How to Choose a Gym or Sports Club

If you are thinking of joining a sports centre, club or gym, aim to find one that provides the facilities you need, has high safety standards, will fit conveniently into your lifestyle, and can provide you with a positive experience. When you make your first visit, consider the following questions:

• Facilities: does the centre have a pool, sprung floors, a well-equipped gym? Does it run the classes you want to attend?

• Safety and hygiene: are the facilities and equipment properly maintained and clean?

• Staff: are they friendly and helpful? Are the instructors properly qualified? Are the staff trained to respond to emergencies?

• Location: is it convenient for you? Is there space to park your car?

• Price: can you pay as you go, or do you have to pay an expensive membership fee, committing you for a long period?

• Opening hours: do they suit your needs?

• Training: will a fitness trainer be on hand to offer advice?

• Attitude and approach: does the centre cater for people of your level of fitness? Is the atmosphere generally relaxed, or is it intense and competitive?