Is a Fitness Center Right for You?
Looking for the fountain of youth? It may be as close as your nearest swimming pool. Exercise can boost your energy, build your endurance and give you strength for daily tasks. In addition, regular physical activity can:
- Help you stay independent or help you do more things without assistance
- Ward off or delay some diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
- Help prevent you from falling
- Keep your weight and blood pressure in check
You don’t need to use expensive equipment or go to a public place to get in shape. But joining a fitness facility can help you meet new people and motivate you to stick with your plan. “The best fitness center for you is the one that you like and will continue to visit,” said Mick McLaughlin, national programs manager at Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program.
Keep the following tips in mind when selecting a gym:
- Is the location convenient for you?
- Is the staff qualified?
- Take a tour or do a trial workout. Do you feel comfortable there?
- If you enjoy group exercise, are there programs for older adults? Can fitness classes be modified to meet your needs? Are the instructors trained and certified by a nationally recognized organization?
Once you join, a fitness instructor can design a safe and effective workout just for you. The following pros may be able to help:
- Physical therapists
- Exercise physiologists with a college degree in the subject
- Trainers certified by the American College of Sports Medicine
There may be an additional cost for these services. Check with the fitness center manager for details. If you are new to exercising, consult with your physician or exercise professional about getting started safely. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a fitness benefit that includes a gym membership. Check your plan benefits for details.
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