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Things to Consider when Joining a Gym


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by Nancy Shidler, administrative director for INTEGRIS PACER Health Services

Joining a gym can be a stressful and overwhelming process. For some people, the thought of exercising in public makes them so apprehensive, they choose not exercise. Nancy Shidler, the administrative director for INTEGRIS PACER Health Services, gives tips on what to look for in a gym, things to consider when making your decision, and ways you can alleviate the stress of exercising in a group setting.

Hello, my name is Nancy Shidler and I'm the director of INTEGRIS PACER Health Services. Today we're going to talk about joining a gym. First of all, as with any kind of exercise program, make sure you speak to your physician to make sure it's OK that you can start this exercise program.

Once you've done that, you want to find an exercise facility that is close to your home, or close to your workplace. It needs to be some place that's convenient to you, that you drive by regularly. So then, once you've decided on the gym that you're going to, why don't you visit during the time you think you'll exercise there. That way you'll learn who all is going to be in the fitness center, what types of individuals are in there, and then how busy it is to see if you have any difficulty getting on any of the equipment.

Once you've taken a look around, talk to the staff about what kind of assistance you will have, once you're at that fitness center. Will they do an initial fitness evaluation to talk through your level of fitness, and identify those things that you want to do?

Make sure that you totally understand the financial commitment, and that you take a look at any hidden fees, or any contracts, or anything like that.

What you also need to know is that you don't have to be fit to join a fitness center. Everybody has to start sometime, and just getting in the front door the first go-round is the most important part.

So make sure that you check to see what type of facility it is, make sure you're comfortable in there when you walk in the very first time, and then make sure that you'll get the assistance that you're looking for once you're there.

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