When it comes to keeping fit, there are a number of ways to do so: from jogging around your local park, heading to a sports class at your local leisure centre or joining a gym.

Now that it’s winter in the UK and rest of Europe, the latter is perhaps the most preferable. After all, you don’t want to be exercising outdoors in the rain or snow!

If you have never been a member of a gym, you may be wondering about which one to join. With so many to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow it down to suit your preferences. What’s more, there may be certain elements that you simply haven’t thought to consider when picking the best gym for you.

Here are a few tips to get you on your way:


The location of a gym is probably the most important factor when it comes to whittling it down to just one. Of course, you don’t want to be travelling miles to get there and be tired out before your workout has even begun.

It is a good idea, therefore, to choose a gym that’s relatively close to your home – either within walking or cycling distance, or a short car journey away. This way, you will be more inclined to go often, rather than putting it off because it is located too far away.

Opening hours

While some gyms are open 24 hours a day – normally excluding bank holidays and Christmas Day – others are only open for a limited period during the day.

It is important to check the opening hours of a gym before you pay any membership joining fees. It could well be the case that the opening times simply don’t work with your schedule and so finding a 24-hour gym is probably the best way to go.

Member benefits

Many gyms partner up with supply chains and brands to bring exclusive benefits to its members. For example, there may be discounts off health food brands, sportswear or even restaurants.

If you’re on the hunt for a few perks, then it is worth finding out about these before you sign any forms.

Additional facilities

Of course, the gym’s facilities will most likely help you make your final decision about joining. If your workout plan involves a lot of cardio exercises, you should ensure that there are plenty of machines and equipment that target this. Likewise, if you will mainly be lifting weights, check to see the weightlifting facilities on offer.

Some gyms also include spas, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools. These normally come at a higher monthly cost though, so decide whether you would make the most of it and if it is really good value for money.