Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Too Few Cancer Survivors Pursue Healthy Lifestyles

“’Cancer survivors who eat more fruits and vegetables, stay physically active and avoid tobacco have a higher quality of life than those who don't do these things. The bad news is that many cancer survivors aren't eating right and aren't exercising enough, although a good three-quarters do follow recommendations not to light up. ‘We all know that living a healthy lifestyle, eating well, being physically active and not smoking reduces the risk of physical problems and improves overall physical health,’ said Kevin Stein, director of Quality of Life Research at the American Cancer Society's Behavioral Research Center. ‘Here we have additional evidence that it not only reduces disease burden but also improves emotional health and quality of life and, moreover, the effect appears to be cumulative. The more you comply, the better your quality of life.’”

Cybex Launches New Website

“Cybex International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for the commercial and consumer markets, announced today that the Company has launched a new website. The site went live on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 and can be viewed at The CYBEX website now offers more extensive information presented in a way that is easier to navigate. John Aglialoro, CYBEX Chairman and CEO, stated, ‘In 2008, a company’s website is the core of its communication – internally and externally. It defines a company’s message and enunciates who that company is. CYBEX is about fitness and the healthier world that results because of the superior products we make.’ Joan Carter, CYBEX Board Vice Chair, stated, ‘Our industry is driven not only by technology and innovation in fitness products, but also through more knowledgeable customers who want immediate access to information about those products. The new website offers more resources and greater detail on our extensive array of fitness equipment and brings to life our message that CYBEX products are scientifically engineered to produce better results.’”

Sportwall's XerDance(TM) a Solution to Inactivity

“Kids may have given up the playground for the PlayStation®, but the Arena Club in Bel Air, Maryland, is turning the problem into the solution, according to Sportwall International Inc. The Arena Club is the first fitness club in the nation to offer Sportwall’s XerDance™, a multiplayer version of the popular Pump It Up Pro® arcade dance game, which is specifically designed for health and fitness clubs, as well as schools and medical rehab facilities. The XerDance™ system was first introduced in the UK and Europe, where demand has been very high. It made its U.S. debut at International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) 27th Annual International Convention & Trade Show in March 2008.”,372092.shtml

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Exercise-Heart Study Casts Doubt on 'Fit but Fat' Theory

“New research challenges the notion that you can be fat and fit, finding that being active can lower but not eliminate heart risks faced by heavy women. ‘It doesn't take away the risk entirely. Weight still matters,’ said Dr. Martha Gulati, a heart specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Previous research has gone back and forth on whether exercise or weight has a greater influence on heart disease risks. The new study involving nearly 39,000 women helps sort out the combined effects of physical activity and body mass on women's chances of developing heart disease, said Gulati, who wasn't involved in the research. The study by Harvard-affiliated researchers appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.”

Gyms Just for Teens

“Many commercial gyms offer memberships to teens, and children ages 6 to 17 are the second-fastest growing demographic of health club members, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Assn. But the teens themselves aren't sure that's where they want to be. Enter teen-centric gyms. Beginning to sprout on the nation's fitness landscape, they cater specifically to a younger crowd, offering more constant supervision, more video and game-related equipment and less of an age mix than traditional gyms. ‘The larger commercial gyms are trying to make [teens] feel more comfortable,’ says Joe Moore, IHRSA's president and chief executive. ‘Some have an adult area and a teen area and a family area.’ Why court this demographic? ‘More parents want their children to be exercising and watching their weight,’ he says. And, he adds, ‘the younger a person starts, the more they're likely to be a member for a long time.’”,1,2448182.story

You Name It, and Exercise Helps It

“The single thing that comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits, is exercise,” Frank Hu, epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in the Harvard Magazine.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pre-Pregnancy Diabetes Rates Have Doubled

“The number of women starting their pregnancies with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has doubled since 1999, but rates of gestational diabetes have stayed the same, new research finds. In some age groups, the results were even worse. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente found that the number of teenagers who had diabetes before birth jumped fivefold. ‘It's important to recognize with the increase in overweight and obesity, more women than ever will be entering their reproductive years with diabetes,’ said study author Jean Lawrence, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, in Bellflower, Calif. And, she added, ‘having diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage early in pregnancy and the risk of stillbirth later in pregnancy. It also increases the chances of having a baby with birth defects, and it may result in larger babies and more difficult deliveries.’ Results of the study are published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.”

Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call

Town Sports International (TSI) (NASDAQ: CLUB), a leading owner and operator of health clubs, will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss first quarter 2008 financial results on Thursday, May 1, 2008, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This call is being web cast by Thomson/CCBN and can be accessed at TSI's Web site at, in the ‘investor relations’ section.,367851.shtml

Boot Camp Fitness Programs Are Delivering Message Loud and Clear

“Nationally, there's been a boom in boot camps. According to a survey by the trade group International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, 955 out its 3,306 clubs offered fitness boot camps. What accounts for the sudden emergence of this militaristic exercise as a fitness regimen? ‘There's a certain element of getting back to the basics and a more functional approach,’ says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit fitness organization. ‘People are looking for different experiences. With boot camps, you're giving them something outside the traditional club environment.’”

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heavily Marketed Kids' Cereals Are Least Healthy

“Breakfast cereals for children are less healthy than cereals meant for adults, and those marketed the most aggressively to kids have the worst nutritional quality, according to a new analysis of 161 brands. ‘The cereal the parent is eating him or herself is probably better than what they're feeding their child,’ Dr. Marlene B. Schwartz of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters Health. Schwartz and her colleagues also found that health claims made for kids' cereals were often misleading. Cereals sold as ‘low fat’ or ‘low sugar’ were not lower in calories, as parents might assume, and while brands touted as ‘whole grain’ did have more fiber, they had just as much salt, sugar and fat as other brands and the same calorie content.”

Babies of Heavy Mothers Have More Fat, Less Muscle

“Babies born to overweight or obese women have more fat and less muscle than infants born to normal-weight moms, according to one of the first studies to compare newborns' body composition to their mothers' pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). Obesity is on the rise among pregnant women, while more and more North American and European infants weigh 4,000 grams (8 pounds 13 ounces) or more at birth, Dr. David A. Fields of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma and colleagues Fields and his team note in their report in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. These unusually heavy infants are more likely to grow up to be obese. Body weight alone, however, doesn't provide a clear picture of infant growth and health, the researchers add; both low and high birth weight have been tied to an increased risk of diabetes and other conditions in adulthood.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Factors in Cancer Death Rates Stay Stagnant

“The factors behind cancer death rates seem to have stagnated, a new report shows, as the smoking prevention and mammography screening efforts that fueled recent declines in cancer deaths appear to have leveled off. ‘We've run into plateaus in terms of people smoking and getting necessary screening. The next big barrier is the obesity epidemic,’ said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La.”

Exercise May Reduce Risk of Preterm Birth

“Women who are physically active during pregnancy may lower their chances of delivering prematurely, according to findings from a Danish study. Using the Danish National Birth Cohort database, Mette Juhl, of the National Institute of Public Health, in Copenhagen, and colleagues analyzed physical activity information reported by 87,232 pregnant women between 1996 and 2002. Overall, about one-third of the women said they participated in physical exercise, such as swimming, or low-impact leisure time activity such as aerobics, dancing, walking or hiking, bicycling, and yoga during early pregnancy. Most of these women engaged in such activities for 1 to 2 hours per week, and somewhat fewer reported the same during later pregnancy, the investigators note.”

First Comprehensive Study Into The Health Of Europe's Teens Reveals Concerning Trends

“After three years of work, the EU funded research programme HELENA has revealed its initial results. It concludes that amongst European adolescents, approximately 27% of males and 20% of females are either overweight or obese. It also reveals for the first time at European level, food intake and physical activity patterns for adolescents. The Helena Study was conceived to understand and effectively enhance nutritional and lifestyle habits of 13 to 17 year old adolescents in Europe because healthy (or unhealthy) life-long habits find their routes during this crucial period in life and the number of overweight or obese children in the EU is rising by about 400 000 each year. On the announcement of the HELENA findings at an International Symposium in Granada, Spain, Project Coordinator Professor Luis Moreno explains ‘The HELENA Study provides us with the most complete picture ever gathered in Europe about the nutritional status and behaviour as well as the fitness and physical activity patterns of 3000 adolescents from 13 to 17 years old. It is the first time we will have a reliable picture of the situation, analysed using a common methodology across the ten EU countries. This information will enable us to develop effective recommendations for the future.’”

Obesity, Inactivity As Common Among Cancer Survivors As Rest Of Canadians

“New research supported by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that many cancer survivors in Canada are overweight and inactive, which could put them at risk for health problems, including their cancer returning. ‘These findings tell us that we need to look at ways to better support cancer survivors to become more active and to maintain a healthy body weight,’ says Dr. Kerry Courneya, professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and affiliated scientist with the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation. ‘We know that physical inactivity and obesity are risk factors for developing cancer. These are also risk factors for the recurrence of cancer. Lifestyle is just as important after diagnosis.’”

Moderately To Severely Obese Elderly Run Significant Risk Of Disability And Dependence On Long-Term Care Services

Silver&Fit Offers Yoga to Members Through Alliance With YogaFit

“American Specialty Health (ASH), a leading personal health improvement organization, announced that it will begin offering yoga to its Silver&Fit(r) healthy aging program members through an alliance with YogaFit(r), the largest yoga fitness education school in North America. Silver&Fit, a subsidiary of ASH, is an exercise and healthy aging program for seniors that provides access to fitness club memberships, home fitness programs, internet tools, and reward programs. YogaFit was developed in 1994 by Beth Shaw. Taught by YogaFit-trained instructors with in-depth experience and skills in both yoga and fitness, the YogaFit method is the only nationally recognized CEC provider for the American Council on Exercise and New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs, and Philadelphia Sports Clubs. YogaFit has also been a member of the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association since 1997. Team YogaFit has 40 national Master Trainers currently.”

Cybex International Announces Date and Conference Call for First Quarter 2008 Earnings Results

Cybex International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBI), a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for the commercial and consumer markets, will discuss its first quarter ended March 29, 2008 in a conference call on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. ET. The Company plans to release earnings that same day.

Nautilus, Inc. Announces Closing of Pearl iZumi USA Sale to Shimano American Corporation

Heart Disease Risks Hit Boys in Teens

“The first signs that men are at higher risk of heart disease than women appear during the adolescent years, according a new study that tracked boys and girls through their teens. ‘This is not what we would have predicted,’ said Dr. Antoinette Moran, chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, and lead author of the report in the April 22 issue of Circulation. ‘Because boys lose fat and gain muscle in adolescence, while girls add body fat.’ One possible lesson of the study is that it is never too early to start protective measures against heart disease, said Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, chairman of the department of pediatrics at the University of Colorado. ‘Studies have used autopsies of young people who died in accidents to show that by the late teens, the kind of lesions we know cause heart attacks and strokes are in the process of developing,’ Daniels said. ‘So, in some ways, our best opportunity to prevent heart disease is to look at children and adolescents and start the preventive process early.’ Fighting obesity in the years before adulthood is essential, he said. ‘Some changes that occur may be due to what is built into the difference between the sexes,’ he said. ‘But if you add overweight and obesity, you can increase risk through that mechanism.’”

Eating Disorders May Be Contagious

“A study in US high school students provides additional evidence that eating disorders may be contagious. In a study, researchers found that binging, fasting, diet pill use and other eating disorder symptoms clustered within counties, particularly among female students. ‘These findings confirm the strong social influences on female adolescents in the US to be thin, sometimes using unhealthy behaviors to achieve this goal,’ the researchers write in the current issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. While the study wasn't designed to look at why these behaviors might be clustering in certain counties, the researchers suggest that peer pressure, information sharing or students modeling their behavior on one another are possible mechanisms. Based on their results, the researchers think it may be more effective to target eating disorder prevention efforts to counties or schools where they are more common, rather than individual students.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Whisk Those Blues Away - Study finds 20 minutes of activity a week, including housework, is good for mental health

“Scrubbing the tub and other forms of housework may clean your house and boost your mood. In fact, as little as 20 minutes of any kind of physical activity a week helped mental health, although the more vigorous the activity, the greater the benefit, said the authors of a study published online Thursday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. ‘There's such a pervasive feeling in this country that, if there's a problem, there's always a pill to fix it," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. ‘This study is just reminding us that it doesn't take much to actually have an effect even on your mood.’ The physical benefits of exercise are well known: It reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and even some cancers, among other things.”

More Changes At 24 Hour

“After sweeping changes were made in January at 24 Hour Fitness, including the departure of the company’s founder, Mark Mastrov, 24 Hour recently announced more personnel moves. Chief Financial Officer Colin Heggie has been named president of California Fitness in Asia, reporting to CEO Carl Liebert. Heggie replaces Steve Clinefelter, who announced his retirement effective this summer and will return home to the United States with his family. The new chief financial officer is Jeffrey Boyer, who joins 24 Hour from Michaels Stores Inc., where he served five years as president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining Michaels, Boyer held senior financial positions with a number of retailers and consumer product companies.

Aerobic Exercise Keeps You Young

British study found it shaved 10 to 12 years off biological age

“A person who maintains aerobic fitness may delay biological aging by up to 12 years, a new analysis shows. Jogging and other types of aerobic exercise improve the body's oxygen consumption and its use in generating energy (metabolism). However, a steady decline in maximal aerobic power begins in middle age, decreasing about 5 ml/ (kg. min) every decade, according to the information in the analysis. When maximal aerobic power falls below about 18 ml in men and 15 ml in women, it becomes difficult to do any activity without experiencing major fatigue. A typical 60-year-old sedentary man has a maximal aerobic power of about 25 ml, nearly half of what it was at age 20. But research shows that a long period of relatively high-intensity aerobic exercise can increase maximal aerobic power by 25 percent (about 6 ml), which equals 10 to 12 biological years. The analysis was published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Two Hours PE for All Kids to Beat Obesity-UK

“PLANS were unveiled today to make schoolchildren do at least two hours of PE a week to help tackle Liverpool’s obesity crisis. Health experts also want to make sure youngsters have the chance to do a further three hours of physical activity a week outside school. They laid down the three-year target today as part of a wide-ranging plan to improve a problem which costs the NHS in Liverpool £5m a year.”

McDonald's Praised for Healthier Vision-New Zealand

Politicians considering tougher anti-obesity laws found themselves congratulating fast-food giant McDonald's yesterday for its health drive. McDonald's bosses drew the compliments during an appearance before a select committee hearing submissions on the Public Health Bill, which provides new ways for the Cabinet or Director-General of Health to act against suspected causes of obesity. McDonald's was preceded yesterday by health sector groups who urged MPs to use the bill's new powers with courage and urgency. McDonald's managing director Mark Hawthorne then told MPs the hamburger chain broadly backed the bill but opposed potential new regulatory powers within it. He revealed that 20 per cent of the company's total sales in New Zealand now involved items from its ‘lighter choices’ selection of healthier foods such as salads and fruit. A $1 million change in the cooking oil used by McDonald's had cut saturated fat levels by 83 per cent, he said, and the amount of sugar in hamburger buns had been reduced by 40 per cent.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

True Fitness Hires LMS for Transportation Management Services

New York Sports Clubs Opens on 86th Street in Brooklyn

Fiserv to Release First Quarter 2008 Earnings and Host Webcast on April 30, 2008

Fiserv to Release First Quarter 2008 Earnings and Host Webcast on April 30, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes Self-Care Challenging for Teens

“Young people with type 2 diabetes struggle to maintain healthy eating habits and to get enough exercise, with non-white teens appearing to have a particularly tough time, according to what the researchers call the most comprehensive study to date of self-care among adolescents with the disease. ‘The concern is that while they're reporting some good self-management behaviors, they're also reporting a lot of not-so-good self-management behaviors and a lot of stress and other barriers to really performing good self management,’ Dr. Russell L. Rothman of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. Rothman and his colleagues surveyed 103 individuals 12 to 21 years old with type 2 diabetes. More than 80 percent said they took their recommended medications at least 75 percent of the time, 59 percent reported checking their blood glucose more than twice a day, and over 70 percent exercised twice or more every week.”

Equinox Refreshes Site With Life Tools

“Equinox has re-launched its Web site with an eye toward extending its ties to customers beyond the time they spend in its gyms. As part of the new, members can access tools that enable them to book exercise bikes, set workout goals and manage their training plans. They can even download the playlists used during their classes via Apple's iTunes online music store. The premise of the new site is to fuse Equinox's online presence with that of its gyms, which justify their high price points through service, design and integration with patrons' lifestyles, said David Geller, vp of marketing at Equinox. ‘We wanted the site to be a daily destination for our members and a source where they could harness their personal and fitness lives,’ he said.”

A Month of Exercise Helps Ease Heart Failure

“Just four weeks of moderate exercise is enough to boost the cardiac performance and breathing capacity of patients with heart failure, a new study finds. This slightly more strenuous exercise program- in standard use in Europe for people with heart failure- works at least as well as the less intense American regimen, the researchers noted. They presented the findings Tuesday at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego. In heart failure, the heart progressively loses the ability to pump blood. In the United States, doctors typically recommend three-times-a-week exercise sessions for eight to 12 weeks to help ease the condition, noted study author Stephen F. Crouse, a professor of kinesiology and internal medicine at Texas A&M University, in College Station.”

Monday, April 7, 2008

Walking Speed May Predict Stroke Risk

“An older woman's walking speed may help predict her risk of suffering stroke, over and above traditional risk factors, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among 13,000 postmenopausal women, those with the slowest walking speeds were 69 percent more likely to suffer a stroke over the next five years than women with the quickest gait. Even when the researchers excluded women with health conditions that might slow their walking speed, the higher stroke risk persisted. Traditional stroke risk factors- like diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking - did not explain away the link between walking speed and stroke. ‘This research has shown that slow walking speed is a predictor of ischemic stroke independent of known stroke risk factors,’ said lead researcher Dr. Aileen McGinn, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.”

'Freshman 15' Theory Takes a Pounding

Research shows weight gain during first year at college far less than thought

“Looks like the infamous "Freshman 15" is more realistically the ‘Freshman 5.’ A new study of 36 freshmen at Auburn University in Alabama found an average gain of 1.9 pounds during the first semester of the first year at college and an average gain of 4.8 pounds for the entire year. Men gained an average of 5.4 pounds, and women gained an average of 3.2 pounds. Alabama has the third-highest rate of adult obesity in the country (29.4 percent) and the 11th-highest rate of overweight youth (16.7), according to the latest report from Trust for America's Health.”

Fiserv Banks on a Return To Core Services for Growth

“While the major banks' earnings sputter from the big write-downs of the credit crisis, those of Fiserv, a company that provides technology to many of them, are on the rise. The Brookfield, Wis., company- the product of more than 100 acquisitions- supplies systems and services that are the backbone of basic banking. Its technology is used to electronically post checks, open new checking and savings accounts and track loans. And Fiserv's most recent purchase, of CheckFree for $4.4 billion, gives it entree into the electronic bank payments business. Yet because banks are its main clients, Fiserv (FISV) has seen shares tumble about 20% since last summer to a recent $51.53.”

David Lloyd Leisure Selects Trintech's ReconNET for Bank Reconciliation

Brunswick's Earnings Call Scheduled

“Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) will release its first quarter 2008 financial results on Thursday, April 24, 2008, before the market opens. The company will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. CDT that same day, hosted by Dustan E. McCoy, chairman and chief executive officer, Peter G. Leemputte, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Kathryn J. Chieger, vice president - corporate and investor relations. The call will be broadcast over the Internet at To listen to the call, go to the Web site at least 15 minutes before the call to register, download and install any needed audio software”

Despite Members' Sweat Equity,Gym Fails

“Not only the staff, but even the members of HealthFit, an independent health club in Needham, struggled to make sure the gym did not go under without a fight. Members rallied to the club, gathering more than $80,000 in pledges and donations to help save the business. But now, the fight is over. On Wednesday, the health club's owners sent a mass e-mail to all 650 members, announcing that night would be its last. The message brought to a sad end a whirlwind three weeks, during which members became front-desk volunteers, consoling confidantes, and potential investors, trying to bail out husband and wife co-owners John Atwood and Beth Wald as they struggled to pay off the gym's debt in a tumultuous economy. The way the gym's membership banded together exemplified the loyalty people feel for their health clubs, places they view as key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and where they are comfortable, according to Rosemary Lavery, spokeswoman for the Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ‘There's a natural affection and loyalty and gratitude to them for making such a difference in people's lives in the here and now,’ Lavery said of health clubs.”

Health Tip: Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar During Exercise

Ultra-Marathoners Should Hydrate Early

“Runners who take part in day-long ‘ultra- marathons’ experience much of their fluid loss in the first 8 hours of the race -- pointing to the importance of staying hydrated early on, a study has found. Ultra-marathons last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, and although runners can rest, eat and drink when they need to, they are at high risk of becoming seriously dehydrated. In the new study, researchers in Taiwan repeatedly weighed 52 ultra- marathoners over the course their race, which was either a 12- or 24- hour event. They found that, on average, runners in the 12-hour marathon lost nearly 3 percent of their body weight. In the 24-hour group, the average weight loss was 5 percent, according to findings published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.”

Early-Onset Obesity In Father Linked To Increased Potential For Liver Disease In Child

“A history of early-onset paternal obesity increases the odds of elevated liver enzyme levels in offspring and points to the potential for a genetic link between obesity and liver disease, according to a study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. This new study found that participants with paternal early-onset obesity had higher serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels than those without paternal obesity. These results showed that children with fathers who were defined as clinically obese at an early age were more likely to have increased liver enzyme levels, an indicator of liver disease. A secondary analysis, excluding obese offspring, produced a strengthened connection between paternal early-onset obesity and elevated serum ALT levels, demonstrating that the link between obesity in the father and elevated serum ALT levels in the offspring is independent of the child's body mass index (BMI) and persists among non-obese children. No relationship between maternal early-onset obesity and ALT levels was found.”

Lack Of Exercise When Young May Lead To Heart Disease

“Lack of physical activity and fitness as a child can lead to an increased risk of heart disease according to new research. Robert McMurray and his team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown for the first time that heart disease factors, known collectively as metabolic syndrome in teenagers are influenced by a child's level of fitness and physical activity. Evidence of metabolic syndrome includes diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. ‘Many metabolic syndrome factors develop at an early age, before adolescence,’ explained McMurray. ‘Being able to determine which youth are at high metabolic syndrome risk is thus beneficial when considering methods of prevention. We've found that low levels of childhood physical activity and aerobic fitness are associated with metabolic syndrome in adolescents, so efforts need to begin early in childhood to increase exercise."

Boomers' Retirement Means Big Business

“Health clubs are seeing a major boom as the population ages. The number of gym members older than 55 reached 8.5 million in 2006, more than five times what it was in 1987, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. ‘Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic of health-club members,’ spokeswoman Rosemary Lavery said. ‘As they age, they are focused on staying healthy, active and in control of their lives.’ Of course, the generation that elevated youth culture with phrases like “don't trust anyone over 30” perceives itself as forever young, even as it gains an AARP membership. That means health clubs - or any business for that matter - must avoid offending that perception to attract baby boomers. ‘Marketing by implication will be the rule’ without using terms like ‘mature’ and ‘senior,’ the sportsclub group said in a 2004 advisory report.”

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Power Plate Appoints Industry Veteran Kevin D. Steele, PhD as Chairman of Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

Press Release

Obesity During Pregnancy Carries Bigger Price Tag

“It is well-known that obesity increases the chances of medical complications during pregnancy, but now a new study shows it also puts a financial strain on the health-care system. Obese women who are pregnant tend to have longer hospital stays, require more medications, and spend more time with their doctors than normal-weight women do. Much of this is due to complications such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia and Caesarean deliveries, researchers find. ‘Right now, about one in five women in the United States who deliver babies are obese,’ said lead researcher Susan Y. Chu, a senior epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘Given that there are about 4 million births in the United States each year, that translates to almost 1 million obese women giving birth.’”

Shape Up, Week 10: Lots of Great 'Losers'

“I Lost it at the Club was an eight-week motivational weight loss program, coordinated by the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association. In Bend, a total of 156 individuals participated, and together, participants lost 346 pounds and 168 inches. Participants received activity cards and motivational emails and classes full of ideas and tips. The winner lost 24 pounds in 8eightweeks, and another member gained 15 pounds of muscle and lost seven pounds of fat in eight weeks.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Walkable Towns Curb Obesity, Pollution, Expert Says

Walkable Towns Curb Obesity, Pollution, Expert Says

Anytime Fitness Clubs in Medica Service Area are Now Part of Fit Choices(SM) by Medica Network“Effective April 1, 2008, Medica members throughout Medica’s service area will have additional facilities at which to improve their health and save money. All Anytime Fitness club franchises in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota -- 115 in total -- now are available to Fit Choices by Medica participants. Fit Choices by Medica, the first program of its kind in Minnesota, is designed to help members improve their health and save membership and health care dollars. Medica members who participate in Fit Choices get a $20 monthly membership credit just for exercising at an Anytime Fitness location eight or more days per month. Medica members with questions about the Fit Choices program should contact Medica customer service at the phone number on the back of their Medica ID cards.”

Overweight Kids Need Less Intensive Exercise For Effective Weight Loss, Study Suggests

“Overweight kids are better off doing less intensive exercise if they are to shed the pounds effectively, suggests a study of pubescent boys, published of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers assessed the rate at which fat was burned (fat oxidation) during graded leg cycling exercises in thirty 12 year old boys, 17 of whom were obese. The others were lean and healthy. The intensity of the exercises increased every 3.5 minutes, with the aim of finding the level of exercise intensity required to burn off the most fat, known as the ‘Fat Max.’

Exercise Delays Huntington's Disease in Mice

“Exercise delayed the symptoms of Huntington's disease in mice genetically engineered to develop the brain disease, and may offer some small hope to people who know they will develop it, researchers said on Tuesday. They said the combination of exercise and other environmental stimulation may help slow the onset of the genetic disease, which has no cure and is always fatal. And their findings, published in the journal BioMed Central Neuroscience, might offer ways to treat other brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's, they said. Huntington's disease affects up to one person in every 10,000. Children of people with the disease have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the faulty gene that causes it, and if they get the gene, they will develop Huntington's.”

Rx for Good Health: Exercise

“It's no secret: the country is in the middle of an obesity epidemic that affects young and old, men and women. While it seems that much attention has been paid to eating healthier, diet alone isn't the answer; exercise has to be part of the equation. But, getting the message out that we can't be a nation of couch potatoes has proven to be a more difficult proposition. ‘While most people — eight out of 10 — will agree that exercise is important for health and wellness, only two [out of 10] say they are exercising regularly,’ said Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, speaking in a phone interview from San Diego. That boils down to only 20 percent of us willing to make exercise part of our lifestyle, according to the experts. Women are doing a little bit better at that than men if we take a look at gym club memberships, for example. In 2006, women represented about 53 percent of the memberships, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. They are the overwhelming majority in aerobics, yoga, Pilates and cardio-kickboxing classes, and using ab machines, elliptical trainers, treadmills and stretching at the gym, according to IHRSA research.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Polar, Virgin HealthMiles Partnership Adds Heart Rate Tracking to Employee Health Incentive Program

“Polar, the leader in heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technology, and Virgin HealthMiles, a cutting-edge health incentive rewards program that connects health clubs, health care and corporations by motivating consumers to take greater control of their health and fitness, announced an innovative partnership today that will allow members to step up their fitness level by incorporating the benefits of heart rate monitoring into their workouts and increasing the opportunity to earn even greater rewards. The program is one of the first to ensure efficient and measurable exercise routines through heart rate monitoring across a wide variety of activities. HealthMiles is offered by insurers, employers and other network partners in an effort to motivate Americans to live more active lives - and ultimately lower obesity rates and health care costs for everyone.”

Normal Weight Doesn't Always Equal Healthy Weight

“Despite appearances to the contrary, more than half of normal-weight Americans have a high percentage of body fat. And, like their overweight contemporaries, this makes them susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, a new study says. Men whose body fat is greater than 20 percent and women whose body fat is greater than 30 percent are suffering from ‘normal weight obesity,’ the study authors said, even though their weight may be normal for their size. These findings should alert doctors that body weight isn't the only way to protect against health problems caused by excess pounds, Lopez-Jimenez said. Even normal-weight people should be advised to exercise and eat a healthful diet to reduce their level of fat, especially belly fat, he added. The findings were expected to be presented Tuesday at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting, in Chicago.”

Parthenon Capital Invests in Captive Media Holdings (dba Health Club Panel Network)

“Parthenon Capital, a private equity firm with offices in Boston and San Francisco, announced today a significant investment in Captive Media Holdings, the largest provider of advertising and marketing opportunities to national brands through US health clubs. Captive’s management team and its operations and sales staff will be remaining with the company. Captive reaches about 7 in every 10 health club members in the 20 largest media markets in the US and its network encompasses nearly 3,000 health clubs nationwide. The company offers its customers a full spectrum of advertising and marketing services designed to reach the fitness club audience, including digital advertising, print indoor billboards, and more tailored coupon and sampling programs. Captive Media is also known by its trade name Health Club Panel Network.”

Athletes Performance and Power Plate North America Expand Scope of Exclusive Partnership with Five-year Extension

“Athletes’ Performance, recognized as an industry leader offering the highest level of integrated performance training, performance physical therapy and the most fully integrated training system in the world and Power Plate North America, the global leader in whole body vibration training products featuring advanced vibration technology, announced today a five-year extension to the strategic partnership that began in 2005.
The agreement extends Power Plate’s position as an Elite Performance Partner and the Official Whole Body Vibration Provider for Athletes’ Performance Institutes nationwide. Athletes’ Performance will spearhead ongoing education in whole body vibration training applications and techniques for performance training professionals across the country. The agreement also distinguishes Power Plate against its competition as the only whole body vibration company, utilizing Athletes’ Performance training methodology and protocols.”

Joining Fight Clubs, Exercisers Pack a Punch

“Regardless of whether you actually get in the ring, Bryant says, all the fancy footwork, punching and blocking add up to a good all-around workout, burning 350 to 500 calories an hour for the average person. Boxing also promotes coordination and balance, teaches self-defense skills and offers a good outlet for aggression. If you're looking to get involved with boxing, it shouldn't be hard to find a class or club that offers it. Survey data from the Boston-based International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, which represents 5,700 gyms and health clubs across the country, show that last year 21 percent of member clubs offered boxing and 40 percent offered kickboxing.”