Your New Year’s resolution: A gym membership?
What to consider when choosing a workout venue.
If getting in shape tops your list of New Year's resolutions, you're in good company. During the first few months of the year, sign-ups at fitness centers and health clubs tend to trend upward. While these memberships can be costly, you may be able to find more affordable options or take advantage of discounts. But no matter what you pay, shelling out a monthly fee may encourage you to use the gym regularly to get your money's worth. If you do, your heart will likely reap the rewards: regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost cardiovascular health.
"The main advantage to joining a gym is to have access to a wide variety of exercise equipment," says Alex Petruska, a senior physical therapist at the Sports Medicine Center of Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. That includes machines for a cardiovascular workout, such as treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and stair steppers, as well as a variety of weight machines.