All health clubs are not the same — so how do you decide which one to join?
- Before joining, make an appointment to tour the club.
- Visit the club during the hours you plan to use it. Are there long waiting lines for the equipment you’d like to use?
- Check the facility for cleanliness, maintenance and proper ventilation.
- Notice the atmosphere and your comfort level. Would you enjoy being there between workouts?
- Notice the staff and other members. Are people friendly?
- Is the club a member of International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association? IHRSA is the world’s leading trade association for health clubs and provides information and services that clubs need to give their members the best health and fitness experience possible.
- Is the staff competent, knowledgeable, motivated and service-oriented?
- Do they have college degrees in exercise physiology, kinesiology or physical education?
- Do they have expertise in activities in which you wish to participate?
- Are they certified? Certification is your assurance that staff members know what they are doing and can instruct you properly. Some of the most respected certification comes from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA) and National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM).
- Does the staff offer you the proper orientation on working out safely?
- Examine the contract carefully. Make sure all verbal agreements are in writing.
- Understand the length of term. Are you agreeing to a multi-year membership, an annual membership, or a month-to-month membership?
- It is standard policy to offer a “cooling off” period. This period is usually the three days after signing up for a membership, during which you may cancel the agreement without penalty.
- Have you heard good things about the club from other members?
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against the club.
Quality makes a difference
IHRSA members ― such as the Wellness Center ― consider it their mission to enhance the quality of human life through physical fitness and sports. They provide first-rate facilities, programs and instruction. They also subscribe to IHRSA’s Code of Conduct, pledging to:
- Open their membership to persons of all races, creeds, and places of national origin.
- Treat each member as though the success of their club depends on that individual alone.
- Systematically upgrade their professional knowledge and keep abreast of new developments in their field.
- Design their facilities and programs with members’ safety in mind.
- Continue to increase the value and benefits of their services and programs.
- Produce public service programs to expand awareness of the benefits of regular exercise and sports.
- Deliver what they promise.
- Agree to conduct their business in a manner that commands the respect of the public for their industry and the goals they seek to achieve.