First, a gym is far cheaper than a health club due to its more limited options. If working with machinery and weights is what you want from a club, and you just want to get in, workout with or without a trainer, and get out, a gym is the right place for you.
If a wider variety of gym equipment, sports, spas, swimming pools and social activities is more to your liking then a health club is the better option. A large variety of classes are often included in the price of membership. Luxuries like towel service and free shampoo and body washes in the locker rooms are common. Bear in mind there are often joining fees for health clubs, and expect to pay upwards of two to three thousand dollars a year for a family membership, as opposed to a few hundred a year for a single membership to a gym. But extended hour day care are often large and varied (including jungle gyms) and health clubs include many children’s activities from special exercise classes to swim and tennis lessons, and social clubs and birthday parties for their smallest of members.
Daycare is normally free with family memberships and parents can often avail of them for two or three hours per day. Health clubs for those without children are also a good option, again if a high variety of sports and workouts is wanted, as well as social events. Expect to pay upwards of a thousand dollars per year for a good club.
Lastly, a short, free membership is often available to either a health club or a gym. From a few days to one week, they can be enjoyed free of charge before membership becomes mandatory. Consider doing this at both a gym and a health club to see which is the right fit for you and before you commit to what could be an expensive agreement.
Are you a member in a gym or health club? What do you like or dislike about your membership? Have you joined and then found yourself not going like you thought you would?