More people join gyms in January than in any other month. But not all of them will stick around. The International Health, Racquet and Sports Club association (IHRSA) estimates that annual gym attrition rates hover between 20 and 25 percent each year.
So how do you make sure you’re still showing up come August? You find a gym you like, and more importantly, one where you feel comfortable. “From the moment you walk in, it should be about the energy and the experience. Do they greet you? Do the people working out look like they’re having a good time?” asks Jarrod Saracco, a fitness industry consultant with 20 years of experience in the field. “The experience makes or breaks whether a gym keeps you as a member.”
Of course, there are more than 32,150 health clubs in the United States, so choosing the right one can take a little doing. Here are 10 must-know tips to make sure you choose the perfect gym the first time.