Womens Fitness Tips

When it comes to Womens Fitness, we've been there, done that, now serving 289 tips in 18 categories ranging from Beginner Fitness to Women’s Training Tips.

Is there any way to check out a fitness center before joining?

Checking out a Gym

You may want to visit a gym before signing up -- it can be the best way to tell if it is the right place for you. There are many ways to go about this, but here are a few ideas you can use to get inside and see things for yourself:

  • Visit the club with a friend. Many health clubs offer free passes to members so that they can bring a friend to the facility periodically.
  • Get a day pass. See if the gym will allow you to use the facility for a day or pay a small fee to try out the equipment. You may need to sign a waiver to do so.
  • Try out a class. Some health clubs will allow non-members to take exercise classes or sample circuit training there for a per class fee. If you can take advantage of this, it is a great way to get a feel for the gym and see if you like it.
  • Consider a trial membership. Some gyms will offer summer only memberships or have trial memberships for potential customers. It doesn't hurt to check.
  • Ask for a tour. Most gyms will give you a basic tour of their facility at no cost.
  • Ask around. If you are not able to get inside the gym for a look, ask others for information on the place. Be sure to include specific questions on anything you are particularly curious about.
Seeing a health club with your own eyes can be a great way to know if it will work for your needs. Since getting a membership is really an investment, it pays to know what you are buying ahead of time.

How can I address budget considerations when joining a gym?

Determining Your Budget for Exercise

When it comes to exercise fitness centers, costs can add up quickly. It can be a good idea to decide on a budget for exercise and any related expenses prior to looking for a facility to join.

If you are tight on funds, see if there are any places you may be able to cut back a bit in order to make a gym membership possible. Sometimes all you need is a slight budget adjustment in order to free up some funds for fitness. Also, check into low-frills facilities, such as some of the all-women gyms. Many tend to offer rates that are fairly inexpensive.

Comparison shopping is another way to find a gym that matches your budget needs. Call around for prices, ask friends for information and keep an eye open for special membership deals. Some places offer the same specials each year, while others vary them based on membership availability. If you have a job outside the home, you may also want to check fitness centers around your place of employment to see what their rates are as well.

Keep an eye out for hidden costs. Some places charge an annual membership fee in addition to monthly dues. Some may not include exercise classes in the cost of membership. Make sure you know what the package entails before signing up as a member, just to be on the safe side.

How can I find the right gym?

Personalizing Your Fitness Routine

What is the right type of fitness exercise program for your lifestyle? This answer depends in part on what you enjoy and also what your personality is like.

Do you like to be social? Exercise classes may be the perfect solution. You can team up with a girlfriend and take a Pilates class, or make friends at the gym when you get there. There can be a sense of camaraderie in a class setting which makes it fun for those who enjoy being around other people in this type of atmosphere.

Are you a private person? Perhaps a gym that has a membership made up entirely of women may be a good choice. Also, if you prefer, you can opt to work out during hours where there are not many people around at the facility. Try going at different times to see what the crowd is like, or ask an employee when the slow times are.

Those who like to get their workout in quickly might be completely satisfied with a 30-minute circuit training program. These are offered by many health clubs and have become a popular choice for those who are pressed for time. Proximity to your home may be another factor here as well.

On the other hand, if you are someone who really loves to spend time at the health club you may want to hold out for one with a more "spa-like" setting. Some facilities even offer extras such as massage and other spa services.

No matter what your particular taste is, if you find the right match you will be more likely to use the facility. Take a little time to think about where you would fit best and make the choice that is right for you.

What are some tips for getting the most out of circuit training?

Tips For Effective Circuit Training

Circuit training can be an extremely effective way to work out, as long as you know how to do the exercises properly. Be sure you are getting the most out of your workout by employing the following smart tips:

  • Pace things well. Doing exercises too quickly can lessen the effect on the muscles and also contribute to injury.
  • Breathe. Holding your breath during exercises can raise your blood pressure.
  • Increase difficulty slowly. Work up to heavier weights or more repetitions rather than making big leaps forward.
  • Don't forget to rest. Working the same muscle groups several days in a row may not be the best thing. Try and switch off, emphasizing arms one day and legs the next.
  • Know proper form. If you are not sure how to do an exercise, find out by asking an employee of the gym. Proper form is important to maximize the positive impact of each exercise and to protect your body against injury.
  • Switch things up. Doing the same routine each time lulls your muscles into a relaxed state and can slow down progress. Try to alternate exercises frequently for maximum benefit.
If you know how to get the most out of your circuit training routine, you will get better results for the time you put in exercising. Try using some of the tips above to make sure you are doing all you can to reap the benefits of this type of training.

Who should consider circuit training?

Who Should I Do Circuit Training?

Circuit training can provide a challenging workout if you change up the routine regularly. Well-designed circuit training workouts vary the order and intensity of exercises and keep the body guessing as to what comes next. This is a very effective way to train.

Another terrific thing about circuit training is that it can be done by people of all different fitness levels. The individual exercises can be adapted to increase or decrease the difficulty level, and weights can be adjusted based on strength. It is a good form of training for both the novice and advanced person alike.

Circuit training routines can be developed for all different types of fitness goals as well. There are ones designed to increase strength and ones to increase endurance. There are also some routines that work on both. You can adjust the time you spend doing the exercise and the time spent resting to either raise or lower the intensity level.

Some "boot camps" feature circuit training as the main exercise system, but then vary the exercises daily. Many gyms for women have circuit training classes or equipment, and it continues to be a popular method of training in health clubs throughout the country. Even some personal trainers have adapted the circuit training idea for their clients.

What are some of the standard cardiovascular machines you will see at the health club?

Introduction to Cardiovascular Equipment

There are several pieces of cardiovascular equipment that you will typically run into at a health club. As you use them, you will generally find ones that you naturally gravitate toward. In the meantime, here are a few that turn up in almost every gym:

  1. The treadmill. Treadmills are getting fancy these days. Many have all-digital readouts that tell you information such as heart rate, calories burned and distance. Some even have small fans built in. Treadmills are good for walking and running, and can be used by nearly everyone.
  2. The elliptical trainer. Elliptical machines are somewhere between a bicycle, stair stepper and treadmill. While standing, you "run" with your feet on two platforms that circle as if you were on a bicycle. Some of these machines also have hand holds that move your arms back and forth. Elliptical machines can be a good choice for those looking for a low impact way to get some cardiovascular exercise.
  3. Stair stepper. In the world of fitness climbing machines, the stair stepper is king. This machine is great for a really amped up workout, but can be hard on the knees for some people.
  4. Cycles. There are two main versions of the cycle at the gym: the recumbent bike and the upright bike. Both provide a good, low impact cardiovascular workout.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer
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