Planning to lose weight is often a part of ringing in the
New Year when the holiday season comes to an end.
However, consumers who want to diet or shape up
should be very cautious when signing up for exercise
programs and gym memberships, advises the Better
Business Bureau Serving Southwest Missouri.
Before you sign a contract at a health club, the BBB
advises you to consider your needs and your budget:
• Determine your fitness goals. It’s hard work to
lose weight, and you need to find a program you can
stick with and preferably one that you enjoy. Find a
health club or exercise facility that is convenient and
that offers times that fit your schedule.
• Visit the facility before joining. Check on
cleanliness, adequacy of space, machines and
instructors and any other factors important to you.
Ask if you can try the facility out before you join.
• Consider your budget. Ask the health club about
“joining” or enrollment fees and ongoing monthly
costs. Does a weight loss plan require you to buy
special foods? Can you cancel if you move or find
that the program doesn’t meet your needs?
• Read the entire contract. Does it list all services
and facilities and hours of operation? Is everything
the salesperson promised included in the contract?
What’s included in the monthly fee and what will
cost you extra? What is the total cost, including
enrollment fees and finance charges?
• Joining and obtaining the full benefit from
a health club is commitment. You want to
spend your time focused on your weight loss
and exercise goals, not complaining”. Before
signing up, it is important to make sure the
gym is a good fit for you and your budget.
Before beginning an exercise program or diet, the
BBB advises consumers to consult a doctor for an
assessment of over-all health risks. Get the doctor’s
recommendations on weight-loss options and/or exercise
regimens that fit your health status and ability to stick