Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

gym1My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is to make healthier decisions; that means eating better, exercising more and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I know I’m in good company since many Americans also choose resolutions about health and wellness. In our noble efforts to improve our physical health, we need to be sure to guard our financial health as well.

Personal fitness is important, and joining gyms or fitness centers can be a key to better health. But when deciding to join a health club, it's important to make the right choice. Washington's health club law (RCW 19.142) covers most clubs. Our website has some tips to consider before signing up.

gym2The Better Business Bureau suggests tips to Get Smart Before Picking Up Dumbbells. Their workout wisdom includes:

  • Ensure the trainer is certified,
  • Try out a trainer before signing up,
  • Ask for client testimonials,
  • Ask about discounts, and
  • Read the contract carefully.

The BBB also warns Don’t Eat Up Bad Diet Advice. Lookout for dietitians and nutritionists who:

  • Do not extensively study medical and dietary histories before prescribing nutritional adjustments.
  • Rely heavily on complicated computer analyses or software to endorse expensive supplements.
  • Diagnose deficiencies based solely on hair analysis.
  • Advise adopting erratic eating habits to produce dramatic weight loss results.

Finally, the best way to guard your financial health is to regularly check your credit report. Order a free copy of your credit report from the only government-authorized website: www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. Other "free" credit report websites were designed to sell you products and services.

You are allowed one report yearly from each of the three major participating bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You may order all three at once. Or you may want to do your own monitoring by spacing them out (Order one from TransUnion now. Four months later, order one form Experian. Then four months after that, order an Equifax report.).

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