Local News

Five ways to benefit from a gym membership

Posted January 5, 2011 4:55 p.m. EST

— It’s the beginning of a new year – a time when many people join gyms, hoping to lose weight and get in shape.

The Eastern North Carolina Better Business Bureau said it took more than 200 complaints about gyms last year.

Beverly Baskin, president of the Eastern North Carolina BBB, said most of the complaints stemmed from people not understanding the contract. She said people should read the documents carefully and get every promise in writing.

The BBB has five ways to get the most out of a gym membership.

1. Make sure the gym is convenient.

“If it's across town and it's not convenient for you, it may not turn out to be a good deal for you,” Baskin said.

2. Visit the gym and get a good look at the facilities.

“Are there people working out? Look at the dressing rooms, the bathrooms, are they clean? Do they meet your standards?” Baskin said.

3. Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics.

Baskin suggests asking to take home a sample of the contract and read it.

4. Temporary promotional offers are not always the best deal.

“Make sure you understand the small print. You may be obligating yourself to a much longer term than you would if you just went in,” Baskin said.

5. Check the gym’s policy concerning moving.

Members may have to pay if the gym has a location within a certain distance of a new home after moving. 

Lisa Stewart, who belongs to the YMCA in Raleigh, offered one more piece of advice. If working out more is part of a New Year’s resolution, make sure to follow through.

“You can’t give up in a day or a month. You’ve got to keep going,” she said.