Have you been thinking about joining a gym? Don’t do it!! Here’s why…
I’ve belonged to multiple gyms over the past decade, so I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for what’s out there. And believe me, they’re not all created equal!
My husband and I recently toured the brand new VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa in Cypress, Texas (near Houston) and they sponsored this post. But they don’t call VillaSport a gym…
Because VillaSport is so much more, and simply labeling it a gym doesn’t do it justice. VillaSport is a fitness gym, neighborhood pool, basketball court, spa, and community center all wrapped up in one convenient campus.
Joining an athletic club like VillaSport is an investment that can make your family happier and healthier for years to come. Here’s why you should skip joining a bare bones gym and look for a full-service athletic club.
Joining a gym — 4 things to look for first
Below I share what to look for when joining a gym and what sets VillaSport apart from other facilities.
1. Does the staff love it?
One thing you’ll notice right away when you enter VillaSport are the people (staff). Everyone at VillaSport seemed genuinely happy to be there, and extremely knowledgeable in their area of expertise.
Ashlee, the group exercise director, was practically jumping up and down with excitement to get us in a demo class that afternoon. And Sarah, manager of VillaSpa, explained in detail how each of their treatments are tailored to meet your individual needs.
VillaSport takes a concierge approach to their members and guests, and it shows!
General Manager, Herb Lipsman emphasized that service is what makes VillaSport different. As he explained — shiny new facilities might draw members in, but it is the club’s people that keep them coming back. (Herb has spent over 25 years designing and managing some of the most exclusive clubs in the US, so he definitely knows his stuff!)
I’ve belonged to gyms in the past where the front desk staff never appeared to recognize me or remember my name…even though I went to the gym every single day. It felt weird seeing the same people day in and day out, yet they never bothered to get to know me!
Always look for a club that goes one step beyond just signing you up and checking you in. It changes the whole experience!
2. Do they offer childcare?
When I talk to other moms, the number one reason they give for not being able to work out is they have no one to watch their kids.
If a gym doesn’t offer child care, or you have to find someone to babysit while you work out, how likely are you to go?
A gym membership doesn’t do much good if you can’t actually use it!
That’s why one of the most important things to look for when joining a gym is on-site childcare.
VillaSport offers up members’s children (ages 6 months to 12 years) up to 2 hours a day complementary time at their VillaKids facilities. VillaKids is a fully-supervised part of the club, divided into areas for specific age ranges, where kids can play and make friends while mom and dad work out.
VillaKids program is more than a day care — they have weekly themes and activities so kids will actually want to go.
And get this — VillaKids offers “parents night out” on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-10pm. This is a drop-off service so parents can enjoy a night out together, knowing kids are safe — need to hire a babysitter! That alone pays for itself!
3. Are the locker rooms inviting?
I like to shower up before I head home, so spotless locker room facilities are one of my top priorities. Nothing is worse then feeling like you have to tiptoe around a dirty gym bathroom! (If you ever come across a gym with yucky bathrooms, run far, far away!)
VillaSport offers 3 locker room facilities: mens, women, and family. Not only are they immaculately clean, but they’re inviting! With plush armchairs, fluffy white towels, and big screen TVs it feels like you’re in a spa (because you are!)
The family locker room is especially neat because it is a place where parents can take their kids (under 12) to shower and change safely. No adults are allowed in this area unless they are accompanying a child.
There’s also a room for nursing mothers (something I would have definitely looked for a couple years ago!)
4. Is there a sense of community?
When you join a bare bones gym, it’s just a place you go to exercise, sweat, and get out of there as quickly as possible.
VillaSport is designed to be a place that the whole family can come, stay, and play. It’s almost like a mini vacation!
Here are just a few of the amenities at VillaSport that caught my eye:
- Aquatic facility with indoor/outdoor recreational pools, lap pools, and whirlpools
- Full service spa
- Cafe and poolside bar
- Fitness center with over state of the art 120 cardio machines
- NBA-regulation basketball court and kids court
- Over 100 fitness classes a week
- Mens & womens steam room and sauna
Seriously, why would you ever want to leave?!
I can totally see our family spending a whole day there every week — myself and my husband hitting the fitness center upstairs while the girls enjoy the playground at VillaSport Kids. Then we could all meet up for a swim in either the indoor or outdoor pool (depending on the fickle Texas weather).
The more reasons you have to go to a club, the more likely you are to use it!
Don’t join a gym…
…find a community!
Look a place where the whole family can go to exercise, play, and relax.
Do you get excited when you walk in the door? Do you look forward to your next visit?
That’s how I felt when I visited VillaSport!
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