We're going to go ahead and guess that you already belong to a gym. But just because you belong to one doesn't mean you belong to the best one for you. And considering that tons of gyms around the country are offering new membership deals and New Year's resolution specials right now, it's a really good time to step back and see if you should switch it up in the New Year.
Here are four signs your gym isn't making the cut—a.k.a. it's time to look elsewhere.
1. The Staff Isn't Welcoming
There's nothing like a rude gym employee to start your day off on the wrong foot (or end it badly if you work out at night). "You're not going to want to go to the gym if you know the staff isn't welcoming. On the flipside, when you know that you're going to a place where people genuinely care about you, you feel like you're a part of something bigger, which helps keep you motivated to continue going," explains Jennifer Burke, a personal trainer at Crunch in Los Angeles.
More: 14 Gym Pet Peeves
2. It Takes Longer Than 15 Minutes to Get There
Long commutes are a built-in cop-out for not going to the gym. "It's so easy to say to yourself, 'Ugh, it's so far away,' and skip out—especially in the cold weather," Burke says. Her advice? Aim for a gym that's no more than 15 minutes away, either by foot, by car, or public transit. That way, it'll be so convenient that you'll not only have zero excuse to skip, but you may even feel slightly guilty for not going since it's so close.
3. You Have to Wait More Than 5 Minutes to Get a Machine
OK, so clearly, your gym is popular or trendy, hence the long wait for the machines. But seriously? There are other gyms in the sea where you don't have to queue up for the elliptical, Burke advises. And that lack of lines is way more important than trendiness when it comes to, you know, actually working out. Do the mental math: Long lines = frustration = not wanting to go to the gym because you know you'll be frustrated = not going to the gym at all = fail.
4. The Classes Aren't Doing it for You
If the classes your current gym offers seem kinda blah, consider scoping other gyms that offer classes you haven't ever tried. Research shows that when you're faced with something new, you get more excited overall—and when you're more excited about something, you're more likely to make moves to get there.
Also, consider the timing of the classes. Do they jibe with your work and life schedule? If not, there are probably other gyms that offer classes that you could more easily work into your routine. Do some investigating.fitness class.