Angie's List: Advice for Joining a Gym

Advice before joining a new gym.
Getting in shape usually means joining a gym, but picking one can be a workout.  Look for facilities and plans that offer the hours you need, the cost, and don't forget the amenities.
  Linda Martin, a gym spokesperson, says, "Some of the mistakes we see is they don't take advantage of all of the complimentary things that we offer with the membership. Our membership benefits include free babysitting while you work out and 6 months free wellness coaching. We also have group exercises classes that are complimentary with your membership."
   If you're interested in starting a fitness routine this year, but don't know what's going to work best for you, ask for some trial passes at a gym. Go with a friend on a buddy pass.
  Oftentimes, joining a gym for the first time means signing a contract. The creator of Angie's List website, Angie Hicks, says, "Be sure you understand what you are signing yourself up for before you sign up for a gym, especially if you haven't been an avid fitness person before."
   Pay special attention to what happens if you break that contract. Most states provide specific gym and health club cooling-off protections for consumers, typically ranging from three to five days.
  Hicks says, "You might find that buying the treadmill and having it at home, which has worked well for me over the years and might be your best bet."
   Another tip: Ask how an injury or move to a new area might affect your contract.
   Some gyms allow members to suspend or cancel a membership in the case of injury or permanent disability, while others may not.

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