Of all the factors you need to consider when choosing a new fitness centre, the key is the activities, equipment and other facilities that are available. Though we tend to group fitness centres, health clubs and sports centres in together, the range of activities, equipment and other facilities they offer is huge. That classification covers everything from huge multi-sports halls through hard core body-builders' gyms to women's' only clubs.
So what are the activities, equipment and other facilities you should expect to find in a fitness centre? Here are the main options to consider:
- Gym - If a good, hard workout is your thing, then this area is crucial. Look for a good selection of free-weights, resistance machines and cardio.
- Workout studio - for some people the key to a good fitness centre is the classes. A good club should have a custom workout studio - top notch ones have sprung floors, lots of mirrors, and these days, air-conditioning.
- Pool - a pool can really add to a club. A top notch facility will have a 25-meter lap pool for fitness swimmers, and smaller teaching pools for kids and classes.
- Sports hall - A multi-use sports hall opens up a whole range of possibilities. From basketball to badminton, 5-a-side to gymnastics, the options are endless. If you are really into your sports, look also for centres that have competitive leagues and sports clubs.
- Courts - indoor and outdoor tennis, squash and badminton, racquet sports are a popular option for many people.
Finally, take time to check out the other things offered - what are the changing rooms like? Is there a cr?che? If these matter to you, take the time the look them over.