Tuesday Tips – Finding a Health Club in Chicago

It’s January, cold and time to hit the gym!  I haven’t belong to a gym in years, which could be a contributing factor to my weight gain.   I loved belonging to a club, so I decided to try a variety of gyms and share what I found with all of you to help you on your health club search.

What to look for.  There are a lot of clubs out there and it’s important to try out clubs keeping in mind what’s important to you.  Here’s a quick check list you can use to use as you look for your perfect club.

The more convent the club is to your home or work, the more likely you are to go work out.  Several clubs in the city have more than one location, so make sure to find out if they have plans that include multiple clubs.

Variety and quality of classes
Pilates, step, Zumba, TRX, body sculpt, ballet, cardio funk, tread and shead and the list goes on and keeps growing.  Make sure to check out a variety of classes to find a few that you’ll want to go to each week.

Availability and quality of equipment
Check on the number of cardio machines such as elliptical machines, treadmills, and exercise bikes as well as the condition.  Are they all new and in working condition?  Do they have individual video screens so you can watch tv while you work out?  How about the weight room?  Are there enough weights, benches and other weight machines so that you don’t have to wait and work in during your time at the gym?  Some clubs also have a pool, rock climbing walls and courts where you can play basketball or volleyball.

Does the club look and feel clean?  Do they provide wipes to clean off equipment before and after you work out? 

Locker Room
Many gyms provide towel service, have rental lockers where you can leave your things and a sauna and or steam room.  Also check the cleanliness of the locker room as well as the amenities in the shower and dressing area.  If you run in and out of the gym this might not matter, but if you workout and then get ready for work, these can all be helpful benefits.

Lots of gyms in the city offer low cost or free parking.  Make sure the parking is close by and plentiful so that if you are rushing to get to a class, you have some quick, easy parking options.

Making working out as easy as possible could include easy, reliable child care options.  Many gyms have child care or kids clubs where you can drop your kids off while you work out.  

Gym costs vary from club to club.  Things to take into consideration are initiation fee, monthly costs and cancelation or freeze cost. 


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