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What Should You Consider When Joining a Gym?

Gyms, like most other businesses, need your patronage, so don't be afraid to bargain for a better price. Have a budget in mind, share it with the person helping you and stick to it. Friends: Do your friends belong or are they interested in joining with you? The buddy system is an added incentive for working out. It's a lot harder to drive by the gym without stopping when a friend is meeting you there. Another benefit is that many gyms offer two-for-one promotions at different times of the year, so you could save money while spending more time with your friends.

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Hours of operation: If the gym opens at 8 a.m. and the best time for you to work out is between 6 and 7 a.m., that gym is not the one for you. Some gyms offer 24-hour access, allowing members to come and go as they please. If the gym isn't open when you have time to work out, then it's not worth the cost of the membership.

Trainers: If you are getting started on a fitness program or are interested in training for an event, a personal trainer can offer valuable advice on how to meet your personal goals. Many gyms have trainers on staff or have trainers who are available by appointment. And don't be shy about asking for a trainer's help in performing individual exercises if you're not sure - it's what they're there for.