Choosing a Health Club
Your move is filled with many new challenges. If your life style includes working out a priority will be to find a club that meets your needs. Or a new move may bring the perfect time to implement those healthy lifestyle changes that were on your New Year’s Resolution list for the past several years.
Begin your search before you move. Ask your current club for recommendations or perhaps they even have reciprocity with a club in your new location. If you belong to a national chain, chances are good that you will be able to transfer your membership.
However if you do find yourself looking for a new club, use this check list to help you find the place that will work best for you. When visiting a club use your own observations and question the staff and current members. Be sure your new club will be able to meet your fitness, social, and safety needs.
- Is the club clean and well maintained, especially the locker rooms and the shower areas?
- Are staff members friendly and helpful? Make sure there is always someone available to answer your questions, to show you a new exercise, or how to use a piece of equipment.
- Does the location for work for you? It’s best to select a club that’s near where you live or work.
- Do fitness staff members have appropriate educational backgrounds and/or certification from nationally recognized certifying agencies?
- Are new members provided with a club orientation and instruction on how to use equipment?
- What age group do you see while visiting? If you are in your 50’s, do you really want to work out with a group in their 20’s (and vice versa)? Be sure to visit club at the time you will be normally using the facilities.
- Does the club have the cardiovascular resistance equipment you want and need to achieve your fitness goals?
- Does the club offer sufficient number and variety of programs for you to achieve your fitness goals (aerobic, racquet sports, basketball, etc.)? If classes or group activities help toÍ motivate you and the health club doesn’t offer the classes you need, sticking with your exercise program won’t be realistic.
- Does the club offer instruction in a sport or activity that you might want to learn (tennis, squash, swimming, etc.)?
- Does the club offer a variety of leagues? If you want to compete – is the club affiliated to the right leagues, and does it have teams of the right standard for your competencies?
- Does the club offer a variety of high-quality weight equipment? It should include free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells, and machine weights, you really need both to get a proper workout.
- Does the club offer a sufficient number and variety of programs for you to achieve other goals (stress management, weight management, smoking cessation, social activities, etc.)?
- Are there long lines at the equipment, or crowded aerobics classes, at the time that you would be using the club?
- What are the real costs? Make sure you understand all rates, charges and fees because these can vary widely, and many clubs require contracts ranging from a few weeks to a year or more. Be sure you’re entitled to use all facilities, such as pools and spas at no extra charge.
- Is child care available if you need it?
- Is there adequate parking available if you need it?
One way to find out whether a club is right for you is to try it out for a few days. Some clubs offer a special guest pass for prospective members. But even if you have to pay for a week to try it out, it’s better to spend the money than to make a long-term commitment to a club that doesn’t work out. Try the club during the hours you will normally be using it. It will give you a realistic idea of what the club environment while you are there.
It’s important to read health club contracts carefully. Don’t assume the club offers classes such as aerobics as part of the membership. While some do, others charge extra. If the health club requires a long-term commitment, find out whether you’ll be able to get a refund if you need to cancel your membership due to a job transfer, an injury or if you simply find that the club isn’t working for you.
It’s a fact that of every three people who join a health club, only one will work out there 100 days a year. Find a club that you are comfortable with and you will greatly increase your chances of being the one of three people that are there more than 100 days a year. pet!
NewMarket Services wishes you good health.
Coping With Change
Did you know that your body and mind sense change as stress? Whether you change the place you live or where you work, it all adds up to stress. The more changes that come at one time, the more stress you experience.
Your attitudes towards change often depend on your self image and expectations of how difficult it may be. Your self image is the inner vision of who you are. It is the basis of your every thought, word and action. Moving, with the many changes it entails, offers an excellent opportunity to modify and/or improve your self image through the risks of taking positive action.
Some people welcome change as a challenge or an exciting new experience. Others may resent the inconvenience and extra effort they need to make to re-establish a comfortable routine. Still others feel overwhelmed by the unknown and are not sure where to go or to whom to turn.
Often, stress causes old issues, defeats or concerns to resurface. Perhaps new worries and fears form unexpectedly, or you feel tired and fatigued most of the time. Decision making abilities are affected, and you seem to be having less fun and enjoyment. These are all telltale signs of stress brought on by change.
When signs of stress affect you, it may be a time of emotional transition, indicating old behavior patterns are not as effective as they once were. This is often a good time for self-reflection-to look at what you like in yourself and what you do not like.
When you relocate to a new city, all categories of your life are changed. Along with the obvious changes listed above, moving to a new community requires finding new sources for familiar services. Finding a new hairdresser, barber, drugstore, food market, doctor, lawyer, cleaner and shoemaker are all necessary. You not only have to locate these services, but you need to determine if you are satisfied with the quality of the services provided. Forming a comfortable working relationship with the service provider adds more stress to the change itself.
Perhaps your whole lifestyle changes if you are moving from a smaller or larger community. With long-distance moves, you will have to make new friends and develop a different emotional support system. When these changes are not made through your own choices, but are the decisions of a boss or someone in your family, then the stress is even greater. Children have to make changes because of their parents. They need special help and understanding getting settled in school and making new friends. Often, they will have difficulties as they adjust to the new surroundings.
Changes produce stress not only within yourself, but also with the people with whom you are close. It may cause you to react differently from your usual behavior. If you are in a relationship or marriage, you may find more tension developing, with less patience or tolerance of the other person. If you live alone, not knowing where to go to make new friends can bring feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Creatures of Habit
Psychologically, most of us are creatures of habit and quickly develop repetitive patterns that make us feel comfortable and secure. Ever notice that most people find the same seat or section of the commuter train or bus? Drivers usually take the same route every day. We do this in order to reduce stress.
The sameness of established behavior develops a sense of control over ourselves and surroundings. By seeking repetitive habits, we save our energy for new events that are either unpredictable or uncontrollable. When change removes the sameness from our lives, we attempt to relieve the tension produced by uncertainty and newness. We look for ways to develop other familiar patterns.
Management of Change
To manage change effectively, several simple steps will help you adjust to the newness and extra effort needed to establish different patterns in your life.
- Organize your time so you can finish the tasks you have planned.
- Have realistic expectations. Do not plan to complete everything within the first few weeks.
- List your priorities and finish each one before you go on to the next.
- Provide your body with recreational time and time to relax.
- Trust your first impressions; they are most often right.
Periods of change can offer you an opportunity for growth within yourself. Professional consultation may be useful during this period.
Choosing a Primary Care Provider
One of the most important decisions that you will make in your relocation process is choosing a Primary Care Provider for you and your family. Don’t put off the decision until you get sick. Your PCP will be responsible for approximately 90% of your health care. The relationship you develop with this health professional can be the key to keeping illness at bay, and it is your best connection into the rest of the medical system. Your PCP can help you seek appropriate consultations with specialists if or when the medical problem is beyond the realm of his expertise.
A generation ago, people relied on General Practitioners (GPs) for all their medical needs, from treating colds, and backaches to setting broken arms and delivering babies. The competent GP knew the medical histories of every member of a patient’s family because he treated them all. Today, Primary Care Providers are bringing this tradition back with the addition of providing preventive health measures. More emphasis is now placed on preventive medicine. You are now responsible for the health of you and your family by making informed decisions, improving your diet and exercising. A primary care provider (PCP) is a general practitioner who sees people of all ages for common medical problems. Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it is important to select someone with whom you will work well. You will want to choose someone that emphasizes wellness and self-care by giving you the information needed to make healthy lifestyle choices and health care decisions.
Below are some guidelines to help you make your decision.
Begin by Gathering Some Choices.
- Before you move ask your current health care provider for a referral. You can also ask other doctors you respect and see regularly.
- If you belong to a managed care plan, find out what doctors are affiliated with it.
- Ask friends, relatives or business associates. Referrals from people you know are usually based on trust and confidence in the provider.
- Hospitals usually offer a referral service that can provide you with the names of staff doctors who meet certain criteria you may be seeking, however they will not vouch for the quality of care.
Guidelines to Narrow Your Choices
- Insurance – With the risings costs of health care, be sure your insurance will be accepted.
- Professional credentials – any provider you consider should have graduated from an accredited medical school, and be sure they’re board certified.
- Professional affiliations – Your provider should be affiliated with a large, well-equipped hospital, either as a staff member or as an attending physician, a title that carries with it admitting privileges.
- Practice arrangements – You may choose a solo practitioner or a group practice, in which two or more doctors in the same specialty or different specialties share the same office.
- Location and office hours – If these aren’t convenient, you may have a difficult time making an appointment.
Make a Consultation Visit and Consider the Following
- Office is clean and the staff is courteous and helpful.
- You are seen by the doctor within a reasonable time of your appointment or you are given a good explanation for any delay.
- You are not rushed through the visit. The provider listens to you, does not interrupt you and encourages you to voice your concerns about your health.
- The doctor is well-informed about preventive health measures, such as nutrition, exercise and the widely recommended use of screening tests. He should be quick to inform you of healthy lifestyle choices.
- You’re comfortable talking to the doctor and the doctor explains things so that you can understand.
Most importantly, don’t put off the decision until you get sick. If a health care problem arises, and you have not yet chosen a provider, it is usually best to seek non-emergency care from an “urgent care center” rather than a hospital emergency room. This will often save you time and money. However recent years, many emergency rooms have expanded their services to include reasonably priced urgent care within the emergency room itself or an adjoining area—to find out, call the hospital first.