An article previously published by Katriza on Mommy Engineering Blog
Finding the gym that’s right for you can be tricky. This is to help you pick the right gym for you and your needs. This is a perfect guide for moms looking to join a gym for the first time.
My husband was an avid gym goer until he started dating me. I have never bothered to eat healthy or workout. For a long time my bad habits didn’t bother me; until I started having children. Outside of the fact that I needed to take care of myself in order to have healthy babies; pregnancy and child birth really changes our bodies. There are a lot of changes my body had to undergo during pregnancy and child birth that isn’t easily reversible. The changes do not actually stop at the physical changes but recently new research has shed light on the fact that motherhood changes our brains as well. You can actually identify a person who is a mother just by looking at their brain scans. It is amazing research!
You probably don’t need an engineer to tell you that going to the gym and getting healthy is the right thing to do but you might need some help in choosing the right gym that suits your needs.
The Mom’s Guide to Choosing the Right Gym for You
If you asked me 3 years ago what I thought of the gym, I would’ve told you I didn’t belong there. I had these images in my head about huge muscle men throwing weights around and then there was me, this tiny weakling getting in their way. I liked the idea of being fit but, oh wait… I don’t like pain, sweating, or feeling like my heart is going to explode. I’ve managed to push off exercising for 24 years and then I had kids and my whole body changed. It took some time but after 3 gyms, I finally found one that was right for me (and my family)! So where do you begin?
I started my research online and looked up the nearest gyms in my city. I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom so this was easy since I didn’t need to find a gym that was close to where I worked. If you do work, it may be a good idea to find a gym that is close to your work so you may hit the gym during lunch time. Another good idea is to find a gym located along your way home. I found a gym that was close enough to our house and on my husband’s way home so that we could meet and work out together.
HOURS OF OPERATION
We ended up joining a 24-hour gym but didn’t need to. If you work late hours or wish to workout early in the morning, this may be an amenity for you. What I like about some 24-hour gyms is the fact that it may not be so busy when I go to workout.
My paranoia played a part in my distance from the gym all my life so it was important for me to know when the peak busy times are and avoid them until I was ready. It’s safe to assume that the peak time are always between 5pm-7pm.
Some gyms have some amazing amenities including daycare, a pool, and classes. A lot of my problems with my body includes my hip instability and using equipment like a bicycle or elliptical is not recommended. A pool with a water aerobics class is perfect for me. Some gyms offer classes like water aerobics, zumba, and high intensity strength training among many others.
This is the most important on my must-have amenity for finding a gym. My kids are too young to workout with me and I definitely don’t have the luxury of just dropping them off with someone while I go to the gym. I was able to find a gym that had daycare every single day. Which also meant that I had absolutely no excuse to miss the gym.
Many gyms offer this for an additional cost. This may be right for you if it’s your first time at a gym and not sure where to start. I’ve never had a personal trainer because my husband taught me everything I know but this would’ve been something I would be interested in had he not been there with me.
PRICE & ANNUAL FEES
Most would figure this would be higher on my conquest to find the right gym for me but I’m willing to pay for a gym that has all or most of the amenities that I need. With my current gym membership that includes my husband and I plus daycare for our two boys, our monthly membership costs $90. Many gyms offer incentives to pay bi-annually or annually for a reduced rate saving anywhere from 10%-20% or waiving any annual fees that may apply with membership. Be aware of those dreaded annual fees that can creep up on you!
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