NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 11, 2013

Stick to your gym resolution this year

Avoid typical pitfalls of January joiners

This is the time of year when many of us notice that our waistlines are expanding, but our energy level is declining.

It’s also the time of year when we resolve to do something about it. Statistics show that health-club memberships spike in January.

There’s no shortage of advice on how to choose the right club for your goals and lifestyle.

A Google search for “How to choose a health club” produces 54 million results. Experts say it’s most important to consider:

LOCATION

Can you get to the club quickly and easily from your home or office? If you can’t, the odds are that by March, you won’t be going there much.

If you don’t have a friend to work out with you and you have the resources to do so, consider hiring a personal trainer. In addition to designing a workout program to meet specific goals, he or she will prod you to keep to your workout schedule.

COST

Your health-club membership shouldn’t strain your budget. But if the cost is high enough for you to be aware of it each month, you might work out more often.

CLEANLINESS

You’re joining a health club to get healthier, not to get sick. The maintenance of the exercise area and locker rooms provides clues to other important considerations.

STAFF

Is the staff friendly? Helpful? Knowledgeable?

How important the staff’s knowledge is depends on your fitness goals and how you plan to achieve them. Not much knowledge is required to show you how to use exercise equipment properly. More is needed to teach an exercise class, much more to be a personal trainer.

You don’t have to hire a personal trainer to get a workout plan tailored to your specific needs and desires. Visit the American Council on Exercise website (www.acefitness.org). Click on “Fitness for Me.” Input your age, gender and goals. ACE will offer several plans to meet them.

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