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Before joining a gym, think about your own motivations and interests—and consider alternatives. Set realistic fitness goals, then think about whether you really need to pay a company big bucks for activities that are probably available more cheaply elsewhere.
When comparing fitness clubs, consider several points, including what its members say, its location, membership fees, contract terms, facilities and equipment, classes, and amenities. Our ratings of area clubs will help you find the right fit.
Membership at many clubs doesn’t come cheap. Although some bare-bones gyms cost about $200 a year, many charge more than $600. Want a club that offers racquet sports or a wide range of facilities and amenities? Expect to pay a lot more.