Health Clubs Aren't Best

By: Rachel Pierce Email
By: Rachel Pierce Email

Whether it's the equipment, working out with other people, or the exercise classes that motivate you, you've got a lot of choices. Key is finding the right one for you.

Consumer Reports National Research Center just surveyed some 10-thousand online readers to find out which facilities are worth the money.

The respondents, who used a gym within the past six months, were asked about everything from classes to cleanliness to cost.

Bally Total Fitness, the chain with the lowest monthly fee, had among the lowest scores overall.

"And they were especially low when it came to cleanliness, locker rooms, and overcrowding." said Rosalind Tordesillas, Consumer Reports.

Much better was Curves fitness centers for women, though it only rated average in the survey.

"Their customers cited limited workout options and subpar locker rooms" said Tordesillas. "But women did like that the facilities were cleaner than most, with less crowding and shorter wait times."

In fact, most fitness chains in this report and lower scores than facilities at community centers, schools and YMCAs.

So which clubs tipped the scales? Independent studios that teach dance, yoga, and Pilates got top score for classes, cleanliness, and staff. You can expect to pay around $54 a month.

But you may need to look no further than your office for a good place to get in shape. Work gyms were among the top-rated workout facilities.

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