Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fitness Fusion Pumps Up The Extras For The Time-Crunched

“As more Canadians consider tightening their belts instead of their buttocks, gyms are getting creative in their appeal to the underfinanced and overscheduled. With an eye to giving exercisers the most bang for their buck - not to mention their time - fitness centres across the country are marrying traditional workouts with other popular leisure activities. Casino vultures can now play blackjack while cycling. Singles can save time - and money for outfits for a night on the town - during sessions that combine circuit training and speed dating. Video game fans mix body-toning business with pleasure at Wii workout stations, while conventional gamers play Monopoly during interactive spin classes. And in la belle province, push-ups are followed by pedicures at women's gyms that double as spas. Forget mere exercise. It's all about the extras. ‘We combine and collapse activities so that we believe we can control that most fleeting and sought-after commodity - time.’ Chief among these multi-tasking marriages, which Blank says nurture our ‘attention-deficit behaviours,’ is the fusion of physical and sexual health. Calgary's Heavens Elevated Fitness, for example, offers strippercize. Arcadia Fitness in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, offers ‘sensual exercises’ that include pole dancing, striptease and lap-dance lessons. And Toronto's Extreme Fitness hosts ‘sexy Pilates’ classes to make couples more limber, as well as speed-dating events that incorporate circuit-training.In the U.S., the flagging economy has triggered the first nationwide decrease in gym memberships in more than a decade, according to a report by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Canadian fitness centres could avoid a similar fate by updating their offerings to suit people's evolving needs - much the way bowling allies came to recognize people were coming for the sport but staying for the snacks and socializing, says UVic's Blank. ‘Even with the financial crisis, a lot of people realize that yeah, a gym membership costs money but they're maintaining it because it's their one outlet for stress relief,’ says Jacque Walters, vice-president of group fitness for Extreme Fitness. ‘It's no longer all about just coming in, doing your high-impact (exercise) and going out again," she said. ‘We're affecting people's lifestyles much more intimately.’”


1 comment:

gillberk said...

Many people complain that they do not have time to maintain their fitness. This is often accompanied by the many things that they must do each day. While it is true that there are many people in the world that rarely have time to do things because of a tight schedule, it is not impossible for these people to find the time for fitness.Washing clothes, dishes and dusting all areas of the home are wonderful ways to increase your physical activity and reap the benefits of a sound physical workout.