What to look for when picking out a gym in Atlanta

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When you've made a commitment to get in shape or become healthier, you need to find a gym...

When you've made a commitment to get in shape or become healthier, you need to find a gym that will help you reach your fitness goals while staying within your budget. Atlanta is home to several fitness centers and gyms equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, swimming pools and sports facilities for recreational activities. Taking the time to visit at least two or three fitness clubs and centers in the area can help you find the best fit.

Here are some tips on what to look for when picking out a gym in Atlanta:

Variety of fitness equipment

Atlanta's hot and humid summers might encourage you to work out indoors regularly. Choose a fitness center that has a variety of fitness equipment so you stay motivated. Do you plan on working out with weights? Or do you just want to use the treadmill, elliptical machine and step machines during your workout? Tour the facilities and check out what they have.

Location

Choose a fitness center that is within a short walk or drive from your home or office so that getting there isn't always a challenge. Make note of available parking spots and accessibility to the interstate and main roads.

Fitness classes

If you're just getting started with a fitness program or want to try something new, group fitness classes, such as spinning, Zumba, yoga, Pilates and step aerobics, can help you stay motivated. Find out if the gym offers group fitness classes and a class schedule that works with your schedule. Some centers offer classes as part of a membership while others might charge an extra fee for certain types of classes, such as Pilates Reformer classes, TRX or boot camp programs.

Onsite trainers

In addition to offering one-on-one personal training sessions, some gyms have trainers available to show members how to use different types of machines and put together a basic workout program. Find out what the fees are for training, and if any type of training sessions are included with membership.

Nutrition coaching

Some gyms offer nutritional coaching or have a nutrition advisor onsite to make supplement and diet recommendations. If you need help with meal planning, consider fitness centers that offer this service free or at a low price.

Membership terms

Membership fees and terms vary by location and some gyms offer several membership levels based on the amenities they offer. Take your time to learn about different membership options, pricing information, options to upgrade and downgrade your membership during the contract term and the membership cancellation policy.

Always talk to your physician before starting a new exercise program, taking supplements or making drastic changes to your diet. Only your doctor can determine whether you are in a healthy weight range and in good health to begin or continue with any type of fitness program.

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