include exercise/fitness specialists, dietitians, coaches and instructors.  These are the individuals who help clients achieve their goals by steering them in the proper direction and giving them the motivation, support, and instruction to properly use exercise as a means to achieve their goal.  You’ll want to be part of a fitness facility with a team of professionals that are passionate about what they do day in and day out.

There are many other factors that I did not talk about in this blog, but I believe the ones I’ve written about are some of the most important to consider for anybody looking to exercise in an established fitness facility.  Choosing a gym is quite the important investment in living a healthy lifestyle, so one should take adequate time in determining what fitness facility is best for their needs and goals. 

Thank you for reading my guest blog.  If invited again in the future I would gladly accept and write about various exercise physiology topics (e.g., body composition testing, high intensity training etc.) or perhaps any topics any of you readers would like to hear about.  If you would like to contact me for any reason my e-mail is:

Again, thanks for reading!!! 

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