So, you’re looking to get fit this year and you have a great start. You’ve read our workout guide so you can outfit yourself well, bought the book on stretching, stocked up on hi-tech gizmos to help, and blocked out time to exercise. Now it’s time to find the perfect gym…
I knew there was a catch!
Finding a good gym is hard, especially if you have a lot of choices. National chains, local chains, individually owned establishments, even YMCAs are a viable choice for some. However, it’s hard to tell if a gym is right for you unless you can give it a try. Some places will offer you a guest pass, some will grudgingly give you one after a long and exausting sales pitch, and with some you have to know the magic words. I don’t have time for all of that!
I would have given up on dealing with gyms completely (and probably relegated those new workout clothes to the back of the closet) if I hadn’t heard about the American Health & Fitness Alliance’s Fitness Passbook. This wonderful publication contains free guest passes to hundreds of gyms and other fitness centers. Some places offer a few free visits, some offer a whole week or even two to try out the facilities. Conditions vary by gym and some gyms may require that you at least listen to their sales pitch before taking advantage of your free time, others will just mark your visit and point you toward the locker room. If you time it right, you may not even need a regular gym membership until the end of the year (depending on your needs and schedule).
The book itself is $75 (less than the monthly rate at most gyms) and the AH&FA will reimburse the cost if you join one of the participating gyms. The purpose is to get more people active and healthy by taking the hassle out of the gym tryout process.
Currently Fitness Passbooks are only available for gyms in New York City, Chicago, and LA. A passbook especially for Yoga enthusiasts is available in NYC as well. Quantities are limited so you’ll have to hurry to get one. Then you’ll eliminate one more excuse not to exercise.