Resolve to Research Gyms Before Joining

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(Memphis) Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions.  However, if consumers sign a contract before reading the fine print, it can be costly for their wallet and their waistline.

Tichina Hearn starts nearly every day the same way.

"I try to work out at least four to five days a week. I do some of the classes, I run a lot and I do a lot of the weight training," says Hearn.

She's been a member of the Fogelman YMCA since 1997, and every year, at the start of the year, she watches new members come and go.

"Oh my God, it's so funny, every January you see the wave of people, the parking lot is packed and you hope they stay around."

Gyms run lots of membership specials in January which sound great if your resolution is to lose weight. But health experts say, it's not that simple.

Jerry Cato is the Program Manager and a personal trainer at Fogelman. He told News Channel 3, "You really have to make a commitment not only to yourself, but do you want to pay that for the rest of that term during that contract, so you have to be careful about that."

Experts say to ensure a gym is a good fit, visit during the hours you plan to work out.  Check on the equipment and ask about the staff's qualifications.  It's also imperative to get details about the contract.  Even better, take advantage of a free trial.

"Go in, get a guest pass, work out in the facility, see how it feels to you and that's important because if you don't like it, you're not going to stay there," adds Cato.

Something else to consider is your budget, you never want to join a gym and add a membership fee that you simply cannot afford.