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With the growing popularity of all-women's gyms, you may be wondering if you should join one. For the novice or significantly overweight exerciser, an all female gym can offer a refuge from embarrassment. Some women also believe that in a women-only fitness center, women are more supportive and less competitive. Exceptionally busy women tend to enjoy the circuit-style gyms, which allow them to get in and out in 30 minutes.
Women whose religions do not allow them to show their bodies around men often tend to join women's fitness centers. Others join for social purposes. Women's health clubs also tend to have fitness equipment that has a more user-friendly design for the female body. These gyms may also offer services such as babysitting, prenatal classes and special classes for women with osteoporosis.
While these are all excellent reasons to join a women's health club, the counter arguments against joining should be taken into consideration. Consider this: If it women only fitness centers are acceptable, is it also OK to once again have all male fitness centers, golf courses, etc.? If so, if these all male centers once again become the prime spots for corporate networking, how will that affect women in the corporate world? Although religious women and former rape victims may have a valid reason for joining a women's fitness center, some gyms, such as Healthworks Fitness for Women in Boston, hire a considerable number of male personal trainers and group exercise instructors. You should also consider whether the exercises for women that are featured at the franchises offering circuit training will remain challenging enough to be effective in the long run. Also since the programs are exactly the same, there is a higher tendency for boredom and burnout.
Keep in mind that many all-female gyms are staffed by women who have limited experience in the fitness industry. This can be a problematic if you have any serious health issues.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|