TYPES OF EXERCISE
Your workout plan should cover your entire body, and it should include a mix of strength, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises, ACE recommends. Some forms of each of these types of exercise produce better results, and faster, than others. But the only exercises that produce any results at all are the ones you actually do.
The most important consideration in devising an exercise program is to do things you like to do, because those are the ones most of us will do consistently.
Will the club be open at the times of day you want to work out? Will the classes you want to take be offered at those times?
Visit the clubs you’re considering during those hours. How crowded are they then? A club may have all the equipment you want, but that won’t do you much good if you have to wait a long time to use it.
If you’re just beginning a workout program, you may not know what kind of exercise you like best. If so, a larger club with broader offerings may be most appropriate. Try different things until you find what you’ll stick with.
Amenities are another consideration. The higher-end clubs offer steam baths, saunas, massages and health-food restaurants in addition to exercise opportunities.
There’s nothing frivolous about being attracted by them. If your health club is a great place to hang out, and/or to meet fit guys or gals, you’ll spend more time there. Just be sure to spend some of it actually working out.
Try before you buy. All the good clubs will let you work out a time or two before asking you for a commitment. Make sure you do your trial workouts at the time you plan to use the club on a regular basis.
Remember that you don’t have to join a health club to exercise regularly. Walking is still the most highly recommended form of cardiovascular exercise for older Americans. But you have to exercise regularly to maintain good health.