Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 59° Clear
News >  Features

Ask Dr. K: What to look for if you join a gym

Anthony L. Komaroff Universal Uclick

DEAR DOCTOR K: I want to start exercising regularly. Should I join a gym?

DEAR READER: You don’t need a gym in order to exercise regularly. Your body offers the cheapest equipment available. And the money you save by not paying for a gym membership might be put to good use elsewhere, whether that means monthly bills or tennis lessons. But joining a gym has its benefits, too.

Spending money on a gym membership may be an incentive to use it regularly and get your money’s worth. Classes offer companionship and a safe way to learn technique. Most good gyms offer a wide range of equipment and a changing roster of exercise classes that can keep you motivated to work out. Often, personal trainers are available for weekly appointments or short-term overhauls of your routine.

Before deciding whether a gym is right for you, consider your preferences and needs. Ask yourself: Do you prefer to work out alone or with others? How far must you travel to the gym? Are you likely to make the trek? Do the gym’s hours of operation work well for you?

If you decide to join one, look for the following:

• A good match between your goals and the facility. Choose a gym that’s well-equipped. A variety of machines and exercise classes lets you mix up your routine and avoid boredom. And having plenty of equipment can mean no wait, or at least a shorter one, when the gym is busy. Many gyms will let you try their facilities for a few days before making a commitment.

• Well-trained staff. Expertise in teaching people to use strength-training equipment and free weights is essential. Ask about staff background and training.

• A well-maintained facility. Check to make sure the gym keeps its equipment in good working order. Ask current members if machines are frequently out of order. Also, note whether the public spaces and locker rooms appear clean and well-kept.

To send questions, go to AskDoctorK.com.
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.