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HEALTHY LIVING: 5 tips for customizing your fitness approach in 2020

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 tips for customizing your fitness approach in 2020


When setting fitness goals for the new year, customizing your approach will enable you to stick with your plan. 

It’s important to tailor your gym membership or at-home fitness routine to your schedule and passions so that it remains constant all throughout the year. 

This past week I met with, Nadia Wilson, a member service associate at the Wallingford YMCA to learn about the questions and concerns of prospective members. 

Ask questions

When looking to join a gym make sure to visit the facility and ask a member service associate about the amenities that the gym offers. 

Wilson said one of the main questions that prospective members ask is the hours of operation of the facility.

“Another big question is the atmosphere” said Wilson. 

Wilson added that prospective members consider seeing friendly faces a major perk. 

Inquiring about group fitness classes, peak hours, and childcare will also help you to get a better sense of the gym you’re considering joining.

Take a tour of the facility

Wilson gave me a tour of the facility as she does daily for prospective member walk-ins.

Call ahead to schedule a tour of the facility you are looking to join to avoid waiting for an opening during busy hours. 

During your tour, learn about where the equipment that you plan to use is located in the gym. 

Since there are many variations of the same type of machines, ask for a demonstration of how they work. 

Seek expert advice 

Gyms often offer a free fitness consultation to new members where they can ask questions about the equipment and have their physical fitness assessed. 

“We do offer a fit appointment with a personal trainer” Wilson said of the Y’s new member orientation. 

Take advantage of complimentary personal training to learn about your areas of strength and weakness. 

If you’re brand new to fitness, consider working closely with a trusted expert to devise a plan to get the results you desire.

Even if you decide to go it alone, make it a point to ask the personal training staff on duty about your form while performing exercises in order to avoid injury.

Look online

If you are most comfortable working out in the privacy of your home, there are plenty of quality online resources that can help you reach your goals.

Fitness coaches, exercise classes, and training guides are all accessible online. 

Certain online exercise programs operate much like gym memberships, with users paying a monthly fee for access to video classes or one-on-one meetings with a trainer.

However, there are also many free resources that you can use to create a well-rounded training program.

Try it out

Whether you’re going to be training at a gym or using an online program, ask for a free trial. 

Wilson said existing members of the Wallingford Y are able to bring guests.

“What’s nice about that is you get to show your family, your friends, our facility and maybe one day they become a member as well…” said Wilson.

Fitness centers also commonly grant prospective members trail periods or punch cards so they can determine if they want to commit to a full access membership.