A lot of people sign up for gym memberships and before you know it, they stop going. That's why it makes sense to avoid any long-term contracts until you're sure you like the place and will keep going.
"You really want to make sure before you join a gym that it's a place you're going to use, that it has a convenient location and that is has activities, classes and equipment that you're going to use,” said Kevin Brasler, executive editor at Checkbook.org.
Most fitness centers will give you a free pass to “test drive” the place. Take advantage of that free offer to visit when you'd normally go.
“Check out how crowded it is. Are the classes I want to take available or full? It really will give you a better idea of what you'll experience once you're paying for the membership,” Brasler said.
Don't let yourself get rushed into taking advantage of a promotional offer. Most gyms are always running specials.
"So even though it's the beginning of the year and it seems like this is the time when they'll offer the lowest rates, that's really not necessarily the case,” Brasler told me.
One more tip: Check with your health insurance plan to see if there are benefits you can tap into.
Checkbook.org is a non-profit, subscriber-based consumer rating service which takes no advertising and accepts no money from companies they rate.
As a courtesy to KOMO listeners and readers, Checkbook’s ratings of 82 gyms and fitness centers in the Puget Sound area will be available by using this special link through Feb. 15, 2019.
Checkbook.org also has information on gyms available to everyone.