Tips for Getting Over the “Gym Jitters”

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  It's that time of year. The time when many of us resolve to lose weight, get fit and join a gym....or something. For a lot of people, that's as far as the planning goes. Actually joining a gym can be a daunting task, especially if you've never gone through the process before.

Fitness experts say it always pays to do a little research beforehand. Determine what you really need in a gym. If you don't plan to use the sauna, free childcare or group exercise classes, you may be better off at a smaller, less-expensive facility. A night owl? Consider one of the 24-7 gyms where you can hit the treadmill at 3am. Location is also important. The closer to home, the more likely you are to go, experts say.

When it comes time to sign up, be sure to read the fine print. Most of those in the fitness industry advise members to be wary of gyms requiring long, multi-year commitments. Ask about payment policies and whether it's possible to temporarily freeze your membership in the event of a life-changing event, such as the birth of a child.

At Powerhouse Gym in Huntsville, General Manager David Brown says it's also important to look for a well-trained, courteous staff. They can help new gym members navigate the exercise equipment, answer questions and come up with a fitness plan.