Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fitness Clubs Get A Boost By Offering Niche Services

“Some fitness clubs in the northeast Valley are prospering by offering niche services such as group training and workouts for the over-45 crowd. Although the economy has taken a toll on memberships, branding plays a major role in distinguishing successful gyms from the not-so-successful, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. An example is EduFit, which has two personal-training studios in Scottsdale and one in Phoenix. In the competitive Valley market, founder Alan Katz said he has found his niche by assigning personal trainers to as many as five clients at a time, resulting in cheaper rates. Katz plans to open 25 franchises across the nation in the next couple of years and 200 in the next five years. ‘We opened up a larger population to do personal training who could never afford it before,’ said Katz, a Paradise Valley resident who started EduFit in 1998. ‘The economy has kind of helped us out.’ ccording to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the most lucrative clubs differentiate themselves with strong branding and, in a recent trend, services for seniors and Baby Boomers. Seniors have the spending power and are the fastest-growing segment of health-club memberships, according to the organization. Troon Mountain Fitness in Scottsdale is aware of this and offers classes and equipment for the 45-plus age group to stay fit and rehabilitate injuries, spokeswoman Leslie Bay said.”

What To Do With $1,000 Now

“Getting fit doesn't just feel good: It can cut your bills. The typical obese American (209 pounds or above for someone 5 feet 10 inches) incurred $1,429 more in health-care costs in 2006 than someone with a healthy weight (174 pounds or less). So buy a health-club membership (median cost: $775 a year) -- and spend the remaining $225 on a personal trainer to get you off to a strong start.”

Pump Up Your Pecs Without Bruising Your Budget

“It's the time of year when gym memberships swell like Hanz's and Franz's pecs. To attract more of the people vowing to get in shape in the new year, most gyms will offer bargains. But getting sucked in to what seems like a good deal can be as painful as dropping a barbell on your toe. To get the most for your money, start by giving your brain muscle a workout, says Karsten Jensen, a strength and conditioning coach based in Mississauga, Ont. For starters, he says, make sure any gym you might join fits your schedule. Of course, it's important to pay attention to money matters, starting with membership fees. Guidelines created by, a program of the Canada Safety Council, include making sure dues can be paid monthly, as opposed to an annual lump sum. The Canadian Fitness Matters guidelines also recommend joining a gym that has been open for at least one year. But David Patchell-Evans, founder of GoodLife and chair of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, says the number should be at least six years. ‘That tells you if they re-invest in their equipment,’ he says. Paying bottom dollar for a membership at a gym that only has one elliptical machine from the 1970s with a left pedal missing is not much of a deal. You can easily get a membership to a decent gym for about $40 a month, Mr. Patchell-Evans says. High-end clubs can charge as much as $200 a month, but if you have that kind of cash to spend, why waste it on gym fees when you can stay at home lifting piles of money?”

How to Negotiate With Your Health Club

"“If you’re ever going to try to negotiate a lower gym rate, now’s the time, as this weekend’s ‘Patient Money’ column noted. The weak economy has been hurting many fitness centers as gym rats looking to cut expenses drop multiple memberships or trade down to lower-priced clubs. According to a recent International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association survey of 54 participating clubs, 53 percent reported decreases in September membership dues revenue compared with the same month a year earlier, and 49 percent reported year-to-date decreases in membership dues.

Don’t Wait ‘Til New Year’s for Those Resolutions [video]

New Year's Resolutions Boost Gym Business

“With the new year always comes the promise of a new body, and many people make a New Year's resolution to get in shape. As the year winds down, places like Gold's Gym in Harrisonburg are gearing up for 2010. ‘Well we do see an influx of people, especially around right after the first of January because they want to make New Year's resolutions, and the gym is one of them,’ says Gold's Gym Manager Kathy Koch. Koch says this time of year is great for business. ‘Absolutely. This is our busiest time of year,’ says Koch. However, it's not just gym staff that notice the increase. Gym member Jeremiah Nixon says he knows what to expect over the next few weeks. ‘A pile of people just start coming in for New Year resolutions,’ says Nixon. Nixon comes in three to four times a week and notices a difference come January 1.

Save Your Dollars and Join a Gym Today

“The last week of December is when most national health clubs offer their best deals — with so many of you saying that your New Year's resolution is to get back to the gym, take my advice and join a gym before 2009 ends. Health clubs are offering their sweetest deals now because they want to lure the large number of individuals, like yourselves, who have resolved to get fit in 2010. After checking out what your favorite gyms of 2009 are doing to entice new members, the tactic seems pretty consistent across the board. Life Time Fitness (your fave), Equinox (my fave), Gold's, and 24 Hour Fitness are waiving enrollment fees if you sign up before January. Some gyms are adding on even more incentives. Life Time Fitness is offering an additional $150 credit that can be used towards in-club services like personal training sessions, and 24 Hour Fitness has an option for a month-to-month contract.”

Getting Real With Fitness Resolutions

“New Year's resolutions: We make them, we break them, we make them again. So it's no surprise that ‘Get Fit’ tops many of the same lists year after year. Fitness experts say if you're serious about shaping up this time, start by trading in your impossible dreams for some attainable goals. ‘People will say, 'I'm going to lose 30 pounds,' when 10 pounds would be more doable. They'll say, 'I'm going to exercise every day,' when three times a week may be more likely,’ said Shawn Talbott, spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The researcher and program developer advises people to set realistic expectations.

Fitness Centers: Good News for Retail

“Fitness purveyors are emerging as highly viable shopping center destination tenants, according to locally based Levin Management Corp. Despite the challenging economy, the fitness industry reports healthy performance, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ‘With so much unpredictability and stress, people are focusing on what they can control and what makes them feel better--with health and wellness at the forefront,’ says Ken Carrier, an industry veteran and owner of No Body Denied, a moderately-priced, star-up fitness center opening in December at Levin-leased Echo Plaza in Springfield. ‘Visionary fitness center operators, both value-oriented and upscale concepts, and smaller entrepreneurial ventures as well as large chains, are opening new locations, giving a much-needed boost to retail properties hard-hit in this recession,’ says Matthew K. Harding, president and COO of Levin. ‘We are seeing significant new leasing activity within this sector.’ tuart Polevoy owns the three-location, upscale CAN DO chain, which includes a club at Princeton Forrestal Village in Princeton, where Levin serves as exclusive retail leasing agent. ‘While the fitness industry is more immune to economic downturns than many others, we still have seen a consumer pullback in the current cycle,’ he says. ‘As the economy bounces back, the fitness industry holds incredible growth potential,’ Polevoy says. ‘Approximately 85% of the American population currently does not belong to clubs. So this is a good time for owners who have the resources to take advantage of the soft market to secure locations with future growth in mind.’”

Age Doesn’t Keep Three Local Septuagenarians Out Of The Gym

“For the past seven years septuagenarians Lillian White, Delores Zielinski and Irene Schriever have being showing up bright and early at Cutting Edge Fitness Monday through Friday to get their daily dose of physical activity. ‘Many people think that if you have an ache or a pain you need to sit down or lay down,” she said. “But the exact opposite is true. My arthritis would be much worse if I did not go to the gym.’

Tangerine Wellness Bends the Cost of Healthcare at O'Neal Steel

"Tangerine Wellness saves, on average, 10 percent of healthcare costs year after year. When the program started at O’Neal Steel in January of 2009, 85 percent of participants were classified, based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), as overweight or obese. By July 2009, that number dropped to 78 percent. More significant was the drop in obese participants, from 54 percent to 41 percent.”

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Everybody Is Allowed To Work Out At Bodylab

“In the coming weeks, 99 percent of Denver gyms will accept dues happily from every over-eggnogged person vowing to lose weight in 2010. When reality hits, some will waddle in for only a portion of the membership time for which they paid. But surprisingly, BodyLab Fitness, which opened earlier this year, will require people to apply for acceptance — and, it will reject those who it doesn’t think will fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. And this, its nontraditional quartet of owners argue, will stand up as a business model even in an economic downturn. The application requirement is rare for an industry where dues revenue has declined during the recession, said Joe Moore, president and CEO of the Boston-based International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). But BodyLab, located in a newly refurbished building at 101 South Broadway, has tripled its membership since April, co-owner Jesse Morreale said. The number of training sessions purchased doubled from April to November, and monthly revenue doubled as well, he said.”

Resolution: Get a Deal on a Gym Membership

“Fifty percent off the usual $250 initiation fee at Crunch. One week free at Curves. Zero enrollment fee and no payment due until Feb. 1 at New York Sports. It’s New Year’s resolution time again, and the health and fitness clubs here in New York and throughout the country are out in full force. This time of year you can count on heavy promotions. Clubs depend on the December-January rush for the bulk of their memberships. But this year the frenzy has been ratcheted up a notch as clubs try to make up for the recession, which caused many corporate sponsorships to evaporate and many individual members to drop out or cut way back on costly extras like personal training and massage. But lean times for the fitness clubs are good news for consumers...

Health Clubs Get Creative

“There's more than one way to encourage people to stay healthy. That includes a new program by the Hatfield Athletic Club, which has implemented a 60-Day Challenge, according to general manager Frank Borusiewicz. He said the program, which provides a $3 credit for every visit, has sparked a membership increase. New members have increased on average from 37 to 70 each month at the facility, located at 2420 Bethlehem Pike, according to Borusiewicz. He said November accounted for the club's most successful month of the year, and that December signups were on a similar pace. The program — which includes an 80 percent reduction in enrollment fees...

Gifts From Gym Members Bring Cheer To The Children's Ward

“A healthy dose of generosity brought festive cheer to the children’s ward at York Hospital. Nether Poppleton-based Bannatyne’s Health Club had asked its members to donate gifts for children aged between six hours and 16 years old who were in the hospital over Christmas. The response was excellent, with a large collection of gifts being left under the Christmas tree in the club’s cafĂ©/bar. General manager Rachel Armstrong and her colleague Tracey Wilson played the role of Santa, visiting the ward with a sack full of presents. The visit was organised with the support of children health matron Jill Crampton.

How to Stick to New Year's Resolutions

“Millions and millions of us will be making New Year's resolutions -- all well-intentioned -- but most of which will be broken before long. Yet, there are things you can do to make it more likely you'll actually keep at them, as Dr. Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist, explained on ‘The Early Show’ Monday. Usually in January, health club membership soar and the sale of "sin foods," such as chocolate and alcohol, decline, as people vow to improve themselves. But by February, most New Year's resolutions will have be nothing but memories. Still, some people will actually succeed in making lifestyle chang...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fitness Together Works Out Brazil Franchise Deal

“Colorado's Fitness Together Franchise Corp. is expanding its franchise network to a sixth nation, Brazil. The Highlands Ranch-based personal-training chain said Monday it has awarded a master franchisee agreement to Antonio Cassiano Ximenes of Fortaleza, Brazil, who plans to open as many as 60 Fitness Together studios throughout Brazil over the next five years. Existing franchise agreements cover the United States, Costa Rica, Israel, Ireland and Canada. The first Fitness Together studio in Brazil is slated to open in Sao Paulo in January. The company said that Kevin Betts, its COO and senior VP, recently spent 10 days in Sao Paulo training staffers who will be working at Brazilian franchise studios. ‘Antonio has a fantastic track record for taking brands and making them retail and service leaders in Brazil,’ Betts said in a statement. ‘That means he already knows the how to target the ideal Fitness Together client, and he is about to introduce a huge affluent audience to the best one-on-one personal training fitness franchise in the world.’”

Health Clubs Look To Jan. 1 To Boost Bottom Line

It's that time of year again. Fitness centers are counting on you. Many of us will be among the thousands who reach into their wallets and sign up for that gym membership, jump on the latest fad diet bandwagon or line up to weigh in at Weight Watchers meetings. Jan. 1 is just around the corner, and that means New Year's resolutions. According to, the U.S. government's official Web portal, two of the most popular New Year's resolutions are ‘get fit’ and ‘lose weight.’ As of CityBusiness' last count in June, there were 107,291 members at more than 21 fitness centers throughout metro New Orleans. That doesn't take into account centers that didn't respond to the survey or the multitude of facilities that have opened in the past six months. Monthly dues can range anywhere from $34 to $250 with the average membership running about $50 to $60...

Walk To Burn Off Christmas Calories Urges UK Government

“The UK government is urging families to bring back the Christmas day walk to burn off their Christmas dinner calories, and generally be more physically active over the holidays. A typical Christmas dinner of turkey and pudding clocks up nearly 1,500 calories, which is over half of the recommended daily allowance for a man and three quarters of that recommended for a woman, says the Department of Health for England, in a new push to promote Walk4Life as part of its Change4Life campaign to encourage families to ‘eat well, move more and live longer’...

Eat Right And Exercise, Conservative Rabbis Told

“Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, is asking her colleagues to join the U.S. President’s fitness challenge as part of a new initiative called The Shalem Campaign, which will launch on Jan. 1. The initiative was announced last week. It is the first time that a rabbinic group has issued a fitness challenge, according to the Rabbinical Assembly. ‘With so many people facing significant stress, healthy lifestyle habits often fall by the wayside,” Schonfeld said in a news release. ‘Now, more than ever, we need our leaders to provide a model for investing in our own health as a contribution to our families and communities as well as to ourselves. Rabbis interact with people on so many levels, at every stage of the lifecycle. If they model positive values of physical, mental and spiritual health, it will only have a positive effect on members of the community and the public.’ Rabbis Lisa Gelber and Aaron Gaber, co-chairs of The Shalem Campaign, said in a letter to their colleagues...

Ty Cobb Healthcare To Purchase Lavonia Health Club

"Ty Cobb Healthcare System and The Fitness Firm, a Lavonia health club, are teaming up to provide health and fitness services. The Fitness Firm on Clear Creek Road is operated now by Charlie and Lee Hall but is being purchased by Ty Cobb Healthcare. The club will be incorporated into the planned Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia. Charlie Hall is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer and is also a certified master fitness trainer. Lee Hall is a certified pilates instructor. The couple has been assisting clients through personal training and fitness classes since the two purchased the facility in 2005...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NBA's Nash Lends Name To Fitness Chain

“At 35 years old, Steve Nash has found the fountain of youth, at least by professional basketball standards. A mid-career dedication to fitness and a better diet has made the Phoenix Suns star healthier and stronger than he was when he broke into the National Basketball Association 14 years ago. Now, his business partners hope that association will translate into marketing power – and profit – in what is believed to be Canada's first celebrity-branded national fitness chain. In a deal announced Monday, a company backed by Mr. Nash acquired British Columbia's largest fitness company, Fitness World. The new chain will be Steve Nash Fitness World. Mr. Nash already has two Vancouver-area fitness clubs, with a third to open in White Rock, B.C., under the Steve Nash Sports Club banner. ‘I think there's an inspiration around Steve as an athlete and his connection to the community here,’ said Mark Mastrov, co-owner of New Evolution Fitness Company, a private equity firm specializing in the fitness industry and one of three partners in the deal, along with Mr. Nash and Angelo Gordon and Co., also a private equity firm. The move Monday means Mr. Nash's name will soon be on 16 locations across his home province. But the plan is to use Mr. Nash's status as a Canadian sports hero to help the chain expand nationally, said Mr. Mastrov, a fitness industry heavyweight who borrowed $15,000 (U.S.) from his grandmother in 1983 to buy a stake in a single health club in California, and built it into a chain that was eventually sold for $1.6-billion. Terms of the deal were not released, but Mr. Mastrov said that Mr. Nash was an equity partner in the arrangement and the new chain of clubs should generate revenue of more than $50-million (Canadian) annually from 100,000 members.”

Cosmetic Surgeons Get Reid to Tax Tanning Salons Instead

“Doctors were able to surgically remove the so-called Botax from the Senate's health-care overhaul bill and replace it with a 10% tax on tanning services. ‘We suggested that the tanning tax would be a better alternative to the cosmetic tax and hopefully will reduce the incidence of skin cancer down the road,’ said David M. Pariser, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, which represents dermatologists. The American Medical Association had also opposed the proposed 5% tax on cosmetic procedures -- dubbed the Botax after the antiwrinkle product Botox -- which was among the issues it wanted changed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. After that change and others were made over the weekend, the AMA announced its support Monday for the Senate bill. A spokesman for Mr. Reid said in an email the tanning tax was ‘on the table for a while’ before the Botax was proposed several weeks ago. An industry spokesman said U.S. tanning businesses were unlikely to earn enough to provide the government with the roughly $2.7 billion over 10 years envisioned by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation...

Snapping a Business Into Shape

“Getting into shape is always one of the top New Year's resolutions. Each year, though, polls show that most people don't have the endurance to meet that goal. Lynda Atwood and Anne Cain, the new owners of Snap Fitness in Nixa's West Side Plaza, are hoping their new venture will bring them a long-lasting and profitable career. The two Springfield-area natives and longtime friends bought the existing Snap Fitness 24/7 center in September. Cain is no stranger to fitness. The former professional golfer owns the Anne Cain Golf Academy at the Golf Club of Amelia Island in Florida, where she resides full-time.”

All Star Fitness Coming to New Location in Arlington, WA

“All Star Fitness is finishing the last 74 months of a 66,730-square-foot lease originally taken by Food Pavilion at 17020 Smokey Point Drive in Arlington, WA. The fitness club has two five-year options to stay in the space. All Star Fitness plans to occupy about half the space and sublease the rest. The health club is currently remodeling the space and expects to open its doors in late spring 2010. Built in 1996, the retail building sits on nearly seven acres of land. Dave Speers and Jason Rosaur of the Seattle office of GVA Kidder Mathews represented the All Star Fitness. Dale Chandler represented Supermarket Development Corp.”

Fit Holidays: Eat, Drink And Be Merry In Moderation

“With family feasts, office parties and champagne soirees, the temptation to overindulge is everywhere, just as your yoga studio moves to holiday hours, your gym cancels classes and your personal trainer leaves town. But experts say if you've worked all year at staying fit, it might be time to give yourself a break, sort of. ‘Have a reality check. It's the holidays. It's a wonderful time of year, it shouldn't be a stressful time. Give yourself a little slack," said Carol Espel, director of group fitness for the Equinox chain of luxury health clubs. ‘Change of routine, celebrating with family, they're all good things. And they should be,’ she added. Espel suggests considering a holding pattern. ‘Focus on maintaining some level of nutrition and exercise that you've spent this whole year working at,’ she said. ‘Say to yourself, 'What can I do so that when January first rolls around, I'm not feeling like I have to start all over again? In other words, do what you can.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cuyahoga County Residents To Get Free Three-Month Gym Memberships

“If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get fit and eat healthy, it's your lucky day. Cuyahoga County's adult residents get free gym memberships at YMCA or Curves for the first three months of the New Year, thanks to a new partnership between the Cleveland Clinic, the gyms and other public agencies. Residents who aren't already a member at the YMCA or Curves can go to and sign up for the free membership. They'll be able to work out at the YMCA's nine area locations or Curves' 20 area locations. Residents who aren't already a member at the YMCA or Curves can go to and sign up for the free membership. They'll be able to work out at the YMCA's nine area locations or Curves' 20 area locations. Participants also get instruction on starting a workout routine and nutritious eating habits as well as some discounts from Dave's Markets. The only catch? You have to complete a weekly check-in to track progress and stay in the program. Those with the greatest total weight loss, number of workouts and overall change in fitness will be recognized. The start of a new year is generally when American's resolve to improve their health and fitness clubs see a spike in membership, said Kara Thompson, spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the fitness industry's trade association. ‘January is a critical time of the year for people to jumpstart healthy living, especially after all the feasting and merriment of the holiday season -- people are really prepared to start fresh,’ Thompson said. Many gyms offer start-up incentives and free two-week sessions to help people begin a workout routine, and indeed many long-time gym goers will skip workouts at the first of the year to avoid the rush.”

MVP Joe Mauer Will Pitch For Anytime Fitness

“The world's #1 fitness club chain just hit another homerun. Joe Mauer, the newly-crowned American League MVP, two-time Gold Glove award winner and three-time AL batting champ, will soon be appearing in television commercials and other advertisements for Anytime Fitness, a rapidly-growing health club chain with nearly 1,300 clubs worldwide. ‘We're extremely excited to have Joe on our team,’ says Anytime Fitness co-founder Chuck Runyon. "He's a wonderful role model, an amazing athlete and someone who obviously understands the importance of regular exercise. We're confident he'll do a great job promoting healthy lifestyles, while raising awareness of the Anytime Fitness brand.’ The endorsement deal is a natural between Mauer and Minnesota-based Anytime Fitness. ‘I am very happy to be partnering with a great Minnesota company like Anytime Fitness. Their commitment to encouraging people to lead a healthy life and helping to showcase the benefits of physical fitness is something I am excited to be a part of,’ said Joe. The Minnesota Twins all-star catcher is expected to begin recording TV and radio commercials for Anytime Fitness shortly after the first of the year, and will also appear in print and Internet advertising. In addition, Mauer will write a monthly fitness blog for and”

Wii Fit Doesn't Improve Fitness?

“It appears that a few extra minutes on the Balance Board won’t make up for that extra mince pie or second helping of Christmas pudding, according to new research made available by the University of Mississippi. The purpose of the research was to ascertain how effective Nintendo’s Wii Fit was at increasing the fitness levels of eight participating families. By giving the families three months with the game and three months without, a range of physical attributes including aerobic fitness, balance and body composition would be recorded and analysed. Lead researcher of the experiment Scott Owens, associate professor of health and exercise science at the University of Mississippi, found there were no major changes in daily physical activity, muscular fitness, flexibility, balance or body composition between the three months spent with Wii Fit and those without...

Gym Hopes To Draw Customers With New Fitness Machine

“Fitness isn't really on anyone's mind during the holidays, but come January 1st, loosing weight turns into a mission for many. If you're looking for a gym membership, the gyms are looking for new ways to get your business and that means staying ahead of the latest fitness craze. Load on 1,000 pounds of plates and Nick Kentrolis can still huff and puff out the reps, but on a TRX suspension trainer, with his hands in the air, tell him to jump, and the former bodybuilder is down for the count...

Kids In Home-Based Day Care Lack Exercise

“Oregon State University researcher Stewart Trost surveyed about 300 home-based child-care providers who looked after children ages 2 to 5. Though 78 percent offered more than an hour a day of active play, 41 percent said children sat for extended periods during the day, and two-thirds said the TV was on most of the day, the study found. Children aged 2 to 5 shouldn't watch more than two hours of TV a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Trost, an expert on obesity issues, said that another finding -- that 63 percent of child-car providers restricted active play or exercise as a form of punishment -- was alarming...

Equinox Fitness Clubs Opens Second Texas Location In Preston Hollow

“Texas will once again be able to indulge in the five-star service they have come to expect from Equinox Fitness Clubs. The Nation's leading fitness facility will open its second Texas location in Preston Hollow, today, December 21, 2009. ‘There has been a huge demand for an innovative, value-oriented fitness facility in a number of urban cities where the market is under-served,’ says Harvey Spevak, CEO for Equinox. ‘By opening our second location in Texas, our aim is to meet the needs of a discriminating consumer who demands the best and currently doesn't have the opportunity to get it.’...

How to Offer “5-Star” Customer Service in Your Club – DVD

“How to Offer “5-Star” Customer Service in Your Club – DVD How to Offer 5-Star Customer Service in Your Club Reviews how a high-end Hotel health club & spa flawlessly provides customer service and how health/fitness clubs can implement similar strategies into their facilities. The DVD details how a club can establish high-quality customer-service standards, and can make sure that its entire staff delivers consistent customer service. The DVD explains how clubs can make customer service an art form in their facilities. Among the topics covered: standards for customer service, bad customer service, good customer service, hiring, mission statement, and customer feedback. Produced in cooperation with the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).”

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exercise Good Judgment When Choosing Health Club

Losing weight and getting into shape are the most common of New Year's resolutions, and “Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's January issue lays it all out at Before taking on a pricey gym membership, try a few on for size. Read sample contracts and ask questions. Many clubs offer free trial visits or complimentary seven-day passes, especially in January, as this is the make-or-break month for the fitness industry.

Be a smart member:

Be resourceful:

Enrollment fee discounts:

Beware attached strings:

Do it yourself:

Go hi-tech

" This is the consumer organization of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms and sports clubs worldwide. IHRSA's Web site makes it easy to locate IHRSA member health clubs here and internationally. displays map locations of clubs everywhere. It also lists clubs offering specific programs or amenities such as tennis courts and swimming pools. Traveling fitness buffs can access to find clubs participating in the IHRSA Passport Program for information on guest fees."

Bob Smyth Joins Cybex International Board of Directors

“Bob Smyth most recently served as President of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for leading the Commercial Banking business in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine as well as coordinating all of Citizen’s business lines in Massachusetts. Before joining Citizens in 2002, he was Regional Vice Chairman for Northeast U.S. Commercial Banking at Key Bank and President of Key Bank’s Albany, New York region. Prior to Key Bank, Bob served as Sr. Vice President of Bankers Trust Company in New York City. Commenting on his new involvement with the Company, Smyth stated, ‘I am honored and delighted to join CYBEX’s distinguished Board of Directors, and I look forward to working with John Aglialoro to accelerate the growth of CYBEX and the growth of the global fitness industry.’”

A New Approach To Physical – And Fiscal – Fitness

“There’s a silver lining to be found in the current economic recession. Research suggests that during bad times, people actually exercise more and aren’t as likely to be as obese as they might during more prosperous times. That’s good news considering that two-thirds of American adults are now obese or overweight, but providing Americans with convenient, flexible, customized, appointment-based personal training services is even better news. That’s the aim of newly franchised EduFit, whose unique business model puts it at the cutting edge of the still-thriving fitness industry...

Obesity, Inactivity Keeping Heart Health Stats Down

“While physicians and surgeons are getting better at treating heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, too many Americans are ignoring the basic rules for preventing them, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. Topping the list: too little exercise, too much weight. In fact, 59 percent of adults surveyed last year reported no activity vigorous enough to prompt sweating and a significant increase in breathing or heart rate, according to the update. The findings are published online Dec. 17 in the journal Circulation. ‘The things people need to focus on are our weight and our waist,’ said Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, chair of the heart association's statistics committee. ...

Negative Emotions Outweigh Intent to Exercise at Health Clubs

“Time and time again, it has been documented that regular exercise has many health benefits including lowering risks associated with the comorbidities of obesity. With only 30% of Americans trying to lose weight meeting the National Institutes of Health exercise guidelines of 300 minutes/week, a study in the January/February 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior explores the paradox that exists -- an antidote for obesity and its comorbidities is exercise, but the majority of obese Americans do not exercise. The researchers found overweight individuals believed exercise improved appearance and self image more than normal weight individuals. In addition, overweight individuals felt more embarrassed and intimidated about exercising, exercising around young people, exercising around fit people, and about health club salespeople than individuals of normal weight. ...

'Tis The Season For Santa To Shape-Up, Study Says

"Santa Claus needs to lose weight, cut down on the mince pies and brandy and swap his reindeer and sleigh for a bicycle to become a healthier role model for children, an Australian public health doctor said. Dr. Nathan Grills, of Australia's leading Monash University, believes the current image of Santa promotes obesity, drinking and driving, speeding and a generally unhealthy lifestyle, and it would be better if he was depicted without his signature rotund belly. Grills' research on Santa, which he said was largely tongue-in-cheek but intended to raise awareness about public health, was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal entitled ‘Santa Claus: A public health pariah?’ ...

'Tis The Season For Santa To Shape-Up, Study Says

"Santa Claus needs to lose weight, cut down on the mince pies and brandy and swap his reindeer and sleigh for a bicycle to become a healthier role model for children, an Australian public health doctor said. Dr. Nathan Grills, of Australia's leading Monash University, believes the current image of Santa promotes obesity, drinking and driving, speeding and a generally unhealthy lifestyle, and it would be better if he was depicted without his signature rotund belly. Grills' research on Santa, which he said was largely tongue-in-cheek but intended to raise awareness about public health, was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal entitled ‘Santa Claus: A public health pariah?’ ...

Edmonds Health Club Donates To Local Charities

“Harbor Square Athletic Club has announced it will donate half of its membership promotion to The Edmonds Food Bank and Edmonds Boys and Girls Club. It’s a fact – Americans are donating less money and time this year and our local charities are feeling the effects. ‘People are watching where every nickel goes and many people are just not in a position to donate’ said Stephanie Shackelford of the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club. Harbor Square conducted a successful charity promotion a few years ago and recognized it is an important time to do it again for the charities. ‘A lot of people always join in December so we wanted to do our part as a community business...

Injured Soldier Opens Rehab Gym In Tidworth

"Santa Claus needs to lose weight, cut down on the mince pies and brandy and swap his reindeer and sleigh for a bicycle to become a healthier role model for children, an Australian public health doctor said. Dr. Nathan Grills, of Australia's leading Monash University, believes the current image of Santa promotes obesity, drinking and driving, speeding and a generally unhealthy lifestyle, and it would be better if he was depicted without his signature rotund belly. Grills' research on Santa, which he said was largely tongue-in-cheek but intended to raise awareness about pu...

iPhone Apps Lead the Pack in Fitness Trends

“The fitness world has had its fair share of memorable trends from high-impact aerobics and leg warmers, to mind-body exercise and the rise of Pilates. This year the fitness trend that has impacted FitSugar readers the most is all those healthy iPhone apps. While most of you voted for the iPhone, many of you commented about CrossFit training — a fun full body workout that will certainly increase your strength.”

Talwalkars Files DRHP With SEB

Fitness services provider, Talwalkars Better Value Fitness is planning to enter capital markets with a public issue of 6,050,000 equity shares of Rs 10. It has filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and wants to raise over Rs 70 crore. The issue will constitute 25.09% of the fully diluted post issue paid-up capital of the company. Promoters' stake will be reduced to 59.39% and non-promoters to 15.42% post issue. It is one of the largest fitness chain in India (as per the statistics of The IHRSA Asia Pacific Market Report, 2008) offering a diverse suite of services including gyms, spas, aerobics and health counseling under the brand ‘Talwalkars’....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IHRSA’s Campaign for a Healthier America Calls on All Americans to Curtail Health Care Costs in 2010 by Becoming Physically Active

“The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced today that as part of its Campaign for a Healthier America, it is urging Americans of all ages and abilities to make 2010 the year we unite in a national effort to create a culture of movement in America wherein regular daily exercise is highly valued and widely practiced. IHRSA is inviting the general public to inspire others and help spread the new culture of movement by sharing their stories on The 2010 effort is the health and fitness industry’s response to the unsustainable rise in healthcare costs and the threat it poses to the future stability of the U.S. economy. Research shows that regular exercise is an excellent preventive against many chronic diseases and has significant economic benefits. ‘For decades, we’ve grossly neglected our health,’ says Joe Moore, IHRSA’s president and CEO. ‘Now we’re paying the price. Uncontrollable health care costs, unprecedented rates of type 2 diabetes, an explosion of chronic diseases, a legacy of obesity for our children—the toll is simply too great. We must come together to change the way we live. 2010 marks the beginning of a new decade. It must also mark the start of a new way of life.”

Sierra Sport & Racquet Gets Gold's Gym Sites

“The owners of Sierra Sport & Racquet Club have acquired the two Gold's Gym locations in Fresno, bringing to five the number of facilities that they operate in the area. Robert Mitchell, who owns the fitness company with wife Juli, said that gym membership is growing in Fresno, despite nagging economic hard times that have cost jobs and pushed up the unemployment rate. The Gold's name will disappear at Blackstone and Griffith avenues and at Fort Washington and Friant roads when the Sierra Sport signs are affixed. Sierra Sport & Racquet Club acquires the building, equipment and members from the Gold's franchisee. ‘It was a great opportunity,’ Mitchell said. ‘The economy is showing signs of improvement, and I'm optimistic and confident about the future.’ Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Mitchells now offer a variety of fitness packages and locations...

Massive Health Club Coming to U Street - VIDA Fitness Building Massive Flagship Gym

“An historic U Street building is about to get an immense upgrade -- a 51,500-square-foot, four-story health club and spa, to be exact. VIDA Fitness is going to take over the building at 1612 U Street NW, which currently houses a Results The Gym, Bang Salon and an empty restaurant space, in order to build its flagship location. Bang Salon will remain in the building and will be redesigned. The company says U Street neighbors also can expect the following: ‘Construction plans include building a $13 million, 8,500-square-foot three-story modern, transparent extension that complements and preserves the historic architecture of the existing structure and a luxurious private rooftop club with a 60-foot pool, resort cabanas, communal fire pit, outdoor waterfall, sundeck and a member lounge with restaurant service.’ The project is part of VIDA Fitness' plan to have a total of eight locations in the D.C. metro area by 2015. This project brings them halfway to that goal...

Yoga Isn't Just For Adults Anymore

“Yoga classes for kids provide a safe place for children to explore their bodies and their feelings. Classes are age and developmentally appropriate. For example, toddler-age classes (for ages 1-3 years) are short in duration and move quickly, engaging little ones with songs and play. Classes for children ages 4-12 incorporate imagination with animal imitation, games, art and storytelling, while classes for teens begin to integrate more structure and traditional yoga postures. Children of all ages are introduced to techniques such as slow, deep breathing that promote relaxation, self-soothing and help them...

Overweight Adults Could Burn More Calories By Watching Less TV

“US researchers conducting a randomized controlled trial found that adults weighing above the healthy range could burn more calories by watching less television: trial participants who cut their television viewing time in half were more active and on average burned an extra 120 more calories a day. The study was the work of researchers at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and appears in the 14 December issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The US Department of Agriculture's Hatch Funds Act and the National Institutes of Health funded the research...

Al Corniche Club hosts 2nd Annual Kuwait Health and Fitness Conference

“For the second consecutive year, Al Corniche Club Resort and Spa hosted a day of world-class seminars for professionals from the health and wellness industry in Kuwait. The IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) conference was made possible through sponsorship from Diet Care, Low Carb No Sugar, The Athlete's Foot and Prince. The event was well supported by hotels and fitness clubs around Kuwait, with delegates from Marina Hotel, Pliates & More, Sheraton, Fit4Fun, Radisson Blu, Palms Beach Hotel and Spa, C-Club, Moevenpick Al Bidaa and Al Corniche Club attending the conference...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unemployed and in Great Shape

"On the morning I lost my job, rendering me unemployed for the first time since I graduated from college in 1984, I left a teary voice mail for my husband. I drank beer with my newly jobless colleagues at lunch. I made obsessive financial calculations in my head. Then I spied the untouched gym bag under my desk (the one that hadn't made it to the gym in weeks) and had an epiphany: ‘Now I can get in great shape!’ Not just great shape but really incredible shape. Sarah Jessica Parker shape. Now after a summer of working out, I've begun working professionally again. But, in large part because of the reinvigoration I felt pursuing my fitness fantasies, I make time in my new schedule to get to the gym. Not every day, alas, but two or three times a week (plus those weekend runs), which is light-years better than what I used to manage. Even a...

Despite Economy, Local Gym Thrives

“Despite the down economy, Louisburg residents are still hitting the gym, and owner Lesley Seuferling doesn’t attribute it to New Year’s resolutions, either. The Louisburg Athletic Club, 401 S. Metcalf St., is coming up on its sixth year of business and already Seuferling has seen gas prices sky rocket and the economy come crashing down during that short time period. But, Seuferling said, the economy has yet to phase Louisburg residents and regular fitness-seekers. As for being the only athletic club in a small community, Seuferling said...

Obesity Epidemic Taking Root In Africa

“Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Public Health claim that overweight and obesity are on the increase among this group. Abdhalah Ziraba worked with a team of researchers from the African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya, who used data from seven African countries to investigate changes in body mass index (BMI) between early 1990s and early 2000s. He said, ‘Despite being the least urbanized continent, Africa's population is becoming increasingly urban and its cities are growing at unprecedented rates. In spite of rampant poverty in urban areas, access to cheap foods with a high content of fat and sugar is commonplace.’...

Jack Lalanne Undergoes Surgery

"The 95-year-old fitness pioneer, who opened his first health club in 1936 at age 21, is recovering from heart valve surgery at his home in Morro Bay, Calif. LaLanne's publicist, Ariel Hankin, said the muscle man who rose to fame in the 1950s with his exercise TV show, underwent the procedure at a Los Angeles hospital on Dec. 8. Hankin also told AP that before surgery, LaLanne told his family that dying would wreck his image. The weightlifting guru is doing fine and expected to make a full recovery."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PGA Tour Legend Greg Norman to Endorse CYBEX Golf Fitness

“Cybex International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBI), a leading manufacturer of premium, high-performance exercise equipment for the commercial and consumer markets, announced today that PGA Tour legend Greg Norman will endorse its products as an official ambassador for the innovative CYBEX Golf Fitness platform. As part of this multi-year agreement, 54-year-old Norman will serve as a CYBEX spokesperson, participate in strategic marketing initiatives and appear on behalf of CYBEX at the Golf Industry Show, February 10-11, 2010 in San Diego, California. Norman’s involvement with CYBEX will include his contribution to designing golf-specific exercises, forming a CYBEX Golf Advisory Council and facilitating partnerships for CYBEX with golf clubs, resorts and communities worldwide. ‘Staying fit has been a key to success throughout my career,” says Norman. ‘I’ve worked out almost exclusively on CYBEX equipment for years, so this is a truly authentic relationship. I’m extremely impressed with CYBEX’s design, focus on exercise science and commitment to innovation.’

Snap Fitness Opens 1,000th Club

“Less than six years after opening its first club, Snap Fitness, the fast growing franchise system featuring compact, state-of-the-art fitness centers, announces the opening of its 1,000th club in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Having opened its first franchise in 2004, Snap Fitness is the fastest franchise system to reach 1,000 club openings in such a short period of time. Today, the burgeoning brand operates clubs in 48 states, Canada, Mexico and India – serving more than half a million members – with additional clubs currently being developed in Australia and New Zealand. ‘Snap Fitness has grown at such a rapid pace because we offer what consumers increasingly want – a fast, convenient and affordable workout solution – and offer an appealing franchise opportunity to potential investors and club owners,’ said Peter Taunton, CEO and Founder of Snap Fitness. ‘This is a tremendous milestone for us, as we launched our franchise in Minnesota and are now opening our 1,000th club where it all began.’ Economically, the fitness industry has proven to be recession-proof, averaging an 8% annual growth rate since the early 1990s.”

Active Lifestyle Aids Kidneys, Colon Cancer Survivors

“You may know this already, but here's more proof: Leading a physically active life yields multiple health dividends, according to four studies published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. One study suggests that physical activity may help keep the kidneys of older adults in tip top shape, while another hints that a combination of a healthy waist size, not smoking, and aerobic fitness protects against heart disease and premature death. A third study provides some of the first evidence that colon cancer patients who are physical active lower their odds of having their cancer recur. While being physical active is known to help prevent the development of colon cancer, few studies have determined its effect on colon cancer survivors. The fourth paper suggests that people who cut back on time spent watching television are apt to take part in more active heart-healthy pursuits. In a commentary published with the research, Dr. Janet E. Fulton, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and co-authors say, ‘Each of these four studies makes a unique and valuable contribution to the evidence relating physical activity to health and provides additional data showing that physical activity is important for many facets of health.’ ‘Taken together, these studies show that a relatively small investment in a physically active lifestyle yields a large return on health,’ they conclude.”

Greater Houston Community Foundation Accepts Donation from Life Time Fitness Foundation

“The Greater Houston Community Foundation today announced that former United States President, George H. W. Bush, accepted a $10,000 donation from the Life Time Fitness Foundation on its behalf. Life Time Fitness provided the donation through its Foundation in support of sustained natural disaster recovery efforts in Houston and surrounding communities. The funds will be managed by the Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund, which operates as part of the Greater Houston Community Foundation. ‘I would like to join in saluting the management and employees of Life Time Fitness and their Foundation for this very kind donation to...

Move Afoot to Reward Consumer Thrift

“The health-care bills moving through Congress contain little to reward consumers for lowering their health costs, an omission prompting some lawmakers to press for more such incentives. Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) is proposing amendments to the Senate bill that would give people who are eligible for coverage through their employer the option of buying cheaper coverage from the new insurance exchanges -- and pocketing the difference. There are virtually no provisions in the Senate or House health bills that directly reward consumers for choosing cost-efficient care or lowering their medical costs through healthy behavior. Instead, the White House and top Democrats who drafted the health bills focused on giving doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers incentives for reducing unnecessary treatments. ‘I'm very troubled that the Senate bill does not empower consumers more,’ Ms. Collins said. ‘If they're given information and financial incentives, they'll make good decisions.’”

A Fitness Buff On Your Gift List? Last-Minute Ideas

“Health and fitness products make ideal holiday gifts. Some last-minute stocking stuffers and other budget-friendly gift ideas include: Gift certificates — Still not sure what to get that someone special on your list? Fitness gift certificates make great stocking stuffers. Popular choices include:

• Massage: Who doesn’t appreciate feeling pampered? Massage is a wonderful way to de-stress and regroup during the hectic holiday season.

• Sports apparel/footwear: Individual differences, personal preferences and changing style trends can make it difficult to choose clothing for someone else. Gift cards eliminate the need to try to figure out the right style, brand, size, color or fabric.

• Personal training: A great choice for anyone looking for a kick-start or further develop a fitness program.

• Gym membership: Many gyms offer no-commitment, month-to-month options, especially during the holidays.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Feel the Power of a Short Circuit

“The top reason Americans don't work out is lack of time. Anita Kube was one of those harried people. After her second child was born, the suburban Chicago mom realized she could no longer find two hours a day to go to the health club and spend 60 minutes on a treadmill. She stopped exercising, gained weight, and felt overwhelmed. ‘I had two small kids and I didn't feel like I had the energy to keep up with them.’ So Kube, 39, turned to circuit training. She knew only that it promised a quick, easy-to-follow workout. ‘The time issue was huge,’ she says. ‘It was only 30 minutes. And the club is a half-mile from my home. It was an hour door-to-door.’ Circuit training refers to a series of exercises done one after the other with little rest between. A complete series makes up one circuit. Fast-paced lifestyles have helped make circuit training gyms the fastest-growing part of the health club industry, the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association says. Circuit training can include any combination of movements. The most popular format is a series of resistance exercises done at a quick enough pace to keep your heart rate up.”,4096

Fitness Gifting: Silver Bells, Kettle Bells

“Treadmills under the tree. Fitness-related holiday gifts might lack the Victorian whimsy of ten lords a-leaping or five golden rings, but they offer modern tidings of comfort and joy at several price points, industry experts say. ‘Being festive, relieving stress and having fun. That's what people need now,’ said Christina DeGuardi, marketing manager of Crunch fitness centers. ‘We decided to celebrate the season.’ So the national health club chain has decked the halls with silver trees, strung colored lights, and issued a holiday guide of gifts ranging from $25 for yoga mats and signature hoodies to $200 for high-tech calorie-tracking armbands. ‘Personal training sessions are our most popular gift,’ DeGuardi said. ‘They've really taken off this year. Gym memberships also do well.’”

No Noxious Fumes Detected At Gym

“Despite reports that fumes filtering into Gold's Gym in Oaks from a nearby automotive shop forced the fitness club to close recently, testing of the air quality inside the gym by public safety officials found readings to be in the normal range, according to an Upper Providence fire official. The Oaks club, formerly at 422 Business Center Drive, closed on Saturday, Nov. 28, and the facility's chief executive officer, Bob LePage, attributed the sudden shuttering to odors from 422 Motorsports, which shares the same building. The auto business has never been cited for fouling the club's air, according to a 422 Motorsports official, and members who contacted The Times Herald, sister paper to The Mercury, had never heard anyone at the gym complain about offensive odors.”

Physical Activity Linked To School Girls' Grades

“Girls who spend more time in vigorous physical activity may do better in school, even if they are not particularly fit, study findings hint. Dr. Lydia Kwak, at Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden, and colleagues examined associations between light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity and academic achievement in 232 students (52 percent girls) who were 16 years old on average and attending ninth grade in a Swedish school. They tallied students' grades in language, science, math, history, and other school subjects, Kwak's team explains in the Journal of Pediatrics...

Most Youth Bruneians Are Obese, Prone To Diseases Says MoH

“Most young Bruneians are overweight or obese and have inherited an unhealthy culture of eating in restaurants too often, a health official told The Brunei Times yesterday. This is leading to other diseases and has become one of the top priorities for the Health Galleria Youth Guidance Project, said Project Coordinator Pg Anuar Husaini Pg Hj Rambli in an interview. Pg Anuar Husaini voiced this concern following the launch of the second intake of the youth guidance project at the Health Promotion Centre in Berakas yesterday morning. He added that de...

Fitness Fans Flock To Gym

“A new gym at Wombwell Swimming Pool has already attracted more than 130 new members – with many more expected to join them. The gym – which boasts Technogym facilities and a dedicated free weights room – is intended to offer affordable fitness facilities to local people. Membership costs £14.99 a month and involves no joining fee or monthly contract.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anytime Fitness Exceeds Expectations

“The first non-US master franchisees for health club giant Anytime Fitness have exceeded all projections in their first year, report Australia and New Zealand masters, siblings Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez. McDonnell said, ‘In our first 18 months of operation, we’ve sold more than 55 franchise territories in Australia. Of those territories, 23 clubs are already open and another 20 clubs will be open before the middle of 2010.’ ‘We had faith in the business model,” his sister said, “but we knew that introducing a new brand is never easy. We th...

Stalker Appointed FIA's Executive Director

“The Fitness Industry Association (FIA) has promoted its chief operating officer Dave Stalker to the role of executive director. Stalker will begin in his new position with immediate effect after the move was unanimously ratified by the FIA board in a meeting late last week (3 December). Stalker, whose career has included stints at LA Fitness, Leisure Connection and First Leisure, joined the FIA in July 2008 when he was appointed the association's operations director. According to a spokesperson, Stalker's promotion is a recognition of his work as chief operating officer in developing operations and expanding the reach of the association. During his tenure, the FIA has appointed its first ever chief medical officer and launch...

Babes in Gyms: Testing Fitness Classes

“Does your six-month-old need to hit the gym? A growing number of kiddie fitness class providers say yes. Indeed, some companies offer gym programs for babies as young as six weeks old. With concern over the childhood obesity rate soaring, it's no surprise that parents are eager to teach their babies and young children to be active. They'll find no shortage of options if they decide to enroll in a class. Chains and independent centers around the country run programs where parents bring babies and toddlers to a play setting to practice climbing, walking, crawling and balancing under the supervision of an instructor. Many of these companies are expanding nationally and even globally. But how soon is too soon to steer young children to physical fitness?...

Sea Bright Health Club Opens Doors To Asbury Park Students

“On the third floor of the sleek oceanside Adrenaline health club, 10 eighth-graders from the small private Sisters Academy in Asbury Park had little time earlier this week to look out the eastern windows at the calming sea and December sky. CrossFit trainer Jennifer Sidun was putting them through their bi-monthly workout of step-ups, rowing, push presses, sumo squats and wall ball. A client at the personal fitness club told Sidun about the school, which opened on Springwood Avenue in the city in 1997. Sidun wanted to volunteer...

Obesity Linked With Poorer Breast Cancer Outcomes

“Breast cancer patients with a high body mass index (BMI) have a poorer cancer prognosis later in life. Specifically, their treatment effect does not last as long and their risk of death increases. ‘Overall, women should make an effort to keep their BMI less than 25,’ said Marianne Ewertz, M.D., professor in the Department of Oncology at Odense University Hospital, Denmark. ‘Those who have a high BMI should be encouraged to participate in mammography screening programs for prevention efforts.’”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nautilus, Inc. Announces Results for Third Quarter 2009

“Fitness company Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE:NLS) today announced unaudited results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009. Continuing results include the Company's direct and retail businesses but exclude the Company's commercial business, for which the Company is actively seeking a buyer as announced on September 29, 2009. The commercial business is considered a discontinued operation. For the quarter ended September 30, 2009 the Company reported net sales from continuing operations of $41.4 million, compared to net sales from continuing operations of $62.7 million for the third quarter 2008.”

Nautilus, Inc. Announces Entry into Agreements for Sale of a Portion of Commercial Assets

“Fitness company Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE:NLS), (the "Company") announces today that it has entered into definitive agreements for the sale of certain assets of its commercial business to Fit Dragon International Ltd. The agreements provide for the sale of certain assets of StairMaster(R) and Schwinn(R) Fitness, including the licensing of indoor cycling products of the Schwinn(R) Fitness brand for use in the commercial channel. The company retains certain rights to the Schwinn(R) brand and will continue to market Schwinn(R) fitness products in the consumer channel, including both retail and direct to consumer. The transactions are subject to customary conditions to closing and are scheduled to close on or before December 30, 2009.”

Power Plate(R) Machines Play Behind-The-Scenes Role in New Movie

“A new movie out this weekend tells the story of Nelson Mandela's attempt to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup event to unite his countrymen after the fall of apartheid in South Africa. To portray the famed team, the actors played long hours of intense rugby each day on set. To keep their muscles from getting sore and their bodies functioning at optimum levels, the actors used revolutionary Power Plate® machines with Advanced Vibration Technology(TM)...

Professional Training for a Healthy Life

“Busy professionals in Europe and across the world are increasingly investing their time and money in one-on-one sessions with personal trainers who help them lead healthier lives. For the past three years, personal training has held one of the top four spots in the American College of Sports Medicine's study of international fitness trends. For this year's survey, the not-for-profit association with more than 20,000 members world-wide, surveyed 1,477 fitness professionals from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North America and South America. Their conclusion: More and more people are willing, and able, to spend extra money on expert advice in the hope it will make them train more effectively. ‘Personal trainers are now recog...

Stortford Health Club Gets Charities' Finances In Shape

“The coffers of two worthy causes are in better shape following a festive fund-raiser at a Bishop's Stortford health club. The Nuffield Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Centre at the Anchor Street leisure complex opened its doors to the public on Monday (December 7) for its fourth annual Christmas fair. Visitors to the free event browsed stalls selling home-made cakes, jewellery and hand-made cards, as well as mulled wine and mince pies. The proceeds from the event will be divided between the Observer’s £100,000 Macmillan Cancer Support appeal and St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood. Mel Brooks, the health centre’s charity organiser, said: ‘Many of our members, relatives and good friends have suffered from cancer over the years. This makes us passionate about raising funds for these really important causes.’”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Steele Fitness to Open in St. Paul

“The Steele Fitness high-end personal training company is expanding into St. Paul next year, adding a third Twin Cities location at the current Starbucks space near Victoria Street on Grand Avenue. For Wayzata-based Steele Fitness, the busy and visible east metro location is a good fit, said Steele Smiley, the 32-year-old founder of the eponymous fitness concept. ‘We've been taking names for a waiting list (of prospective customers) for this location for eight or nine months,’ he said. Despite consumers slashing discretionary purchases, Smiley said, Steele's revenue is up 25 percent so far this year versus the year-ago period. Smiley attributes Steele's growth to its concierge approach in customizing a fitness plan to each client's goals and lifestyles. ‘We have people who want to come (work out) four or five times a year and we have people who come in twice a month,’ Smiley said. With us there's no minimum and no maximum.’ The Twin Cities is the top metro area for health club membership, with 29.5 percent of the population belonging to a gym, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. It's also home to fast-growing chains. Hastings-based Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness, based in Chanhassen, are no-frills chains open 24 hours. Life Time continues to expand its big-box clubs. ‘All of us target a very different market,’ Smiley said.”

Can Exercise Help Ward Off The Swine Flu?

“Studies have concluded that exercise can enhance the immune system, but is the effect great enough to stave off swine flu? While researchers haven’t studied exercise and swine flu specifically, they have explored whether physical activity can enhance immunity and combat colds and, to a lesser extent, seasonal flu. Their findings suggest that moderate physical activity can help boost immunity but that extreme exercise can weaken the body’s defenses. ‘There is evidence that moderate exercise or physical activity can be beneficial in terms of reducing the incidence and severity of upper respiratory tract infections from all causes,’ says Jeffrey Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ‘And at least one report … has shown that exercise may be protective against influenza-associated [deaths] in the elderly.’”

Exercise Can Benefit Men With Prostate Cancer

“As little as 15 minutes of physical activity a day can substantially cut death rates in men with prostate cancer, new research hints. ‘We saw benefits at very attainable levels of activity,’ lead investigator Dr. Stacey A. Kenfield of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, noted in a statement from the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference underway in Houston. She added in an email to Reuters Health, "We recommend that men with prostate cancer do some type of physical activity for their overall health, even if it is a small amount, such as 15 minutes of activity per day of walking, jogging, biking, or mild gardening. Vigorous activity may be especially beneficial for prostate cancer, as well as overall health...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tri-County Red Cross To Replenish Disaster Fund Through Gym-A-Thon

“Tri-County Red Cross is holding the first ever ‘Red Cross Resolutions Gym-A-Thon’ from Jan. 16-24, 2010 at fitness centers, living rooms and trails throughout Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties. The fundraiser asks participants to raise money for the distance they walk, run or bike in a fitness center using treadmills, ellipticals or stationary bikes. Participants can also exercise at home, on the road or anywhere else and track their miles. ‘In January we all resolve to do more for our community, and for most of us we resolve to get in better shape,’ said Nathan Rudy...

Spin Classes Generate Electricity As Riders Work Up A Sweat At Gym

“Go Green Fitness aims to give people a more “power”-ful workout. The new gym at 500 Boston Post Road, which opened about two weeks ago, features a room with 24 exercise bikes where riders pedal during Spin class and generate electricity that is used to power the building. ‘We’ve made it into an experience,’ Go Green Fitness owner Robert Kravitz said of the gym. ‘This is a very unique room.’ The fitness center caters to users of all ages and skill levels, he said. During Spin classes, participants pedal stationary bikes — led by an instructor — and a d...

Fitness Goes High-Tech With These Gadgets

“Sure, you could buy a top-of-the-line treadmill. Or one of those cool fitness apps that shows you how to do exercises. Or clothing that molds you in all the right places so you at least appear to be no stranger to exercise as you stumble about looking for the gym lockers. But for tried-and-true effectiveness, we asked local trainers (Pete McCall, San Diego-based trainer and exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise; Gina Lombardi, Los Angeles-based personal trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Assn.; and Ramona Braganza, Los Angeles-based personal trainer and member of the Gold's Gym Fitness Institute) what they would recommend. Their top picks? Heart rate monitors, pedometers, and vibration plates.”

Body Mass And Waist Size Can Predict Heart Disease

A large 10-year study found that half of all fatal heart disease cases and a quarter of all non-fatal cases are linked to being overweight and having a high body mass index (BMI) or large waist. Body mass index and waist circumference are well known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases but the Dutch researchers said their work showed BMI and waist size could actually help predict the risk of dying from or developing heart disease. ‘What this study shows is the substantial effect which (being) overweight and obesity have on cardiovascular disease, whether fatal of non-fatal,’ said Ineke van Dis from the Netherlands Heart Foundation, who led the study. ‘In the near future the impact of obesity on the burden of heart disease will be even greater.’”

Power Plate(R) Exercise Voted 'Best Los Angeles Workout' on Citysearch

“The revolutionary Power Plate® workout took top honors from the fitness-conscious Los Angeles community in the recently announced Best of Citysearch awards. Named "Best Los Angeles Workout," the state-of-the-art Power Plate Studio in Brentwood features group classes and personal training on Power Plate® machines featuring Advanced Vibration Technology(TM). ‘We at Power Plate are honored to have been selected the Best Workout in L.A. There is no m...

Facebook Helping Business

“Facebook is going beyond social networking. It’s now also a tool for schools, emergency services, and businesses. ‘We had an incredible response from it our first month. We didn't have any advertising going on. We produced 140 new members just by Facebook alone our first month. We didn't even have equipment in the gym,’ Tom Donahoe from Gold’s Gym said. More businesses like Gold's Gym are getting hip to Facebook as a way to connect with potential customers. Gold's Gym's Facebook page has only been up for about 2 months and already they have nearly 400 fans. ‘It just spread really...

Sweatshop Health Club wins Lifetime Achievement Award

“The Sweatshop Health Club, the St. Paul-based Pilates, group and private training, yoga and fitness center, was awarded the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from Stott Pilates during a gala ceremony in Toronto, Canada on Oct. 22 for their work in training fitness professionals. The global award, presented to SweatShop founder and president Gayle Winegar of St. Paul, an Albert Lea native, by Stott Pilates founders Moira and Lindsay Merrithew, honored the SweatShop’s 14 years as the Midwest’s first licensed training center for Stott Pilates — one of only 56 in the world. Since then, the SweatShop has trained close to 800 Stott Pilates instructors."

Anti-Gravity Treadmill: Therapy That's Like A Walk On The Moon

“A treadmill developed at NASA Ames Research Center more than a decade ago for exercising in space has seen more athletes than astronauts lately. AlterG, a Fremont startup, has sold more than 200 of the ‘anti-gravity’ physical therapy and training treadmills, which are based on the NASA prototype, at $75,000 each. The buyers have mainly been sports teams, college athletic departments and hospitals, but the maker hopes to eventually push prices down to where individuals could own one.”

Friday, December 4, 2009

Town Sports International to Embark on a Company-Wide, Cross-State Fundraising Event for MDA’s Augie’s Quest

“Town Sports International (TSI) (, the largest owner and operator of health and fitness clubs in the Northeast, today announced that all of its New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC Sports Clubs will host a fundraiser on Wednesday, December 9, for MDA’s Augie’s Quest, an organization dedicated to treating and curing ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Members, non-members, and guests can participate by taking designated fitness classes on December 9 for a suggested $20 donation. For n...

Physically Active Boys Are Smarter, Study Hints

“Jocks get new respect in a large Swedish study that suggests physically active teen boys may be smarter than their couch-potato counterparts. The findings, the investigators say, have important implications for the education of young people. Increasing, not decreasing, physical education in schools can not only slow the shift toward sedentary lifestyles but, by doing so, reduce risk of disease and "perhaps intellectual and academic underachievement,’ they concluded. The results show a strong positive link between cardiovascular fitness...

Pilates To Pumpkins: Nova Scotia In The Guinness World Records(R) Book

“Bust a Move for Breast Health, a fundraising fitness extravaganza set for January 30, 2010, at the Halifax Metro Centre, is going to attempt a pair of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS(R) records: the largest Pilates class and the most people hugging. hey'll have the added experience of music, jumbo video screens and Hollywood fitness celebrity Richard Simmons present. Despite the focus on fitness, organizers are promising would-be record setters that the event is designed for participants of all degrees of experience and fitness levels. ‘It's going to be an uplifting, exciting and tremendously fun day,’ says Mullally, ‘We're creating the perfect atmosphere to set world records and take a huge step forward in the fight against breast cancer.’ She encourages every Nova Scotian to visit the event website at to find out more.”

Fitness Center Name Change

“Anytime Fitness in Oildale will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Friday to celebrate the changing of its name to Oildale Fitness. The name change commemorates Oildale's 100th anniversary. Anytime Fitness was the first co-ed gym north of the river, said owner Terry Delamater. In its five years of existence, its membership has grown to almost 1,000.”

Va. Yoga Regulation A Stretch For Teachers

“Yoga enthusiasts were knocked off balance late last year when Virginia announced that yoga teacher training programs, which officials consider vocational classes that prepare students for a job, must be certified by the state. Officials say it will protect students who invest a few thousand dollars in the training. But the teachers, who between them have more than four decades of experience practicing yoga (Leitner-Wise was Virginia Sen. Mark Warner's former private yoga instructor), say passing on the tradition to other teachers is tantamount to constitutionally protected free speech. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia requires certification of all sorts of vocational training programs, in...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Esporta Group Appoints New Chief Executive

“Esporta, the UK's leading premium health and leisure club operator, today announced the appointment of John Cleland as Chief Executive Officer. The appointment takes effect from 14 December 2009. John Cleland (44) is a highly experienced retailer with a proven track record across the retail industry. John was appointed to the Somerfield Board as Chief Operating Officer in February 2006 and was formerly Commercial Managing Director of B&Q. Prior to that John Cleland was Senior Vice President Operations at Wal-Mart Japan and Retail Managing Director at Wal-Mart UK. He also held a number of Trading Director roles at Asda. Esporta appointed John Cleland after a rigorous search and selection process...

Burn Energy, Generate Electricity at the EnerGym [video]

“Is the elusive goal of a sleek, toned body enough to get you to the gym every week? No? Well, what about helping to save the world? The EnerGym, a concept dreamed up by 14-year-old Gustavo Barceloni for the Big Ideas contest, harnesses the hard work put in on treadmills, rowing machines and the like into energy to power the gym itself. It's an interesting idea and, providing gym junkies didn't feel like hamsters on a treadmill, it has real potential to entice those who prefer to exercise inside rather than out. For the pavement-pounders, there's always these kinetic Dancepants. The Big Ideas contest produced plenty of innovative ideas, including Immogen Heap's floating houses, filling skyscrapers with vertical farms and promoting urban sustainability via mini-golf.”,-generate-electricity-at-the-energym.aspx

Brunswick Completes Open Market Purchases Of About $85 Mln Of 11.75% Notes Due 2013

“Wednesday, Brunswick Corp. (BC: News ) completed open market purchases of approximately $85 million of its outstanding 11.75% notes due 2013. Brunswick purchased these notes for approximately $97 million, excluding accrued interest. Combined with the purchase of approximately $12 million completed pursuant to a tender offer earlier this year, Brunswick has reduced the amount of 2013 notes outstanding to approximately $153 mi...

S&P Raises Outlook on Brunswick to Stable

“Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Tuesday upgraded its rating outlook on Brunswick Corp. to stable from negative based on the belief that the company has adequate liquidity for next year. Brunswick, which makes boats, gym machines and pool tables, is based in Lake Forest, Ill. ‘The outlook revision is based on our expectation that Brunswick's liquidity will be sufficient to carry it at least through 2010,’ Standard & Poor's credit analyst Andy Liu said in a statement. S&P also said the company has a minimal number of debt maturities coming up in...

Salman at Gym Spinnathon [slideshow]

“The bad boy of Bollywood Salman Khan is known to be a fitness freak. His fit body says it all. Khan was seen this past Wednesday at a charitable event, Gold's Gym – Mega Spinnathon 2009. The gym organized the event to celebrate health, hope, challenge and inspiration. The members of gym came together to raise money and more importantly, spread awareness of health and fitness. Being the fitness dude and inspiration to many, Salman graced the event and handed out awards for the Best Spinners across the all the gym's location.”

Spark Wins Lifestyle Family Fitness Marketing Account

“Lifestyle Family Fitness Inc. selected Tampa’s Spark as its agency of record, ending a lengthy relationship with Schifino Lee Inc. Spark is now tasked with creating a new campaign strategy that will include advertising, digital and media for the health club brand, according to a release.”

Exercise as Prevention

"Let me help you make the case for physical activity. It’s not about exercising for weight loss, though most people know there’s a connection. Simply put, I’m advocating physical activity for health. Exercise repeatedly has been shown to help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, hypertension, depression and anxiety...

Heavier Kids Tend To Underestimate Their Size

“Children are generally pretty good at estimating their true body size but heavier kids, and particularly girls, seem more prone to underestimating their body size, research from the UK suggests. Three investigators at University College, London asked 205 boys and 194 girls, 7 to 14 years old, to match their body size to one of seven numbered images of similarly aged boys and girls. The images ranged in body size from very thin to very heavy. They also asked the youngsters privately to describe their body size, giving them choices of too thin, just right, or too fat. Actual measurements showed that 16 percent of the kids were underweight, just over 13 percent were overweight, 5 percent were obese, and the rest were at a...

Obesity's Rise Trumps Smoking's Decline When It Comes To Life Expectancy

“When it comes to smoking and obesity, what goes up must come down. A new study predicts that in the future, as smoking rates continue to decline and life expectancy increases, obesity figures will continue to rise, ultimately slowing those rates and contributing to poorer quality of life. The New England Journal of Medicine study released today looked at previous health trends culled from national health surveys to forecast life expectancy and quality of life for a typical 18-year-old from 2005 through 2020. Past declines in smok...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

24 Hour Fitness Launches "My24" iPhone App and Mobile Web site

“24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately owned U.S. fitness chain and a leading health club industry pioneer, is now ‘mobile'. The company has recently introduced My24 - an iPhone application (app) and Mobile Web site. The new offerings bring fitness management features directly to mobile devices. Users can now locate clubs while on the move, review club amenities, look up class schedules and access a variety of fitness tools. Although the app was designed with 24 Hour Fitness members in mind, it is also available to the general public without a log-in requirement. ‘Everyone is welcome to download the app,’ said Tony Wells, Chief Marketing Officer. ‘At 24 Hour Fitness, we pride ourselves on providing members unsurpassed access to products and services to help them achieve their fitness goals.’ The company welcomes additional suggestions for future add-ons from the public via its Facebook page at Photos of the handheld application features are available at:”

dreamGEAR® & 24 Hour Fitness® Announce Gaming Accessories Partnership

“dreamGEAR® — a leading provider of high-quality and cutting-edge accessories for all video game platforms — has announced an exclusive partnership with 24 Hour Fitness®, a national leader in the health and fitness industry, for fitness related video and computer game accessories. With the purchase of dreamGEAR’s 24 Hour Fitness branded accessories and Workout Kits for the Nintendo® Wii™ Fit, consumers will receive a free 30-day membership to any one of the more than 400, 24 Hour Fitness clubs nationwide. Products including this offer will begin in stores the first quarter of 2010.”

Zoom/ClubCom and Club One Partner to Deliver Custom Messaging to Health Club Members

“Zoom Media & Marketing, the world’s largest fitness digital media company, today announced a long term agreement between ClubCom, LLC., Zoom’s digital media network subsidiary, and Club One, a leading fitness and wellness provider operating 19 commercial health clubs throughout California. Pursuant to the agreement, ClubCom will broadcast its award-winning digital media network to health clubs members of 14 Club One Fitness locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and 5 Frog’s Fitness locations in San Diego and Long Beach. The network will be privately branded and feature ClubCom’s revolutionary suite of high definition media products including digital signage, overhead entertainment and its patented interactive personal entertainment platform. Broadcasting is expected to commence in January 2010. Zoom will exclusively represent all advertising opportunities on behalf of Club One including digital and billboard advertising, event marketing and product sampling.”

President Obama, United We Serve, and the NFL Team Up for Fitness and Service [video]

President Takes The Lead In Encouraging Physical Fitness Hey, Kids, Go Play

“The Obamas have made fighting childhood obesity a priority, starting with the White House vegetable garden. They promote fitness and visit schools to shine the media spotlight on healthy food choices. Change, however, will take more than a nudge from the White House.”

Jennifer Aniston: Yoga Changed My Life [video]

“Jennifer Aniston appears in the introduction to the workout video ‘Yogalosophy’ featuring her pal and yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber. ‘She brought yoga into my life,’ says Aniston. "It completely changed my life.’ The actress will also join SELF Magazine at a launch event Thursday in Los Angeles. ‘It's one of the most fun workouts I've ever had," Aniston says in the video. ‘So have fun and work hard because it will totally pay off.’",,20323591,00.html

Spread Holiday Cheer With Fitness Gear [Slideshow]

17 Gifts for Fitness Fanatics [slideshow]

Find The Perfect Gift For People With Special Considerations

“We've all got those people on our holiday gift lists for whom it is particularly difficult to shop. It could be your techno-geek uncle, brainiac dad or raw vegan sister who eschews all things commercial. But shopping for someone who has recently fallen ill or is going through a life-altering health change also can be a tricky and delicate task. Area experts offered their gift ideas for people with a variety of special health considerations. Turgut, of Illinois Heart Specialists, and his office team offered a few suggestions for gifts to give those with heart disease. A membership to a local health club or some home exercise equipment could help a person get the 30 to 60 minutes of regular exercise he or she should get three or four times a week. And for those who like to walk, tennis shoes and a pedometer can help a person get motivated to start a fitness regimen. ‘(Exercise) makes a big difference,’ Turgut said.”