Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting the best out of your Gym membership!!

Welcome to world of information overload! 10 people, 10,000 opinions on what is right and what is not!! Prod them a little further, and they make you regret the moment you decided to ask them for details (!) – either by confusing you or offering unsolicited suggestions, since it worked for one of their clients / friends etc.
Being informed is the need of the hour, just to ensure that you can sift through the tonnes of information and make the right choice – that will suit you in all respects, and not just follow popular opinion.
And what better way to start, than understanding the essentials and the ‘workout card’– the piece of paper which can define your life in the short-term and the long-term.
But before that, there are two things that set apart good gyms from the not-so-good ones – a Fitness Test / Assessment and the PAR-Q form.

The Fitness test is a short non-invasive test usually to test your present fitness status under the 3 pillars of fitness – strength, stamina and suppleness. It is very important to design an exercise program so as to suit you and give you the desired results.

Next is the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) – which asks you for information about your contact information, age, gender, blood group, physical information, present physical activity level, past medical complications, current medications, vices, daily diet and nutritional status, family history of medical complications and other relevant information.
It is very important for any gym to have these details of each and every member – so as to design an effective exercise program, as well as a measure of safety and to avoid any legal obligations / complications.
You should also make sure that your Health club asks you to submit your doctor’s approval (Physician’s Release) in case you have any medical complications or are under any major treatment.

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