It's been a long time since you got married, and you don't feel the need to preen yourself for your spouse anymore, or you are caught up with school or office work leaving you no time for exercising or it may be that, the recent illness left you bed ridden till the pounds piled up? Have you finally decided to kick off the inertia, and get working on yourself, get back in shape, and go get yourself that figure hugging top? Way to go! But before you scream at your image in the mirror, and run to get yourself a gym membership, go through the following checklist. It'll save you tons of trouble (and leave no room for excuses!). Here goes:
Yes, you were horrified by what you saw in the mirror, and swore you'd never look in one again till you shed all that disgusting fat! But hey, relax and take a deep breath. Now sit down and think. Are you really ready for working out or was that a fit of passion? I'm only saying this, because so many friends of mine joined the gym and still don't know what the interior looks like (I'm serious!). It is not like you enter the gym, spend a few hours there, and voila(!), come out with a sexy figure and a six pack! It is a common misconception that joining a gym is a quick way to lose fat. IT'S NOT! You have workout sessions chalked out by your trainer depending on your requirements, and you are required to stick to the routine for months. It'll be frustrating for you and your trainer if you come for a couple of weeks and then turn up again a couple of months later and so on. You will not get the results you wanted and probably end up being more frustrated.
The location of the gym you are going to choose will make a difference in your enthusiasm levels. You will obviously be reluctant to go to the gym if it is far away from your office or house, and you have to do quite a lot of traveling to get there, spending time and fuel in the process. Whereas if it is close to your house, you will not have this excuse to fall back on to ease your guilt. If you prefer morning hours, pick one close to your office, and if you want to work out in the evening, the one closer to your house will be a better option.
Gyms are a costly affair! Find one that you can afford, ask the details about the charges of various packages available there, and don't pay the entire amount right away. Take the membership only for a month or two to start with, and judge by your attendance whether you want to continue or not. No point paying for the entire year and going only for a few months. Paying in installments is always more affordable and sensible.
Before you join the gym, pay a visit and take a look around. Is there enough equipment for everyone to use? Are they taking in more members than they can handle? What's the point if you are paying extravagantly for hour long sessions, where you spend 20 minutes waiting for someone else to finish using the equipment? That's pretty ridiculous. Make sure they are not crowding too many members into one session, so that your hour is justified. Besides, you don't want to feel crowded when you're all sweaty and tired!
All gyms offer many packages depending on the type, intensity and number of sessions, based on the kind of workout you need. Find out these details and pick the program that suits you best, and that fits into your schedule without causing you inconvenience.
Trainer and Medical Expert
You will most probably be assigned a trainer to guide you through your workouts. Confirm that the trainer is certified/ trained from a reliable institute, before you go ahead and give him the nod. Also, find out if there is at least one in-house professional medical expert, who can handle any emergencies that may occur. It's no small thing that your body is going to undergo physical workouts and change. Don't undermine the importance of this, your body deserves to be treated well!
Cleanliness and General Hygiene
Check the bathrooms, changing rooms, equipment, everything! Are these things reasonably clean? If you are working out before office, you will be using the bathrooms, and you sure as hell don't want to shower in a smelly, dingy cubicle! Nor do you want to use the equipment if its sweaty because of the previous user. Make sure there is enough ventilation as well, since there is nothing as repulsive as being blasted with a stale, sweaty smell as soon as you enter the gym! Make sure there are soaps, towels, etc., although I'd suggest you take your own towel.
If you are a mother of a young kid, there are gyms that offer a day care facility to take care of your child, while you work out. Yet others have a nutritionist chalk out a nutrition or diet plan for you, as part of the package. Other gyms offer various activities like aerobics, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, etc., so you can find out if the gym you are opting for has any of these on their programs.
Once you have checked out these things, you can pay your money and confirm your membership. Remember to follow the proper gym etiquette for beginners, so that you don't cause inconvenience to other members (just like you wouldn't like being inconvenienced!). Remember, patience is the key, so stick to your routine and don't give up. Pretty soon, you will be able to flaunt your perfect figure/ six-pack in that outfit you wanted!