Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Health Care and Fitness Clubs

Looking to become the next Mr. Olympia or Ms. World? Want to bulk up the physique and get those abs rock hard and defined as a "six pack"? Are you the skinny kid that gets bullied around and need to get buff to protect yourself? Then consider a gym membership--not just the "get a few pounds off after the Holidays" type plan but a real, solid way to get and stay in shape. You can join a local club like Gold's or Bally's and pay fees to belong, or you can go to the local YWCA or YMCA for not a lot of money. Either way, a gym membership can help get your tired, flabby tummy into a lean, mean muscle machine. And, people will definitely take notice. And, here are some interesting stats about gym memberships can be found at this site: http://www.statisticbrain.com/gym-membership-statistics/ .

Finding an affordable solution, though, may be your first challenge to a leaner body. According to Smart Money Magazine online, half of consumers who don’t belong to a gym say the costs are the primary deterrent, according to a 2009 survey from market researcher Mintel. Factoring in initiation fees, the median annual cost for a new gym member is $775, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, a trade group. (Ongoing members pay slightly less than $43 per month for an average $511 annually.) But, many new members can cut their costs by as much as 50%. The magazine lists six ways to cut your costs in half: http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/family-money/6-ways-to-cut-gym-membership-costs/ .

Before you write your first check and commit to a contract, you may want to check out various options when choosing a gym membership. There’s much to consider, including location, cost, staff, equipment, and more. Before you sign on the dotted line, take a moment to consider these 10 factors, as noted by About.com: http://weightloss.about.com/od/exercis1/a/healthclubs.htm .

And, be careful after you are involved in a fitness regimen. Many workout and fitness plans get derailed by some common mistakes and bad habits. Avoiding problems can lead to better results, according to www.MyDailyMoment.com at this site: http://www.mydailymoment.com/diet_and_fitness/fitness/10_worst_fitness_mistakes.php .

If you are looking for a gym or fitness club near you, there are many from which to choose. Fitness Magazine has a website that shows the best gyms in America, and the advantages of each club: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/motivation/get-started/the-best-gyms-in-america/ . This site is a great resource when searching for what you want in a health club or fitness membership.

According to Lance Armstrong’s Foundation partner, www.LiveStrong.com, you can exercise almost anywhere. However, a gym membership enables you to obtain the exercise you need to stay or become healthy, and it provides other benefits. Some people prefer to exercise on their own, but they miss what gym memberships can offer. Read more at this site: http://www.livestrong.com/article/505304-seven-reasons-to-buy-a-gym-membership/ .

One side benefit of a gym membership is building stronger bones, according to Men’s Health Magazine online: http://news.menshealth.com/the-secret-to-stronger-bones/2012/07/05/ . Want to build stronger bones? Hit the gym. The healthier your muscle mass, the better off your bones will be, according to a new study they reported that was published in the Journal of Bone & Mineral Research.

According to www.HealthGuidance.org, most people struggle to make it to the gym. Realistically speaking, the majority of individuals lack motivation, reasons, and passion to jump on the gym bandwagon. More than often, people try to pile up a list of excuses to stay away from gym. Despite one’s deep desire to maintain good physique, one is seen wrestling with his/her thoughts to find convincing reasons to join a gym. Here, located on their website, are some very good reasons to join a fitness club: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/13818/1/Reasons-for-Joining-a-Gym.html .

You also may wish to check on health plans or discount plans that include gym memberships as part of the membership including other wellness products and services. Careington International offers a retail discount plan for only $14.95 per month for member and family, labeled MyWellCare, that includes nationwide access to over 14,000 fitness clubs and gyms at "best price." The Careington plan provides you immediate access to a network of nationwide clubs that offer discounted rates to members who join the plan, and the entire household can take advantage of using the membership. Plus, you can cancel the membership at any time with Careington. This plan is not insurance. However, you would also want to make sure that your membership with the gym or fitness center has a cancellation clause that has no penalty if you wish to cancel that contract. Their website is www.careington.com . Additional services are also included in the Careington MyWellCare discount plan membership:

• 24 hour nurse line with access to RNs via toll free phone access, and a health library with over 1,100 pre-recorded topics.

• Savings of 25% with over 14,000 chiropractors and over 20,000 complementary alternative medicine providers including message therapy, tai chi, acupuncture, dieticians, and more.

• Weight loss management with 20% discounts through Weight Watchers.

• Prescription discounts at over 58,000 pharmacies—15%-60% off generics; 15%-25% off brand name medications; mail order through phone or online ordering.

• LASIK vision correction with 15% discount.

• Imaging discounts at over 3,200 radiology facilities in the US—40%-75% off MRIs, CT scans, and PET scans.

• Weight loss surgery with gastric banding--$1,000 discount.

• Financial counseling with toll free access to financial counselors.

• Term Life Insurance quoting.

• Finance options for medical loans through approved credit by lender.

Improving your health through fitness is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be proactive with your overall physical well being. If you have a family, it’s even more fun to have everyone involved if possible—kids, Mom, and Dad. You may even find a gym that is pet-friendly, so you can bring your dog or cat to be watched by the staff while you work out. Saving money is also good, and so is quality of service and facilities. There are many options available to consumers to find solid, affordable memberships for access to health and fitness. Do your homework to find out what works best for you, and make sure you communicate with your primary care doctor that you want to embark on a fitness regimen which may involve a gym or fitness club. You’ll want to have a positive experience, and following the guidelines in getting information and going to a health club are good steps toward improved physical fitness.

Until next time.

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