Starting to pucker the seams on your jeans or poochie-poochie over the front a bit? Most likely it isn’t the addition of your Under Armour 2.0 base layer (a great excuse); no, this it the beginning of the college 10,15, 25 or 50lbs. It is very tempting to just crawl back into bed and stay there with a bag of chips. But Wait! In college it is easy to stop weight gain before it becomes a big problem. One of the best ways to beat the bulge is to get into a gym habit. Trips to the gym are as necessary to college survival as dorm supplies or a good cell phone plan. The question isn’t whether you should work out but where should you work out and how often.
Look into Your School’s Gym Facilities
Most colleges have at least one gym on campus. Often you can use the gym and take classes for very little just by being a student. This is often the best alternative because college gyms are cheap, clean and full of innovative machines that are used to keep the football and basketball teams happy. Moreover, the gyms are on campus so you can schedule gym time between other classes. The downside of college gyms is that sometimes the hours are limited and certain facilities like the pool can be closed when they are in use by various classes and teams.
Check Out National Gym Chains and Promotions
National gym chains like 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym are also an alternative. These gyms are usually inexpensive and they have very generous hours. Another advantage to national gym chains is that the membership dues can lock in at the current rate and continue at this rate for as long as you are a member. These gyms usually offer a variety of free classes and services and the machinery is up to date. Look for 7-day trial memberships to try out these gyms for free before joining.
The downside of these gyms is that they can be very crowded at peak hours and the classes can be so full you can hardly get into them. In addition, check out the amenities such as the stream, sauna and showers carefully even if you aren’t planning to use them. Sometimes these can be downright horrible and there isn’t anything worse than needing a shower and being faced with a tiny trickle of cold water.
Local Community Centers Have Gyms and Classes
Many local community centers also have gym facilities and classes available at very reasonable rates. Private community groups such as the YMCA and JCC have gyms and facilities that are often excellent and available to anyone who wants to join.
Things to Look for in a Gym Membership
Amenities, spa, pool, sauna, showers, lockers, basketball courts, etc.
Cost, savings available for yearly plans
Classes and class schedules
Certified trainers and instructors
Sports therapists available
Extra curricular activities and programs
Quality and variety of machines and weights, and their maintenance
Weights and machinery for women