Finding a good Fitness Center
One of the keys ways of preventing pre-diabetes and even reversing it is to become more active. Numerous studies have shown this to be so. In fact the AMA and the CDC have both stated that pre-diabetes can be reversed by losing weight and starting a fitness program as part of a lifestyle change.
And I am sure you have heard or read by now that prolong sitting is considered to be a leading cause of many diseases – diabetes among them. I was guilty of this for many years while working at a desk job. My fitness routine then came in spurts. On the weekends I would play an occasional basketball game which made me sore for the rest of the week or I’d jog a few laps around a local running track and come home and plop in front of the TV.
My wake up call came after I saw the devastating effects diabetes was having on my family. My thinking quickly changed to ‘ I don’t want this to happen to me – what can I do to become more active?’ My choices at the time were to start a home Gym or join a health club. I had a small apartment so a home gym was out of the question.
To get fit and prevent pre-diabetes I needed to do more than an occasional workout. So I looked for a nearby health club to join. Part of my criteria was that it had to have a varied set of exercise equipment that I could use, convenient hours and . . . . a friendly crowd. Fortunately I found a good one that became my home club for many years.
Finding a fitness center where you can work out in a comfortable atmosphere is super important when you start your fitness journey. It can mean the difference between sticking with your routine or giving up.
Fitness clubs are every where these days with a wide range of memberships fees as well as hours of operation and a variety of equipment and facilities available.
Some things to look for in a good club include availability of a personal trainer to explain how to use their equipment and the various programs offered, classes that are focused on helping those with pre-diabetes or diabetes, functional equipment that is friendly to the ‘over fifty’ crowd or those who are overweight or have physical limitations.
Many clubs offer a trial period of anywhere from a day to a week . . . . so give them a test run. Try as many as you need to until you find one that feels comfortable.
A few dos and don’ts when selecting a health club
Before you sign on the dotted line – a few caveats to keep in mind. Don’t get caught up in a long-term contract that you’ll have to go through hoops to get out of. This has happened to me in the past. When I was ready to move on I had a difficult time getting out of their contract.
Have a clear goal in mind when you visit a club – whether it’s to lose weight, to gain muscle mass or improve your cardiovascular system – and state that goal during your orientation.
Don’t get bamboozled into signing up for classes you are not interested in doing. This is how many gyms tack on additional charges to their advertised or teaser rate.
Does the gym offer childcare for those who have small children? Does it have clean locker room facilities with adequate security? The last thing you need is for your belongings to be stolen . . . . and believe me this sort of thing happens.
I am currently working out at a local health club that cost $10 per month and is open 24 hours per day. It has modern equipment and a very friendly and helpful staff.
Many clubs offer discounts based on certain criteria such as military service or senior members or even the time of day when you plan on using their facilities. They may also offer a discount based on where you work. So ask about these things during the orientation.
Find a club near you home or place of employment. It will make your life so much easier if you don’t have to travel more than half hour to get your ‘exercise on’. Ideally your fitness center should be no more than 10 minutes away since travel time can become an excuse on those days when you are not motivated. Visit the gym when you are most likely to use it. This gives you an idea of how crowded it will typically be and the availability of equipment.
Join up for yourself and not because your friend goes there. What happens when they have to move on?
There are over 29000 health and fitness centers in the US. Click here to find the ones nearest you. This list is by no means complete but it’s updated as of 2015. Once you find a club that satisfies your needs be sure to use it. Don’t pay for a membership that you’ll only use occasionally.
During the first week of January (New Years week) health clubs are super busy and they will offer huge discounts for joining. Of course you don’t have to wait for this time. Unfortunately many who join at this time will only work out for a few weeks and never go back. Don’t be one of them. Pre-diabetes won’t go away by just exercising a few weeks per year . . . . it has to be a life changing move.