By Dr. Sandra Geringer |
In my previous post, I mentioned that I was participating in a Six-Weeks to Slim Challenge. The article mentioned that individuals start out strong in the beginning of the year working out but tend to drop-off by mid-February. Well, that was me. I had just finished writing that article and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and lost all my workout mojo.
However, someone in the family I am proud of is my husband, Javier. As I have been bouncing around to different gyms, boot camps, and activities he is steady in his regimen. It has been over a year and he looks healthier than ever before. We all know that there is no cookie-cutter way to stay healthy (mmm… cookies…) that is kind of why the US has an obesity problem. But, what is important is finding your niche, what you are comfortable with, and where to find it.
The Gym Fitness Center (The Gym) is in close proximity to where Javier works. Javier stopped in there one day to check things out. It is a brand new gym, state of the art equipment, with a bright atmosphere (Take a tour here). However, something more appealing than all of that is the owner, Michael Hale. When he and Javier first met, they just hit it off with each other. Javier had been a member of a big chain gym that was very affordable but the atmosphere was not the right fit for him. However, when he stepped into The Gym he felt comfortable and wanted to spend his workout time there.
Michael has his own personal motivation in opening The Gym. A few years ago, he retired from a very sedentary job about 100 lbs. overweight. In the past year he has lost about 60 lbs. and is still working at it daily. He mentioned that if he doesn’t at least walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes that is on him. But, that is also what makes this place and Michael special is that it is a gym that wants to help people help themselves. Michael understands the struggles of being healthy and he wants to provide an environment that offers not only exercise, but tips on healthy eating, and certified instructors to prevent injury. He wants to provide a locally owned gym for the local community that offers a level of expertise that will lead to an effective path to health and well-being.
Mike Phelps, who is the head trainer and right-hand man to Michael, joined in on the conversation. He mentioned that it is difficult competing against the big chain gyms. The Gym is proud to be a locally owned, community driven, results based gym. He said that one of the big factors that can set a part The Gym from all the rest is the personal attention that is provided to its members – if it is wanted. However, The Gym is also a place where members can come in and not be bothered at all. They can put on their headphones use the equipment at their own pace and get out. The Gym is also transitioning into 24/7 so members can come and go as they please. Mike mentioned that when a gym offers an effective product, and members see results, and their friends and family see the results of the members, demand for the product increases. And, that is the ultimate goal for The Gym.
There are all types and sizes of gyms out there, you just need to find one that fits your vibe. A few tips in finding the right gym for you (so that you will actually want to go) are:
- Location, location, location, keep it close to home.
- Making sure the open hours are convenient for your schedule.
- Cleanliness and organization of the equipment should always be a factor.
- Size of the gym and crowd control – are you waiting in line for equipment or can you go at your own pace?
- Staff – do you feel welcome, do you feel comfortable asking questions, and are there educational opportunities to enhance your well-being?
- Price – Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. You may find an affordable price, but do they offer the activities and are they trained to give you a good experience? Do you feel you are getting the most bang for your buck
Dr. Sandra Geringer is the Director of Recreation Management and Sports Studies at the United States Sports Academy.