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Different Types of Fitness Centers

There are several different types of fitness centers, and the fitness center that you decide to join should be the one that best provides the amenities you are seeking, offers a comfortable atmosphere, is ideally located, and is within your price range. Prior to choosing a fitness center, you should give some thought to determining the types of amenities required to facilitate your specific fitness goals.

Aerobic Centers:

Aerobic centers typically feature activities designed to focus on cardiovascular health and well-being. Aerobic centers generally offer a wide variety of classes associated with cardiovascular health, muscle toning and flexibility. This type of fitness center typically provides a wide variety of aerobic activities, with classes including traditional, step, dance, strength training and martial arts (kick boxing) styles.

In addition, many aerobic centers facilitate the use of several types of cardiovascular equipment (stationary bikes, treadmills, stair climbers and ellipticals).

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Yoga Centers:

Yoga centers and studios offer classes conducted by trained instructors and focus on techniques associated with deep breathing, mental and physical relaxation, and movements that are designed to increase flexibility and elongation of muscle tissue, ligaments and tendons. In addition, there are several types and styles of yoga that focus on developing overall body toning and structural strength.

One of the primary benefits of regularly performing a yoga class is to center, focus, and calm the mind. For this reason, many members of this type of fitness center partake in the practice of yoga solely for the benefits related to the mental aspects of relaxation and stress-relief that yoga provides.

Many yoga centers offer classes in the morning, afternoon and evening, so choosing a time to participate in a class is convenient and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

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Dance Centers:

Dance centers offer a variety of dance classes designed to teach the individual how to perform specific styles of dance. Dance allows the individual will improve their cardiovascular health, flexibility, structural strength, balance and coordination.

A dance center membership may be an excellent addition to an individual’s overall fitness routine. Many dance routines are very precise and require that the individual focus on the correct posture, movements and timing associated with the specific type of dance.

For many individuals, the mastery of a specific dance type is very motivating and provides a unique sense of accomplishment.

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Pilates Centers:
Pilates centers have increased in number over the last decade. This is due in part to the fact that Pilates is an excellent form of exercise that not only focuses on the physical aspects of good health, but the mental aspects as well.

There are seven main principles associated with the practice of Pilates:

1.     Proper Alignment

2.     Centering

3.     Concentration

4.     Control

5.     Precision

6.     Breathing

7.     Flowing movement

Pilates is an excellent form of exercise that can be practiced at varying levels of difficulty, thus allowing virtually anyone the ability to regularly participate in a class.

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Gyms:
Gyms typically focus on weight lifting and strength training. All gyms offer an extensive set of free weights, dumbbells and weight machines that are specifically designed to exercise, develop and strengthen the muscles. Although many gyms provide cardiovascular equipment and sometimes offer aerobic classes, the primary focus is on weight training.

This being said, most gyms have personal trainers and members that are very knowledgeable in the field of weight training and can provide guidance for the beginner.

Personal trainers and members can provide the beginner with information related to workout programs, dietary requirements and nutritional supplementation.

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Athletic Clubs:
Athletic centers or clubs provide a place for individuals to participate in virtually all of the amenities of a fitness center along with the ability to compete in a sport. Common sports activities include basketball, racquetball, squash and tennis. A member of an athletic club will have access to a wide range of activities, and hence the ability to choose the types of exercises and events to incorporate into their fitness routine. In addition, many athletic clubs provide an on-site restaurant/bar for their members.

Athletic clubs are typically more expensive to join than any other types of fitness centers. There are additional fees for many of the amenities that an athletic club provides (e.g. massage, tanning, sports apparel, etc.)

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Country Clubs:
Country clubs typically provide many of the amenities of a fitness center along with a golf course. For individuals that enjoy the game of golf, a country club may be the preferred path. In addition, many country clubs also include dining as well.

Most country clubs require that the member pay a yearly due to maintain their membership. However, members will typically have to pay an additional fee for many of the amenities that the country club offers. For example, members will have to pay a fee each time they play a round of golf, albeit a reduced fee when compared to a non-member. Hence, country clubs can be an expensive route for the individual that is on a tight budget.

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