Although location is one important consideration in choosing a fitness center, service, monitoring, professionals, equipment (especially diversity of equipment) crowding, cleanliness, facilities and atmosphere are all variables important to your lasting enjoyment and ongoing results. According to annual statistics, up to 60 percent of everyone in America who joins fitness centers drops out within the first year. National chains and women’s-only clubs usually have the highest dropout rate. Find a club with an annual dropout rate of less than 20 percent.

We all have limited discipline

If we don’t continually see improvement, exercise quickly loses its appeal. With 656 muscle groups in the body and thousands of muscle fibers (cells) in each group, we need to change exercises every 4-6 weeks to maximize muscle hardening and increase fat burning (basal metabolism) or we will plateau, leading to boredom and discontinuance.

Variety is essential to maximize results

Look for a club with at least eight different lines of equipment. Any slight change in angle of movement will work new muscle fiber, raising basal metabolism, improving coordination, and increasing the hardness of the muscle group being worked. When we continually work the same muscle fiber by doing the same movements over and over, the body adapts and progress ceases (an all too familiar syndrome). Change is essential for visible results (fat loss and toning).

We all need help

Find a club with nationally certified personal trainers to change your program and carefully walk you through a new program every 4-6 weeks. Try to find a club with qualified trainers that will train you free for an hour every month. If you have to pay $30 to $70 per hour, you may not use them; if they are free, you will use them and you will get results, continue to progress, and stay excited about exercise.

Progress checks are essential for motivation

Nurses should be on staff to regularly and systematically record your process on computer printouts. Your awareness of your own progress is essential in goal setting and for sustained motivation. Heart, blood pressure, lungs, strength, percentage of body fat, basal metabolic rate, weight, measurements and flexibility are variables that change month to month, provided you are exercising properly.

This Article Continued in Part 2 of How To Choose a Fitness Center…