YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina

5 Reasons, Other Than Health, To Join A Gym

Published 03.28.17

If you’ve ever wondered why people join a gym, and actually looked into it like I did, you may be surprised by the outcome.

Until now, I was under the impression people only joined a gym to lose weight, get fit, or to get healthy. But this is only half of the story. Apparently, losing weight is the key reason to join for only 49 percent of the 52.9 million Americans, age six and older, who are health club members (according to the analysis of a 2015 consumer report of 10,778 online interviews by The International Health, Racquet and Sports club Association (IHRSA)—a global trade association serving the health and fitness industry.)

So, what are the other reasons people join?

My research (through Idea Fit) and an informal poll of members of the Wilmington Family YMCA highlighted the following three areas:

  1. Community
  2. Equipment and range of activities
  3. Location
  4. Expertise
  5. Happiness!


Community is a big part of joining a gym and is one of the key areas fostered by the Wilmington family YMCA. Social isolation can lead to serious health problems and it is so easy to form relationships in a supportive facility that is friendly. Y members enjoy the fellowship, or as one member put it…the good vibes!

Equipment and Activities

Good equipment and multiple activities are important for people to achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. The Wilmington Family YMCA has all this and more. With over 100 classes held at the Express Y and a growing schedule at the Midtown Y, there is something for everyone. We have swimming pools and offer many sports and recreation programs. We are also lucky to have a number of wellness programs to help people lead a healthier lifestyle.


We think about location when house hunting, but it is also a huge part of staying with a gym. The IHRSA research showed people tend to choose the closest club available and that they are more likely to quit if the location is not convenient. This is another area where the Wilmington Family YMCA has you covered. Until recently, the Express Y and the pools on Market Street had to work for everyone. Now, the Midtown Y (located adjacent to the new Pointe at Barclay development) is up and running to serve a growing population in the middle and south of the county.


We are trusting the experts when we join a gym. We don’t want to be sold to; we want to know how our health will benefit because our bodies are precious and we are trusting the instructors to have our best interests at heart. Members of the Y have endless praise for the knowledge and expertise of the instructors and coaches.


If we’re not happy, it’s difficult to stay healthy. A desire for happiness is what influences most buying decisions. When we join a gym, we imagine ourselves with a healthier body which will lead to greater satisfaction with life. Having a healthy body is important for peace of mind and self-esteem.

Let’s face it, happy people tend to create more happiness around them. As I sit here in the corner of the Express Y writing this article, I am surrounded by laughter, so I guess these members have definitely found their happy place!

For everyone else out there, just remember that joining a gym is much more than a recipe for losing weight and the Wilmington Family YMCA satisfies the other five criteria.

By Carole Wirszyla
Freelance Writer,
children’s picture book author and blogger

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