Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Staying Fit At 80 For A Long, Happy Life

"‘I've had three buddies of mine who quit working out in their 50s,’ he said. ‘They had arthritis, lower back problems, so they just stopped. Guess what — they're all planted now. They're in the ground.’ ‘They say when you get older, you're supposed to retire, sit on the porch, rock in a chair and take it easy. My philosophy is just the opposite. That's the time you have to get out and walk and move. Movement's life. When you quit moving, it's all over.’ He wishes he could inspire more people closer to his age and that health clubs catered more to senior citizens. He maintains many of them are too intimidated to come in and work out, and that they surrender to their body's natural aging obstacles. ‘Hey, I've got arthritis, I've got a bad shoulder, I've got a sore lower back, I've got an elbow screwed together (from ramming into a boat dock while water skiing),’ he said. ‘But it's mind over matter. Everybody who gets old has aches and pains. You can give in to 'em or fight 'em — I choose to fight.’ Tony Riccardi, the Livermore club's manager, said Simonds is such a presence that 24 Hour Fitness tried to hire him. Simonds said no, because he didn't want to be accountable to someone else's schedule. ‘I think this is fun,’ he said. ‘A lot of older people see it as work. Their doctor sends them here. But I love this, and it's also my social scene. I'm not being melodramatic, but if I have to go, I'd rather go here in the gym because I know I'll go happy.’”

Fitness NZ's Recession Buster

“Skills Active and FitnessNZ have initiated a road show that will visit 10 venues in nine cities in mid June 2009 to support the fitness industry during the economic recession. As FitnessNZ Chief Executive Richard Beddie explains, ‘we are aware that while much of the fitness industry is extremely robust during these economic times, each parts will be affected differently. We are there to support the fitness industry during the recession, and provide innovative ways of making this happen.’ ‘We have put together a half day workshop covering key topics of how to grow your business during a recession, and what changes businesses need to consider.’ The workshops are free to attend for managers and sales staff at FitnessNZ member clubs, trainees and graduates of Skills Active, and PTs registered with the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).”

Urban Active Fights Obesity and Inactivity

“As Americans’ waistlines expand, and healthcare costs associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyles increase, Urban Active is stepping up to help the nation get moving and get healthy. Together with other members of the non-profit International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Urban Active will make exercise available to the public. While other participating gyms are only offering one free week starting May 11-17, 2009, URBAN ACTIVE IS OFFERING THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MAY FOR FREE to those who wish to participate in the Get Active America! campaign. Now in its sixth year, this program is part of a continuous effort by the health club industry to change the direction of the nation’s health by making exercise more accessible to millions of Americans, and help them to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.”

Senate Confirms Sebelius for Health Secretary Post

“The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services in a 65-31 vote. She was sworn in hours later and quickly went to work on the swine-flu outbreak. The swearing-in completes President Barack Obama's cabinet and thrusts Ms. Sebelius into the middle of the government's swine-flu response. She'll also guide a health-care overhaul that the White House and Congress are pledging to enact this year. She is expected to work closely with lawmakers as they begin to fill in the details of the bill in coming weeks."

Urban Active Launches Urban Strolling for Mommies and Their Babies Starting Thursday, April 30th 2009 Thru June 4th 2009

"All Moms will be working out while pushing their babies in strollers. Urban Strolling is a fun one hour all around fitness class using strollers, brisk walking, light jogging, with stops along the way to do full body exercises like lunges, push ups, sits ups, biceps curls, etc…to burn calories and tone up to help assist Mommies in getting back to their “Pre-Baby” bodies and or overall well being. This is an excellent opportunity for Mothers to get a great workout while bonding with their babies and making new friends outdoors in a park surrounding. Babies are entertained by songs, nursery rhymes, and the visual stimulation of watching Mommies having fun."

Colfax Gym Issues Call To Fitness To Emergency Responders

“The 40-year-old rural Colfax man started modifying his diet in January, and a month later he began the first week of FIT Responders, a free three-phase, 18-week program designed to help those who save lives improve their own. Since then, Knutson - whose wife, Pam, also is participating - has added muscle, lowered his blood pressure and lost more than 60 pounds. ‘To see the progress Don has made has been phenomenal,’ said Michelle Benson, manager of Anytime Fitness in Colfax. She also is proud of the progress of the other 10 area emergency responders and three of their spouses enrolled in the program. ‘The merits of exercise - from preventing chronic health conditions to boosting confidence and self-esteem are hard to ignore’ said Tami Phillips, owner of Anytime Fitness. Just ask Knutson. ‘I know I'm healthier than I was a few months ago,’ he said. When Anytime Fitness began its quest for initiating a goodwill fitness program, Phillips and her staff wanted to choose a program that would involve - and give back - to the community, and area emergency medical technicians and firefighters came to mind. ‘(These) are ... men and women who are continually dedicated to the safety and health of our citizens,’ Phillps said."

As Health Reform Takes Shape, Leading Medical And Public Health Organizations Join Effort To Keep Obesity Front And Center

“Eight medical groups, public health associations and obesity experts joined the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance as the organization accelerates outreach to public and private sector decision makers grappling with the high costs of weight-related health conditions -- such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. ‘Any national health reform discussion that does not address the impact of obesity will ultimately be unable to meet the goals of better health and more affordable care,’ said 17th U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, Health and Wellness Chairperson of the STOP Obesity Alliance and President of Canyon Ranch Institute."

Working Out? It Can Be A Snap

Jan Travers was sitting at Dunkin' Donuts at Patton Place Plaza, Lower Paxton Twp., when she saw the mall's fitness facility ‘And I thought I really should do something other than eat,’ said Travers, 58, of Lower Paxton. A year ago, she joined Snap Fitness, probably the midstate's only 24-hour, self-serve gym and has felt a difference in her leg strength. Bonnie and Edward Berkoski opened their 3,000-square-foot Snap Fitness franchise, purchased for $15,000, in October 2007. The Lower Paxton couple with two children, ages 16 and 19, already owned coin laundries and sought other business opportunities offering similar ‘hands-off management and self-service,’ Bonnie Berkoski said. ‘But we didn't want food or anything too out of the ordinary,’ Berkoski said. ‘We wanted something that people needed.’

The Heat Is On, To Get That Body In Shape

“Today's mantra is not just about feeling good, but looking good as well. And this summer, as the recession dries-up part-time jobs, the city's youth has found another constructive way of spending their time, and that's hitting the gym. ‘We have around 100 to 200 youngsters coming to the gym these days and are expecting the number to increase during the summer holidays. There are around 60 per cent young men who mainly go in for weight training and cardio; whereas women go for cardio and aerobics,’ says Steve, owner of Steve's gym. When asked about his take on the rising obesity levels, Shodhan Rai from Gold's Gym, says, ‘Obesity has increased a lot in the world today, and is also increasing in India."

Technogym Provides Educational Training At The MEFIT PRO 2009 In Dubai

“Technogym® will participate at the Middle East Health & Fitness Summit (MEFIT PRO) 2009 on Wednesday, 3rd June to 6th June, 2009 at the Hayya Club in Meadows. Personal Trainers and other attendees visiting the Technogym stand at booth number xx can register online via our new platform which is new to the market and has been created to provide various workshops, seminars and other educational programs."

Monday, April 27, 2009

In A Dead Job Market, Unemployed Hit The Gym

“When Richard Gill's financial consulting work came to a "screeching halt" in late January, he could easily have submitted to temptation. ‘Some people run to a bottle,’ the 38-year-old Lake View man said last week. But Gill -- like an increasing number of out-of-work Americans -- has run a different way: to the gym. ‘I can lose myself for an hour and a half in a wonderful sweat, and then chat with some of the guys,’ Gill said of his exercise routine at Quads gym, 3727 N. Broadway. When he was working 12 hours a day, Gill hardly had time to get in shape. Now, as business has all but dried up, he's spending two hours a day at the gym -- five times per week. Gill says he feels better than he used to and the exercise gives him a "mental release" from the stress of job hunting. ‘When I work out, I'm a kinder, gentler soul for a little while,’ he said. Gill is part of a growing trend as Americans grapple with the recession, says Equinox, which runs 48 gyms in the U.S., including four in the Chicago area. Gym usage among existing Equinox members grew as much as 15 percent in the first quarter. Participation in classes that are included in the cost of the membership has increased by a similar amount, and the gym is adding more yoga classes to meet demand. In a survey released this month by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Men's Health and Runner's World, 84 percent of those polled said despite the recession, there is no better time to invest in maintaining good health. ‘Your health-club membership, your cable TV and your cell phone are in the last third of things that you're going to cut off’ in a tough economy, said Anthony Gikas, a leisure analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis. The gym and fitness-club market will grow 2.2 percent this year, according to Los Angeles-based researcher IBISWorld Inc. The current interest in fitness in a down economy doesn't surprise Al Phillips, who owns five-Chicago area World Gym franchises. During the recession triggered by the oil crisis in the early 1970s, people also toned up. ‘In Detroit, where the economy was absolutely the worst, we had a record year,’ Phillips said. To lure new members, World Gym is offering to pick up more than half the cost of monthly dues if a client loses his or her job after joining, but only until the member finds work. Other clubs promote fitness as a way to get noticed by prospective employers. Paula Randazzo, 48, of Oak Lawn, was let go from her job with a trade show company in early March. ‘I just kind of sat there in a daze, and then the tears started falling,’ Randazzo said after losing the job she had held for 20 years. Randazzo had exercised frequently before, but it was something she had to squeeze in when she could. Now, as she's searching for work, she' has doubled the amount of time she spends in the gym. More frequent exercise has helped her maintain her weight after quitting smoking three years ago, and it helps her stay upbeat, she said. ‘You should probably talk to my husband,’ Randazzo joked. ‘I was a really moody witch at times.’”,CST-NWS-gym27.article

Gold's Gym International and Gold's Gym Franchisee Association Join Forces on Key Initiatives

Gold's Gym International (GGI) and the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA) today announced two key system-wide initiatives that will have a significant impact on the organization in 2009 and beyond. First, GGI and the GGFA have formed a task force to jointly create a group purchasing program which will replace the current national vendor program. Second, the two have made a commitment to work together to plan, implement and host the 2009 Gold's Gym Convention this summer in Las Vegas.

"Unifying these efforts makes Gold's Gym better prepared to maintain its position as the world's leading authority on health and fitness," said James Weaver, President and CEO of Gold's Gym International. "Working together ensures that we incorporate the viewpoints of all Gold's Gym stakeholders for these important programs."

In the days ahead, the task force responsible for the group purchasing program will be considering how procurement processes and systems will function. In addition, they will lay out the purchasing arm's organizational structure and will make personnel decisions.

"This purchasing program creates a sustainable market advantage for the entire Gold's Gym family," said Blair McHaney, President of the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association. "We will combine resources with GGI to determine the best possible way to leverage our system."

Expectations from both sides are equally as optimistic for the planning and execution of the 2009 Gold's Gym Convention.

"Sharing our knowledge and experience as a single planning committee helps guarantee that our franchisees get the most out of the time they invest to attend the convention," added Weaver. "We all have the same goal in mind for the convention…to network with vendors, educate ourselves and have a good time with our Gold's Gym family members."

"The GGFA is excited to be a decision maker and share the convention with GGI," said Ginger Collins, Executive Director of the GGFA. "We will focus on working with GGI to provide a thrilling and rewarding convention experience for the franchisees. "

GGI and GGFA will share equal authority, costs and revenues generated through the convention.

"The fitness industry is highly competitive. By working together we are helping protect our futures," noted McHaney. "Gold's Gym has been a leader in health and fitness for more than 40 years and our new initiatives strengthen our position in the industry."

Fiserv Ranked #1 in Anti-Money Laundering System Sales for Second Consecutive Year

“Fiserv, the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that it was ranked as the top-selling provider of global anti-money laundering (AML) solutions by IBS Publishing. IBS determined the ranking by analyzing the AML market for the number of new name wins achieved in 2008. Fiserv topped the chart with 117 new name wins. ‘Nearly half of the new name AML wins in 2008 were achieved by Fiserv,’ said James Ling, senior reporter at IBS Publishing. ‘Thanks to cross-selling into its U.S. core banking customers, Fiserv was able to more than triple its new name sales over last year.’ The industry's top-selling solution in 2007 and 2008, AML Compliance Manager from Fiserv is a fully-integrated, easily-deployable and highly-effective anti-money laundering system. It uniquely combines transaction monitoring, list checking, risk scoring, case management and automated reporting, delivering the highest degree of accuracy and operational efficiency. ‘AML Compliance Manager is the most feature rich and flexible solution in the market and enables our global client base to protect corporate brand and reputation,’ said John Filby, president, Risk Management Solutions, Fiserv. ‘We are pleased to be recognized by IBS as it reinforces our leadership in the global anti-money laundering market.’ IBS Publishing produces a number of publications and events around the world focused on the back office banking systems and operations market. The results of IBS's new AML market survey demonstrate which systems and markets are most popular.”{F6D91E81-A210-47DB-8F5B-64126F3EDB61}&dist=msr_3

Gold's Gym Family Fitness Center Opens In Chesapeake

Chad Ackerman was looking for a family friendly fitness center and was thrilled to learn one was being built right near his house. Ackerman, 36, signed up at the Gold’s Gym preview center in Chesapeake Square mall where consumers can try out equipment until Gold’s opens in early May at 4628 Portsmouth Blvd . ‘I’ve been working out at the Gold’s Gym in Virginia Beach near my work. That’s the nice thing about Gold’s; you can go to any one in the area or wherever you’re at,’ said Ackerman. Soon for Ackerman, his wife, Marcie, and their 17-year-old son, Nicholas , workouts will be just a short drive from home. ‘Gold’s used to be referred to as a muscle gym, but it’s been transformed into a true family gym,’ said Ackerman, who played hockey for the Hampton Roads Admirals. A multitude of amenities and services will be offered at the new location. They include more than 300 pieces of cardiovascular and resistance-training equipment, a cardio-cinema room, personal TV screens on cardio machines, group exercise and cycle studios, sauna and steam rooms, trainers and a full physical therapy and chiropractic rehab center. The center will also have volleyball, basketball and racquetball. There will be a juice bar and an aquatics center . Kids will also have a large interactive Kids Club featuring a play maze, junior basketball court and activity area . The new gym will join four other Gold’s Gym locations in Hampton Roads: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News and Greenbrier . ‘The area is starting to grow and there is a need for a family fitness center,’ said Jerry Donnelly, area manager. ‘This one is one-of-a-kind. It’s like a country club setting with upgrade inside without the country club prices.’"

Recession? What Recession? Let’s Open a Gym!

“In late 1929, world markets were crashing and the American economy was in ruins. But a young Italian immigrant who had recently changed his name from Angelo Siciliano to Charles Atlas saw opportunity. He offered customers ‘the path to perfect manhood’ through his mail-order fitness program. Thus was born Charles Atlas Ltd., the fitness industry phenomenon that to this day sells workout routines to young men tired of getting sand kicked in their face. Before the Great Depression finally lifted around 1941, muscle entrepreneurs like Joe Weider and Jack LaLanne would also get in on the act. This was the dawn of the modern fitness industry. Atlas, Weider, and LaLanne weren’t necessarily prescient contrarians, but they were shrewd businessmen who grasped the situation at hand. After all, the era in which they launched their brands saw a blossoming of recreational pursuits that coincided with massive public works projects such as sports stadiums, gymnasiums, swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses. Hunger for escapism, a key ingredient in Hollywood’s unprecedented popularity at the time, may have helped too. Is something similar afoot now? Despite swirling dark economic clouds, at least ten gyms and fitness centers of various stripes have opened along the Biscayne Corridor during the past two years. Their numbers include everything from tiny boutique spots that train only one customer at a time to sprawling complexes with hundreds of members. They join what would appear to be an already crowded constellation of fitness businesses in this body-obsessed town. The number of frequent health-clubgoers is up over previous decades, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. And in 2008 the number of fitness businesses nationally increased slightly, according to the association. But as far as Miami’s gym boom goes, appearances may be deceiving, says Brian Biagioli, director of FIU’s graduate exercise and sport science program. ‘This is probably the worst time to open a gym,’ he says bluntly. The fitness industry as a whole is down about 30 percent since the current recession set in, Biagioli says. Biagioli suggests that fitness entrepreneurs stand a chance if they offer something new and challenging that avoids the repetitive boredom of machine-based training. But, he cautions, it’s a tough business no matter what: ‘Gyms go out of business at a rate similar to restaurants.’ Several new fitness center owners are relying on Biagioli’s suggestion, expressing hope that the unique nature of what they offer, combined with average people’s desire to better themselves, will bring success. ‘We believe that it is recession-free,’ Simi Aboutboul says of her business, Studio FitVibe. The Midtown Miami studio, open since September, offers ‘whole body vibration,’ a super-efficient muscle-contraction workout technique supposedly developed by the Russian space agency. Although she admits she was ‘naïve’ about opening in a down economy and is ‘struggling like anyone else,’ Aboutboul thinks the recession will push people to redirect their expenses toward more health-conscious pursuits: ‘When times are hard, that’s when people are looking into themselves more.’ Similarly, Dan Martin of Crossfit 305, a bare-bones fitness center that opened in a former Lemon City auto garage this past April, sees potential in the downturn. People are looking for relief from the bad news, and a good workout can do that. Manning Sumner of the just-opened Legacy Fit ‘training facility’ in Wynwood, doesn’t speculate much on the economy, but he’s confident more people would sign up for his services if they knew what was best for them in hard times. Says Sumner: ‘To be able to have a place to go to, to let go, to not have a care in the world except for sweating, letting all the stress go.’ It’s a simple equation, Sumner says: ‘Money doesn’t bring happiness. I think that health can bring happiness, make you comfortable in your own skin.’”

Geoff Hampton -- A Passionate Drive to Help Others Attain Maximum Health and Fitness Success

“The health and wellness industry has always concluded that the model that everyone was following (copying one to another) was the best model that could be used in the pursuit of successful business operation. That has been proven wrong by the current economic downturn. However, by utilizing an open systems management approach like the GLH Open Systems Management Model that I created based on my research, any club or health and wellness related business can actually thrive in these conditions! Business operators in this industry need to take action immediately in order to shift their operational dynamics to a truly success based model. In developing my unique and impactive sales approach I incorporated Dr. James Prochaska's Transtheoretical Model of Change to clearly illustrate the challenges club sales teams face as they cling to the ‘old school’ techniques. By using this model business operators can clearly see the deficiencies in the sale of new memberships, personal training, massage therapy, effective utilization of Group Exercise and all its important applications and of course their retention efforts. My first regular business column (1985 - 1986) was with IHRSA (back then it was called IRSA) and was entitled, ‘Sales Training by Geoff Hampton,’ so I have doing sales and leadership training for a very long time! However, I came to recognize the flaws in the ‘old school’ approaches and made it my mission to discover and cross relate stronger methodolgies from other professions. It has been very effective. The most significant changes I've seen are mostly positive. With the National focus on exercise and better nutrition the industry has seen a large influx of sedentary types that in the past would either have maintained their poor lifestyle choices or would have simply opted for a weight loss program alone. Most of the industry has embraced these types and moved to create stronger inventories of initial new member programming to support these persons' chances for success. However, there are still unscrupulous operators who are in essence fitness predators. How would you identify a fitness predator? Not by an Association relationship that's for sure. Simply go to any State Attorneys General website for consumer complaints, or Better Business Bureaus and the predatory operators will be listed there.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mid-Cape Racquet Planning Fund-Raiser For Longtime Member

“He was one of the original members. He was there when Mid-Cape Racquet and Health Club was a fledgling business, when it was not a health club, just a place where tennis enthusiasts gathered to battle across the nets. Now, Chuck Williams is fighting for his life, and the owners of Mid-Cape Racquet and Health want to give back to one of their oldest and dearest customers. ‘He's been a friend to many people here. You remember that when he's one of the first people in the door,’ said Bob Lynch, owner of the Cape Coral club. ‘He's been coming here on a regular basis since the beginning.’ Lynch and the club are throwing a fund-raiser, a ‘Chuckapalooza,’ to help Williams and his family while Williams battles stage four brain cancer. The family found itself in a tough financial battle after its business, Coast to Coast Fence, was forced to shut down. Though it still has Acorn Business Advisors up and running, the family is facing steep medical bills. Lynch and company hope to mitigate those circumstances by offering a fun filled day of tennis and excitement. ‘You hear these stories a lot and it hits us at a personal level when it's one of our members,’ he said. Williams' journey has been documented online at:, a personalized Web site that connects and supports family members during critical illness. A feature of the Web site is the journal, which chronicles Williams' trials during his treatment. The day-to-day entries include Williams' battles with chemotherapy, his safety at home and fatigue experienced from treatment. The fund-raiser is really aimed at celebrating Williams and his family, including his wife, Chris, and two children, Jasen and R.J. The day's festivities will start with ‘round robins,’ according to a prepared statement. Everyone who attends will get to play games, watch tennis exhibitions, participate in challenges and receive free pizza, sponsored by Dominos. Lynch said players of all tennis skill levels are welcome to participate, and the competitors will be matched according to skill level. ‘We're allowing anyone to come in, participate, watch or make a donation,’ he said. ‘Anybody who wants to can come in.’”

Spectrum Clubs Announces Bud Rockhill as CEO

“Spectrum Athletic Clubs, Inc., one of the 10 largest athletic club operations in the United States, has named Bud Rockhill the new President and CEO of the company. Mr. Rockhill brings a significant amount of high-level experience to Spectrum Clubs. He has been involved in the fitness and wellness industry for more than 25 years, and has previously been the CEO, President or COO of three successful companies in other service industries. Previously, Rockhill was one of three owners of Colorado-based Club Sports International, now The Wellbridge Company, which grew to more than 40 clubs and over $100 million in revenues during his tenure. In the late 1990s, he moved into the position of CEO of Destination Cinema, an affiliate of National Geographic that owns IMAX theaters in destination locations. Most recently, he was the President of the Colorado-based Westwood College Online, where he managed a high-growth company that doubled revenues in two years. Throughout his career, Mr. Rockhill has remained involved in the fitness industry by teaching at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Management Institute, publishing management articles for various industry publications, and in several advisory assignments for fitness and spa companies. ‘I’m thrilled to be on board with the Spectrum Clubs team,’ says Rockhill of his new position. ‘Spectrum has a tradition of excellence and I’m very much looking forward to building on that tradition in a time that Spectrum is expanding its presence.’”

Three Quarters Of Children Are Not Active Enough: Government Survey

“The biggest survey of its kind, conducted by the Department of Health, found that children are not getting the recommended one hour of physical activity outside of school times. Almost half of children watched TV or played non-active video games before school and only a fifth of children did something active after dinner, the Change4Life survey found. Over 11m questionnaires were distributed through GP surgeries, letterboxes, websites and magazines. Of the 260,000 responses 72 per cent of families said their children were not getting one hour of physical activity outside of school. The findings,. of the How Are the Kids survey, were released to coincide with a new advert to encourage activity in children. One third of children under 16 in England are thought to be overweight or obese and this is projected to rise. The ad features the Change4Life family as they realise that 'sitting around doing nothing' can lead to a build up of fat in their bodies that can cause diseases such as type two diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Other adverts on the subject from the Department of Health have been fiercely criticised as 'over the top and frightening' because pictures of a healthy looking child eating a cupcake was captioned with 'Is a premature death so tempting?'. Dawn Primarolo, Minister for Public Health said: ‘Our survey shows that kids just aren't getting up and about as much as they should. If we're going to cut obesity levels our children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. ‘Families up and down the country are getting tailor made action plans from Change4Life, and our new ads will give additional encouragement to help families feel the difference. ‘By eating better and moving more, we can all live longer and healthier lives. With continued support from Change4Life this can be a reality for every family in England.’”

Women’s Bid To Save Aqua-Natal Classes

“A group of pregnant women has launched a petition in an effort to overturn a decision to scrap popular aqua-natal classes in Inverness. NHS Highland plans to stop the classes in May, following a review of some of its midwifery services. The classes are held twice a week at Inverness Leisure and Bannatyne’s Health Club and are regularly attended by a dozen women. The sessions provide expectant mothers with safe pool-based exercise under the supervision of specially-trained midwives and nurses. Laurianne Sellar, 31, who is four months’ pregnant, has been attending the classes for about a month. She said: ‘It is extremely frustrating to see these classes being scrapped, particularly as we are consistently bombarded with messages from the government highlighting the importance of tackling obesity during pregnancy.’ ‘While pregnant, with an ever-increasing bump, you are limited as to what exercise you can take part in, and aqua-natal sessions are ideal as they allow us to stay fit and healthy under the guidance and supervision of experienced midwives.’ The offshore worker, from Beauly, said: ‘We’ve already had a great response to our petition from people shocked at the decision to discontinue the classes and we’d urge anyone interested in supporting us to get in touch.’ An NHS Highland spokes-woman confirmed there are no plans to carry on the aqua-natal classes after they end in May. She said maternity activity over the past year had increased without an increase in staff numbers. As a result, the health authority was trying to ensure core services were covered and were having to review non-core activities, such as aqua-natal classes. She added: ‘While we are aware that aqua-natal classes are used, it is not a core service. However, it may be something the local providers will be willing to provide.’”

Be Fit For Life™ Sponsors Walk To Raise Money & Awareness About Violence Against Women & Girls

“Each year, UNIFEM/USNC hosts a series of walks around the country to support initiatives to end violence against women. UNIFEM/USNC Chapters organize walks in their area to take a stand against violence and educate their community on the issue. This year, Sunita & Joseph Shouse, owners of Be Fit For Life™ Women’s Health Club Of Raleigh, were proud gold level sponsors of the Research Triangle Park Walk and were joined by their club members who supported their efforts. The RTP Walk participants were pleased to learn that they had raised $3,000 for the cause. Funds raised go toward programs to stop violence against women and increase awareness in communities about gender-based violence. UNIFEM also advocates for change by urging elected officials to support the International Violence again Women Act (I-VAWA).”

Work Strife Stresses the Heart

“‘Work stress is bad for the heart, because it causes your body to be in a state of high arousal all the time,’ said Dr. Redford Williams, director of the behavioral medicine research center at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Dr. Matthew Lucks, a cardiologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., said that ‘stress does a lot of damage to the body.’ As stress quickly raises blood pressure, the amount of resistance in the blood vessels goes up, he said, and this can cause an increase in the atherosclerotic process, meaning the narrowing of blood vessels. Both Lucks and Williams recommended exercising, because it helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels and improves cardiovascular health. Lucks said that some of his patients try various techniques, such as tai chi, meditation, biofeedback and relaxation exercises, though he said he did not know if the techniques were effective. Williams and his wife, Virginia, developed their own stress management program, called Williams Life Skills, that teaches people the steps they can take to better control stress. He said they teach people to analyze each situation to see if it's something they can change, if it's something they should change or if it's something that cannot be changed. For situations that can't be changed, people learn how to calm themselves down using meditation, exercise and relaxation,’ he said.”

Running with Cancer

“Three area women will be taking a run through New York's Central Park as participants in the 6th annual More magazine half marathon -- the largest women-only 13-miler in the country. Big deal, you say? Well, for Michele Conley, Betty Lawson and Marlyn Glickman, it's a very big deal indeed. All three are cancer survivors, and running (or walking) this race is part of their commitment to reclaiming their lives through nutrition and physical activity. They've been training with Bethesda-based doctor Pamela Peeke, author of Body for Life for Women and Fight Fat after Forty. Peeke, a marathon runner herself, will lead the women on race day; she was asked by the race organizers to train a team of cancer survivors from across the country. Peeke says the team's efforts highlight ‘the connections between physical activity and disease risk, treatment and prevention. Their higher levels of fitness have had a profound impact on these women's quality of life and life span. As the new national spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine's 'Exercise is Medicine' campaign, I would say that these women got the prescription and have been, as I love to say, 'medicating with movement' ever since.’”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life Time Fitness and emagineGreen Team Up To Go Green For Earth Day

“A healthy body and healthy environment go hand in hand. emagineGreen is partnering with Life Time Fitness on April 18th from 8am to 1pm to educate people about ways to go green for Earth Day. Valley residents and their families are invited to workout for Free during the open house weekend. emagineGreen will have greenCoaches at all four locations providing information about how fitness-goers can begin their ecoJourney. Samples of emagineGreen’s line of eco-friendly products will also on hand. And 10% of all emagineGreen purchases made during the event will be donated to the Life Time Fitness Foundation. emagineGreen’s network of greenCoaches facilitates fun and educational ecoParties. Each greenCoach is a trained professional who simplifies the going green process for ecoParty guests and customers.‘We’re the Tupperware party of the green movement. Our workshop participants are amazed to learn how simple changes can add up to big benefits for mother earth,’ said Tonya Ensign, emagineGreen Founder. ‘After attending an emagineGreen workshop, participants don’t view water, waste or energy the same as they did before the emagineGreen experience. They have told us ‘I can never look at a plastic bottle or plastic bag the same way again.’ Since February of 2008, emagineGreen customers have saved over 2.9 million one-time use plastic bottles from ending up in landfills by committing to reusable bottles. They have also diverted over one million plastic grocery bags from being used. And 158 families have started composting after learning that food is the number one component of landfills by weight. This saves nearly 20,000 lbs of food scraps from landfills each month.”

Anytime Fitness, By Design, They Want Patrons To Get An 'Efficient Workout'

“Almost all of the new members at Anytime Fitness thought about joining a health club for more than a year, said Jennifer Smith, general manager of the new Anytime Fitness facility in Geneva. ‘Everybody has (fitness) goals. People just don't know how to get there." Big clubs can be intimidating, said Smith. "People don't know what to do or who to ask. We're very low key, non-threatening. It's just myself, an assistant and two trainers, not a staff of sales people. We focus on helping people get into an efficient workout. We encourage all of our members to work with one of our trainers one-on-one ($25-$30/1 hour) to develop a custom designed workout.’ Smith said, ‘People should leave a gym feeling as if they've done something. It's the intensity, the target heart rate that's important. It needs to be at least two to three times a week.’ To enable members to fit quick and convenient workouts into their busy schedules, Anytime Fitness offers 24/7 key card access to the facility in Geneva and at any of the numerous Anytime Fitness centers around the country (locally in Aurora, Streamwood, Yorkville and Bartlett). Smith and her partner David Lakin own two Anytime Fitness facilities in Iowa. "There are over a thousand Anytime Fitness facilities in Iowa," said Smith. ‘When we wanted to expand, we knew we had to look outside of Iowa. Driving around Chicago one weekend, we took a wrong turn out of St. Charles and wandered into Geneva. We loved it at first sight.’ Smith, a Pittsburgh native, has always been in the health and fitness business. "I always knew I wanted to own my own business. When I was 18, I was co-owner and head instructor at a martial arts studio." After working as a manager of corporate stores for the health nutrition retailer GNC, she opened her first Anytime Fitness store in Ankeny, Iowa, three years ago. Anytime Fitness offers a complete line of Precor exercise equipment for aerobic and weight training. Equipment is set up in three smaller rooms that offer a more intimate workout space than the big box facilities. A tanning facility is available for members. Month-to-month single membership fees start at $39.99 with tanning an additional $20 per month. Twelve-month membership and tanning fees are less. Family rates are available, although Anytime Fitness is for adults 18 and older.”,2_6_2_TC22_ANYTIME_S1.article

Never Too Late To Start, More Seniors Are Regularly Taking Part In Exercise Programs

“Ten years ago, Akiko Okamoto would have been a rare sight at the gym. But today, the 80-year-old Gardena resident is right at home, part of the growing contingent of older adults who are trading walkers and rocking chairs for barbells and treadmills. Research has long shown the benefits of exercising in staving off the aging process, but now, health experts are urging seniors to start working out even if they've never exercised before - and older adults seem to be heeding that advice. ‘I feel good after I exercise,’ said Okamoto, who wouldn't dream of missing her weekly SilverSneakers water aerobics class at Bally Total Fitness in Torrance. There, she spends an hour building strength with underwater jumping jacks, squats and boxing combinations. ‘When I go home, I'm relaxed.’ Today, adults age 55 and older make up nearly 25 percent of the nation's health club membership, a segment that has more than quadrupled since 1990. Many of these older adults are starting exercise programs for the first time, thanks to a host of incentives and resources geared to their needs, including free gym memberships and specialized training. For these fitness newbies, exercise may not extend life, but it can drastically improve the quality of it, said Jan Schroeder, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Long Beach, and an expert in fitness for older adults. By improving balance, coordination and strength, older adults can hope to live independently, play with their grandchildren and avoid debilitating falls and injuries. ‘It is never too late to start exercising. No matter how late in life you start, you'll see benefits,’ Schroeder said. Science backs up the claim. In a landmark 1994 study from Tufts University, researchers found that even the most frail and elderly adults benefited from exercise. The study put nursing-home patients in their 80s and 90s on a regular resistance-training program. After 10 weeks, the exercisers had more than doubled their strength, and they were walking faster and climbing stairs better than their inactive peers. Edita Antonian, a Glendale-based personal trainer, has worked with clients in their 80s. Although she spends a lot of time on exercises to improve posture, flexibility and range o motion, Antonian also incorporates cardiovascular training and weight-lifting, mainstays of traditional workout programs. Her older clients may need to use light weights or modify the exercises, but they benefit - even at an advanced age - from these workouts. ‘Weights are very beneficial, because they'll make the bones denser and help prevent osteoporosis,’ a common ailment among seniors, Antonian said. Older adults wanting to start a workout regimen will find lots of resources and money-saving deals, as gyms increasingly cater to this fast-growing demographic. Several leading health insurers, including Blue Shield of California and Humana, will buy gym memberships for their older clients through the SilverSneakers program, and many fitness centers offer specialized senior fitness classes. These group exercise classes take the guesswork out of starting a workout program, Schroeder said. They teach newcomers the fitness basics and focus on exercises that improve balance, strength and flexibility using props and modifications to ease the stress on arthritic joints.”

Physical Activity Counseling Increases Physical Activity Of Older People

“The research conducted at the Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology at the University of Jyvaskyla shows that physical activity counseling has positive effects on the mobility of older people. Individualized physical activity counseling decreased the mobility difficulties experienced by older people living at home, says researcher Minna Mänty. The results are important because mobility problems often decrease the ability of older people to live independently at home. The ability to move inside and outside is one of the most important premises of independent living. The positive effects of physical activity counseling intervention on mobility seem to be explained by the intervention group's increased physical activity, and the positive effects of this activity to the physical fitness of the group. Furthermore, the positive effects are partly explained by mobility problem solving together with a physiotherapist. Physical activity counseling is commendable and an affordable support mechanism to maintain mobility because it supports the independent physical activity of older people, says Mänty. 632 people from the Jyväskylä region ranging 75-81 years of age and living in the city center area independently participated in the study carried out by the Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology in cooperation with the City of Jyväskylä. The intervention group (n=318) participated in the individualized physical activity counseling given by a physiotherapist. In addition to this, this group's physical activity was supported with a telephone contact every four months for a two year period.”

AMA Makes Strong Pitch to Include Prevention in CER

“American Medical Association President Nancy H. Nielsen makes a strong case for including prevention and wellness in government-funded comparative effectiveness research (CER). ‘We do not have CER findings in the area of wellness, prevention, nutrition and obesity, yet there is a wide range of available interventions,’ Nielsen says in National Journal's Health Care Blog. ‘Clarity from CER findings as to which intervention is the most effective will help physicians provide patients with the treatment most likely to have the best outcome.’”

Cybex Announces First Quarter Results

“Net sales for the first quarter of 2009 decreased by 27% to $28.9 million compared to $39.8 million for the corresponding 2008 period. The Company reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2009 of $1.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to net income for the first quarter of 2008 of $1.3 million or $0.07 per diluted share. John Aglialoro, CYBEX Chairman and CEO stated, ‘Q1 sales levels were obviously weak. We believe that a principal cause of the sales decline is customers, particularly fitness clubs and similar facilities, delaying purchases. While this is reflective of economic conditions, generally and in the fitness market, it makes financial projections even more difficult than usual. Margins were negatively affected in Q1 by a variety of factors, including lower volume and the pricing of raw material, especially steel, compared to the same period in 2008. We are projecting steel prices to be lower in Q2, which should help reduce our manufacturing costs. Management has been focused on expense reduction in response to economic conditions. Q1 SG&A was reduced by $1.7 million from the prior year period and our cost structure will continue to be adjusted to sales levels achieved. I am pleased with our new product development and products introduced at the March IHRSA Trade Show, which were well received. The customer enthusiasm for the FT-450 Functional Trainer was particularly gratifying. Although these are difficult times, I remain confident that CYBEX is well positioned for the future.’”,796285.shtml

Life Time Fitness Announces First Quarter 2009 Financial Results

“Revenue for the first quarter of 2009 grew 11.9% to $206.4 million from $184.5 million during the same period last year. Net income during the quarter was $15.1 million, or $0.38 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $17.4 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for 1Q 2008. ‘We remain focused on driving connectivity initiatives that make Life Time an ever-increasing part of members' lives,’ said Bahram Akradi, Life Time Fitness chairman and chief executive officer. ‘We're also concentrating on delivering additional membership value and creating strong social networks within our centers to enhance the impact we can have on members' health and wellness. As expected, our centers experienced ongoing, strong usage, and membership growth increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. At the same time, we saw reduced revenue per membership, driven by lower average dues and slower in-center revenue growth. We will continue to manage this aggressively and eliminate unnecessary expenses from our cost structure, while also upholding the experience our members expect. Finally, as it relates to our near-term center growth plan, we will open new locations at a rate that is within the boundaries of our cash flow generated by operations.’ During the first quarter, Life Time Fitness opened two centers, including Berkeley Heights, its second location in New Jersey, and Lake Houston, its fifth location in Houston, Texas. The Company is scheduled to open its third and final planned center for 2009 in June, located in Collierville, Tennessee (Memphis area). This location will mark the Company's first center in Tennessee.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cybex Joins the Medical Fitness Association Vendor Advisory Board

“Cybex International, Inc. a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for the commercial and consumer markets, has become a Vendor Advisory Board Member of the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). The MFA serves facilities and professionals who are committed to promoting the benefits of health and fitness programs on lifestyle-related disease and making medical fitness programs and services available within their community. Cybex Sr. Director Business Development Paul Dolan stated, ‘CYBEX is proud to be associated with this world-class organization dedicated to medical fitness and is eager to work closely with the MFA and its 3 million members. We are confident our 25-year sports medicine and physical rehabilitation heritage coupled with our focus to provide exceptional results for the end-user enables us to be in an excellent position to support the MFA. CYBEX fitness products are uniformly designed to be both user-friendly and ergonomically and biomechanically correct, making them particularly well suited to assist medically-integrated health and fitness centers achieve their full potential.’ The MFA is a professional membership association dedicated to the medical fitness difference and integrated care as the prescription for better health. MFA provides industry standards, educational programs, benchmarks, outcome measurements, professional development and networking opportunities for the medical fitness industry. CYBEX is an ideal fit because the Company’s products are engineered and designed specifically to reflect the natural movement of the human body, regardless of the user’s age, ability or goals. Dramatically improving performance and enhancing healthy lifestyles by delivering exceptional results is the mission of CYBEX. The MFA also reinforces the growth of the industry and the potential for collaborations in the scientific and exercise research arenas, which is a parallel match with CYBEX. The Cybex Institute is the research arm of Cybex International, and is primarily responsible for investigating both future concepts and existing products to ensure designs are optimized to produce the desired results. Visit the Cybex Institute website for more information, . ‘CYBEX’s support of the Medical Fitness Association is an important step in building stronger facilities and in moving the medical fitness industry forward. We thank CYBEX for their commitment to the medical fitness industry and MFA,’ stated Cary Wing, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Medical Fitness Association.”

Mass. Town Takes Steps To Trim Fat (Really), Health Care Costs

“Kelle Shugrue's 7-year-old son eats fresh fruit and vegetables at his public school, rides his bike along neighborhood paths and walked to school last week as part of a community effort to get kids moving. The Shugrue family lives in Somerville, Mass., a Boston suburb hailed by health advocates for its seven-year investment in programs fighting childhood obesity and encouraging healthful living. The model program is beginning to be replicated around the country, a small start on a huge task: preventing the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease that now account for 75% of the nation's health care spending. As the Obama administration and Congress tackle an overhaul of the health care system, chronic disease looms as a major impediment to controlling costs. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, 45% of Americans — 133 million people — suffer from at least one chronic disease such as asthma or hypertension. Because many of the conditions are brought on or exacerbated by obesity, which has doubled nationwide since 1987, experts say they can be prevented or at least better managed. ‘Improving the management of chronic disease is a critical component of our plan to drive down the skyrocketing cost of health care,’ says Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office for Health Reform. ‘Two-thirds of Medicare spending is for beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions.’ A down payment is coming. In February, as part of the $800 billion economic stimulus package, Congress approved $1 billion for disease prevention and wellness programs. A third of that money is slated for immunizations; two-thirds for new programs to prevent chronic diseases. The Department of Health and Human Services plans to announce early this summer how it will use that new money. ‘We want to help prevent disease and illness before Americans end up at the doctor's office or the emergency room,’ says Nick Papas, a department spokesman. Experts at the disease partnership and in Congress say controlling chronic disease requires a two-pronged approach: preventing diseases before they begin and doing a better job helping patients manage their chronic conditions once they develop. The issue will be up for discussion in the Senate on Tuesday when Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., holds the first of three roundtable discussions on health care reform. The subject of the session, which will include insurance company CEOs, doctors and nurses, and policy analysts, is how to make the health care delivery system more effective, including by better managing chronic care. Jeffrey Levi, director of the non-profit Trust for America's Health, is more focused on solving the problem before it begins. Levi says he's sure changes to the health-care system will include funding and programs to prevent chronic disease. That wasn't the case in 1993-94, during the last overhaul effort, when he said public health advocates were ‘banging at the door’ to get heard. ‘I am very confident (legislation) will include a serious commitment to public health and prevention,’ Levi says.”

China Turns To The U.S. For Help With Overweight Kids

“Think America is the only country having trouble getting its young people to exercise? Think again. A similar scenario is happening in China, where young people are increasingly becoming overweight and obese. The Chinese government would like to do something about it, so it turned to the U.S. for some help. More specifically, it turned to Indiana University and its School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, which is hosting a meeting next month to come up with a plan to implement ‘Sunny Sports China,’ China President Hu Jintao's plan to incorporate daily activity in China's schools, affecting about 270 million schoolchildren. This isn't the first time the university and China have worked together -- Lloyd Kolbe, the School of HPER's associate dean for global and community health, has a long history of working with the country on various health projects, and two years ago was invited to lend input on the Sunny Sports project.’ ‘The rate of obesity and overweight in China, especially in the economically well off provinces, has been increasing dramatically,’ says Kolbe, who chalks up the change to several factors: more fast food restaurants, more television watching, and additional sedentary time spent studying, as more students enter universities. What China is interested in, he adds, is what physical education experts in this country have been working on for years -- devising P.E. programs that allow kids to move continuously, are inexpensive, fun, and build teamwork and character. Of course, those efforts have also been hampered by severe budget cuts and an emphasis on test scores, which have pushed P.E. to a back burner in many states. But the Chinese want to bring it forward. ‘They want to create programs that keep young people moving,’ he says, ‘and develop the kinds of physical activity patterns and skills that will allow them to maintain a lifelong pattern of activity.’ Once the programs (which are not yet developed) are in place, Kolbe says, studies will be conducted to see what effects the programs have. The meeting next month will also include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and national physical fitness and education organizations. He's optimistic about the prospects: ‘As we increasingly live in a globalized world," he says, "I hope nations can learn from each other and figure out how to improve the health of children, no matter what nation they live in.’”

Fun Way To Get Fit For Families

“On your marks, get set and get ready to go – with a specially devised family fun run fitness programme. Grimsby's Oasis Health Club is offering nutritional and exercise advice to everyone who has signed up for the first Grimsby and Cleethorpes Family Fun Run. The 5km run, organised by the Rotary Club of Grimsby St James, will take place on May 17, from the Boating Lake Paddock in Cleethorpes. Health club manager Tracey Mills said preparation was essential for the event. ‘The benefits of regular exercise are increased energy levels, reduced stress, improved body shape and a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes – the list is almost endless,’ she said. ‘It is like servicing your car. If you don't, it is only a matter of time before it starts breaking down.’ To give runners their MOT, the club has new classes ideal for anyone taking part. Tracey said: ‘Our new class is for family fitness, designed for everyone to enjoy. The six-week programme will improve your fitness, so instead of walking the course, why not run it?’”

Health Club Helps Keep Hampshire’s Air Ambulance In The Air

“Two health clubs have raised £200 to help pay for Hampshire’s air ambulance. Members of David Lloyd Southampton and its sister club in Ringwood staged a charity swim. Representatives from the Southampton club visited the air ambulance at its base in Thruxton to present the cheque. The swim was organised by Derek Biggs who said: “So many people think the air ambulance receives Government money but it’s totally voluntarily funded. ‘It costs about £3,000 a day to keep the service running and has saved so many lives since it has been in operation.’”

Seven Strategies for Addressing Our Nation's Health Care Crisis

“Design and Implement a Comprehensive National Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Initiative - ‘The single most important measure of a health system is its capacity to prevent disease and promote wellness. The President and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should launch a nationwide health education campaign supported by a clearly-defined national strategy for prevention and health promotion, focused on curbing tobacco use, fighting obesity, and promoting physical activity.’”

Alabama Strategic Alliance For Health Program Will Work To Create A Healthier BlackBelt/West Alabama

“The state's Black Belt and West Alabama counties will receive federal funding of up to $3.9 million over the next five years through the Alabama Strategic Alliance for Health Program to help reduce chronic diseases and health disparities. U.S. Rep. Artur Davis will be present for a news conference at the Perry County Health Department to kick off the program at 10 a.m. Monday.West Alabama and the Black Belt Region were identified for this program because its residents include predominantly African American, economically disadvantaged populations which have significant evidence of health disparities. This is a geographic region in which 75 percent of the population is either overweight or obese, 40 percent have hypertension, and 14 percent have diabetes. Thanks to this new funding, initiatives will target the creation of healthier communities through the AL Strategic Alliance Program. Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, said, ‘This funding opportunity will help local communities launch health promotion and chronic disease prevention initiatives which are sustainable, evidence-based and practice-based. Many chronic health conditions are not distributed equally across racial and ethnic groups.’ An overarching goal of the AL Strategic Alliance Program will be to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. Chronic diseases represent a major public health challenge in Alabama, so initiatives will target obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and the risk factors of nutrition, physical activity and tobacco. As a result, the incidence and complications from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity will be reduced. To assure efficient use of program resources and sustainable long-term outcomes, interventions will focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes in communities. Program initiatives will also target access to quality healthcare and use of preventive health care in rural Black Belt and West Alabama communities.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Than A Gym

“Axiom Health & Fitness, which recently opened a 5,000-square-foot facility in the Stonewood Village complex on Capitol Drive in Brookfield, is not like most gymnasiums. The facility’s main exercise area is not filled with treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes or rows of free weights and benches. Instead, there are only a few weight machines, a small row of dumbbells, and several other hand-held weights and resistance exercise equipment. Axiom is run by Luke Fichtner, its owner and a 10-year personal trainer. His goal in opening the gym is not to just get people to show up and exercise – he wants to change their lives. “We want everybody to get active and make fitness part of their lives – true health through true fitness,” Fichtner said. ‘We’re not a quick-fix facility. We focus on accountability and responsibility and helping you integrate exercise and a healthy lifestyle into your life. We want people to know that this is a lifestyle they can continue with for the rest of their lives.’ Fichtner and his staff place a high emphasis on personal and group training. Instead of having rows and rows of machines, Axiom encourages members to use equipment and techniques that replicate the activities they encounter in life, work and sports. ‘This space is designed to take your life and make it better, reduce stress, pain and discomfort,” Fichtner said. ‘We’re going to make your body stronger so you can do things more efficiently. These (pieces of equipment) are just tools, functional equipment to replicate the movements in your life.’ Youth and family fitness is part of Fichtner’s focus at Axiom. Inspired by the growing numbers of obese and inactive children in the country, his facility will hold family boot camp fitness sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings during May. ‘This is going to be family personal training – families working out with other families,’ Fichtner said. ‘They’ll be getting active and it can be a family bonding experience too.’ The family boot camp sessions will also include discussions about healthy eating and cooking demonstrations, Fichtner said, part of Axiom’s goals for its members. In addition to its main workout area, Axiom’s facility includes a small cardio room, containing an incline treadmill, running treadmill, two elliptical and two spin bikes. In addition to the large front workout room, the facility also has a smaller workout room for one-on-one training or smaller classes. Part of Axiom’s space was formerly a café, and the fitness center has incorporated the kitchen’s serving counter, oven, stove and other amenities. It also has a small sitting area where people can eat, drink and relax.”

Snap Fitness In Sandwich Now Certified For CPR And AED Use

"According to the American Heart Association, the survival rate of people with sudden cardiac arrest increases precipitously with the availability of defibrillation equipment. Automatic Electronic Defibrillators, also known as AEDs, are now a must in many public areas in the state of Massachusetts, including fitness centers. ‘It is my hope that we never have to utilize the AED or implement the CPR techniques that we learned,’ says Vakalopoulos, ‘but our confidence is much higher in the event we have to take action.’ Snap Fitness 24/7 of Sandwich has complied with the Commonwealth’s mandate by outfitting the fitness center with an AED. Further, the Snap Fitness staff, including the owner Elaine Vakalopoulos and Assistant Manager, Kaitlyn Miller, have received formal instruction from Connecting Hearts, Inc. of East Orleans, and have received certification on CPR and AED use. The personal trainers on site are also CPR certified. It used to be that defibrillators were used only by EMTs or physicians in a hospital. However, recent technological advances have allowed people with minimal medical training to use AEDs in an emergency when medical professionals are not present. The units are now designed for ease of use by the layman. Once the AED case is opened, simple computerized voice prompts deliver clear instructions. The person rendering assistance need only expose the chest, apply the pads linked by wires to the AED, and follow the instructions. The computer analyzes any heart rhythm and will only administer a shock if the patient requires it. ‘It is my hope that we never have to utilize the AED or implement the CPR techniques that we learned,’ says Vakalopoulos, ‘but our confidence is much higher in the event we have to take action.’ This is particularly comforting since many members of Snap Fitness 24/7 are in their seventies and eighties, several of which have had heart issues.”

'Hot Yoga' Turning Up The Heat On Exercise

“It's getting hot around the Midlands inside yoga studios. A new twist on the exercise is rapidly gaining in popularity. It's called ‘hot yoga.’ Hot yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room -- a very heated room, as in 90 to 100 degrees. We went to H2 For Women, a health spa and gym in Columbia to see just hot 'hot yoga' is. For an hour or more, those in yoga classes use intense concentration to slowly and gently stretch all parts of the body. Breathing exercises are used to relax, making it easier for the body to push itself. ‘Breathing is the hardest thing for me. I don't know. I guess breathing is something you naturally do so it's harder to try and control it,’ says Colette Callender. This particular yoga class at the health club, H2 For Women, adds another component: it has literally turned up the heat on the participants. The thermostat is set for 90 degrees, but some hot yoga classes even take it up to 105. As the temperature climbs, instructor Mitchell Hughes takes the women through 26 poses performed sitting, standing and lying down. Many find the hot temps make their muscles more pliable. ‘It's a good way to stretch out and relax even at the beginning of the day,’ says Karen Burton. ‘I would ache a lot, would hurt a lot and with this, I don't and I just feel a lot better in general,’ says Diana Stevenson. Besides warming the muscles, it's believed the intense heat, which causes intense sweating, rids the body of toxins. ‘I tell the people to drink a gallon of water the day before they come to hot yoga, throughout that day and going into the class because you will release it,’ says instructor Mitchell Hughes. So having water bottles and towels are just as key as having a yoga mat. The women gladly put up with the heat for the benefits they get, including a strong core, or middle section. It's believed the higher temperatures help increase the body's extension and compression, better delivery of oxygen to every organ, joint and muscle. ‘With hot yoga, especially, when I come out of the class, I feel like I've had a massage because your muscles are so relaxed,’ says Diana Stevenson. Another twist on yoga gaining in popularity is the yoga club. Mitchell and other instructors travel to your home to teach a class. You get some friends together like you would for a dinner club or a book club and have 'yoga club' instead.”

Zooming Into Zumba

“The sights and sounds of salsa and evenings spent watching relatives sway to music in New York and their native Haiti comprise Rachelle Wish's childhood memories. But nostalgia is only part of what attracted the Vancouver fitness instructor to Zumba, a Latin dance-inspired workout. Wish sees the discipline as a good way for people to get acquainted with global music and movements while getting in shape. ‘It's like you're traveling around the world and doing dances you'd see around the world,’ said Wish, 47, who teaches Zumba at Marshall Community Center, Groove Nation Dance Academy and the Columbia Tech Center 24 Hour Fitness in Vancouver. Depending on how much people move, dancers can burn up to 700 calories an hour, Wish noted. ‘It's nonstop. You're moving everything from head to toe,’ she said. Zumba classes are such a popular draw at Clark County fitness centers that Kelly Emerson hopes to open a studio devoted to the dance workout in Vancouver. ’It just really makes you feel great,’ said 38-year-old Emerson, who teaches Zumba at Firstenburg Community Center and Kanthak Karate in Vancouver, through the Evergreen Public Schools' Community Education program and at the Alameda Fitness Center in Portland. Emerson, a Vancouver resident, has taught Zumba to students ranging in age from 3 to 79. ‘It's a great dance workout that anyone can do,’ she said. Zumba's popularity extends past Clark County, throughout the state and beyond. ‘It's a craze,’ said Arzu Gosney, a 33-year-old Richland Zumba instructor. ‘They just really need to join the crowd. Come see the party.’ Hundreds of Mid-Columbia residents already have, evidenced by packed classes at gyms and city recreation centers. ‘It's the only time I enjoy sweating,’ said Melanie Maynard, 48, who recently attended one of Gosney's classes at Richland's Columbia Basin Racquet Club. ‘It's not your regular aerobics. It's really dancing.’ A recent Zumba class featured middle-aged men wearing white mid-calf socks, 4-foot-tall elementary school girls, teenage boys and trim young women who looked as if they could easily step onto an Argentinean dance floor if their workout pants and tanks were swapped with twirly skirts. ‘(Zumba) crosses culture, ages and fitness levels,’ said Gosney, who has been a certified teacher for nearly a year. ‘They feel like they are part of a group. They are dancing and they are having fun.’”

Cybex Announces Date and Conference Call for First Quarter 2009 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 28, 2009 in a conference call on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Company plans to release earnings that same day. Those who wish to participate in the conference call may telephone (888) 211-4431 from the U.S. or (913) 312-0976 for international callers. A live webcast of the conference call will be available at or On CYBEX’s website under the category Company, click on Press, scroll to the bottom and select Q1 Earnings Release Conference Call. Please visit the website at least 15 minutes early to register for the teleconference webcast and download any necessary software. Real Player or Windows Media Player is required to listen to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available until April 29, 2009 by dialing (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820 for international callers. The access code for the replay is 6404762.”

Staying Slim Helps The Planet, Study

“Staying slim is good for the planet, according to two UK researchers who concluded that because food production has a big impact on global warming, a lean population such as that of Vietnam will eat nearly 20 per cent less food and produce fewer greenhouse gases than populations where 40 per cent of people are obese (close to that of the United States today). The study was conducted by Drs Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and appears in the advanced access April 19 issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology. Edwards and Roberts concluded that: ‘The maintenance of a healthy BMI has important environmental benefits in terms of lower greenhouse gas emissions.’ They said that: ‘When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler.’ ‘The heavier our bodies become the harder and more unpleasant it is to move about in them and the more dependent we become on our cars,’ they added. Keeping slim is good for both health and the environment, they said, suggesting that: ‘We need to be doing a lot more to reverse the global trend towards fatness, and recognise it as a key factor in the battle to reduce emissions and slow climate change.’”

Nautilus, Inc. Makes Headway Against Counterfeiters

“Fitness company Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE:NLS), on being alerted that counterfeit goods entered Canada, filed suit against the importer/distributor, SC Excel Technology, Inc. (dba Duro Fitness) of Montreal, Canada and obtained an Anton Piller order to enter its premises and seize counterfeit goods and relevant records. Facing overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence of intentional importation of counterfeit goods, SC Excel Technology admitted its actions to Federal Court Judge Simon Noël and was permanently enjoined from trading in Nautilus® and Bowflex® products and the seized goods were delivered to Nautilus. In connection with this action, Nautilus also filed suit against Fitness Nutrition on April 15, 2009 alleging trademark, patent, and copyright infringement for knowingly selling counterfeit goods and refusing to cease such sales after notice from Nautilus. Counterfeit goods are a significant problem for consumers and businesses. Consumers who buy counterfeit goods find poor quality and dangerous goods that can break and injure people or damage property. In addition to lost sales, Nautilus must tell upset customers that the poor quality goods they seek to return are counterfeit. Concerned customers are asked to ensure that the store or website selling Nautilus® and Bowflex® products is an authorized dealer. Nautilus' IP Counsel, Mark Porter, states, ‘Faced with an increasing counterfeit problem, Nautilus is adopting more aggressive steps to stop the importation of these products. Counterfeit products hurt customers, our authorized dealers and Nautilus.’”

She Hates Working Out But After Three Children, Victoria Beckham is Hitting The Gym

“She is famed for keeping her whippet-thin body in shape by nibbling on edamame beans washed down with spinach shakes. But now Victoria Beckham – who once proclaimed that she ‘hates working out’ – has signed up for a programme of exercise classes in the hope they will boost her pelvic muscles. Posh has joined Hollywood’s ultra-exclusive The Sports Club LA, a private members’ gym that costs £1,500 a year – plus a £250 monthly fee. An insider at the gym told The Mail on Sunday that the mother of three, who turned 35 on Friday, has enrolled in private Pilates classes, which promise to strengthen and tone core stomach and back muscles – and boost pelvic strength. The source said: ‘Victoria has signed up for private Pilates classes. She comes into the gym at least three times a week and her husband David joins her for Pilates when he’s in town. ‘Pilates is specifically aimed at building up the core muscles and is particularly good for women who want to strengthen their body. ‘It is excellent for toning up muscles in the stomach area that have been weakened by childbirth. It is also superb for toning the pelvic muscles. ‘Stretching and thrusting those pelvic muscles is absolutely key to this form of exercise. Victoria and David joined the gym together. 'They signed up for private Pilates classes and the trainer outlined the types of stretches. They were both in a fit of giggles about the pelvic muscle exercises. ‘David was teasing Victoria about it and she was joking about how firm she was going to be in places she didn’t even know she had muscles.’ Pencil-thin Victoria was teased two years ago after she wore platform-heeled trainers to throw the first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game. At the time she swore she would not embrace the Hollywood gym culture, saying: ‘I really don’t like the gym. In fact, I can’t stand it. I hate working out. Maybe it’s the whole getting sweaty thing but it’s just not me.’ Stars including Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, Jake Gyllenhaal, Katie Holmes, Britney Spears and golfer Tiger Woods attend the gym, which is in the heart of Beverly Hills and less than a five-minute drive from the Beckhams’ £18million home. It is so upmarket that clients are offered an overnight laundry service to clean and press their sweaty gym gear. The source added: ‘Victoria is actually in great shape these days. She is slim but has muscles in the right places. You see her doing cardio on the treadmill and other machines to warm up for her Pilates classes.’”

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bringing a Battlefield Ethos to The Gym

“Alex Fell and Ruben Belliard are probably New York City’s most dedicated chief executives. They get to work at 5 a.m. and rarely leave before 9 at night—after cleaning the office, taking out the trash and gathering the dirty laundry. The former Marines are the founders and sole proprietors of Warrior Fitness Boot Camp, which offers a workout program based on their own basic training. With 200 active clients, one location and just two employees (themselves), the soldiers turned entrepreneurs are keeping their costs as trim as their customers. Messrs. Fell and Belliard met in the Marine Corps nearly a decade ago and were roommates in their final year of service at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune. After being discharged in 2004, the two worked as fitness instructors before deciding to start a program based on their own training expertise. ‘You can only push yourself so far working out alone,’ says Mr. Belliard. It took the guys close to three years to find an ideal location—an airy third-floor space on West 35th Street—where asking rents are around $45 per square foot, according to CoStar Inc. Pooling money from friends and family, Messrs. Fell and Belliard opened Warrior Fitness last May. They expect to have $500,000 in revenues in their first full year in business. The workout doesn’t come cheap. One session is $50, though the price drops as clients sign up for more classes. A three-month unlimited pass costs $1,500, and boot camp hopefuls can test their resolve with a $20 one-time trial. But while the recession has some consumers paring dumbbell expenses, Warrior Fitness might benefit from the penny-pinching. Many gym-goers are switching from personal trainers—which cost between $75 and $100 per session—to cheaper group workouts. ‘It’s a great way to get a semi-supervised workout that’s still challenging and personalized,’ says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. Although gym membership dipped 2.4% nationally between 2007 and 2008, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, Mr. McCall says some people are keeping their memberships while cutting down on per-visit costs like one-on-one training and spa treatments. Messrs. Fell and Belliard say their program offers the best value and the least room for slacking. They’ll happily track down clients who miss a session, though they claim such lapses are rare. ‘There’s something about the energy that flows through a class,’ says Mr. Belliard. ‘People want to come back because they forge relationships.’ For the guys, the success of their clients is a direct reflection of their success as business owners. Although they pass out fliers in city parks and display a banner outside their building, the partners have little time or money for marketing. Rather, they rely on personal anecdotes—the woman who lost 42 pounds in three months, the marathon runner who claimed their workout kicked his butt—and word-of-mouth. ‘I think our clients are our best advertising,’ says Mr. Belliard.”

Don't Call These Gym Rats Old

“It's hard not to feel at least a little inspired watching three gym rats in their late 70s and early 80s work out day after day, week after week. If their routine convinces someone to get up off the couch, great, said Ed Kottick, 78. But for the record, he and his buddies aren't old. ‘We're not elderly; we're kids,’ Kottick said during a break from his workout at Core Fitness East, 1555 S. First Ave. Exercise has helped Kottick, Oscar Beasley, 81, and Jack Nothnagle, 83, of Iowa City, stay young. They spur each other on, and along the way have avoided injuries, stayed mentally and physically healthy and formed a bond. The trio has been working out together Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at ‘The Core,’ as regulars call it, since 2005. ‘We three are surprisingly in harmony, but I would add, too, that if I did not have these two guys, I would not be able to do this alone,’ said Nothnagle, a former University of Iowa professor and head of the French and Italian department who retired in 1994. ‘This exercising can be quite dull, but with these two, it's fun.’ Nothnagle joined Beasley and Kottick at Core after a two-week free trial. At the time, Nothnagle thought he had polymyositis with symptoms including leg problems. Soon after, it was gone, he said. ‘I noticed months later, the problems in my legs were gone. I wasn't having problems walking or with stairs,’ Nothnagle said. ‘The tests all came back normal. I lost weight, too.’ The three say they still have minor health issues but overall are healthy. The trio starts with 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercises, such as riding an exercise bike or running on a treadmill and then pump iron for an hour, covering the different muscle groups throughout the week. To top it off, they bike to and from the gym, and in season pedal 30- to 60-mile loops once a week to surrounding towns for added exercise. Joseph Buckwalter, a UI professor and orthopedic surgeon who studies aging and osteoarthritis, said, while never having met the men, they seem to have an ideal routine. It appears to include a broad variety of low-impact activities, which is important, he said. Exercise is important as people age, Buckwalter said. It slows the loss of muscle mass, which helps prevent injury, it can delay diabetes, and it improves balance, durability and mobility, he said. ‘It is very clear that maintaining regular physical activity improves the quality of life,’ Buckwalter said. ‘Regular physical activity may actually lengthen life.’ Buckwalter recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, or three to four hours spread across the week with a mix of cardiovascular work, weights and sports such as biking, swimming or golf.”

Most Employers Underestimate Full Costs Of Employee Health On Productivity

“Poor health among workers is far costlier to U.S. employers than they realize, impacting their profitability and undercutting the nation's overall productivity, according to a major study published this week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM). The multi-year study of ten organizations employing more than 150,000 workers indicates that employers who focus only on medical and pharmacy costs in creating employee health strategies may misidentify the health conditions that most impact the productivity of their employees -- while underestimating the impact of other factors.”

Exercise-Exposed Fetuses Have Improved Breathing Movements In Utero, A Marker For Healthy Development

“Exercise has many benefits for adults, teens, and youngsters. It is less clear what benefit, if any, exercise may have during fetal growth during gestation. Now that scientists have determined that, generally speaking, maternal exercise poses no significant risk to a fetus, studies are underway to examine the mother/fetus/exercise/health connection. One important study is now complete. Entitled The Effects of Maternal Exercise on Fetal Breathing Movements, it was conducted by Stephanie Million and Linda E. May, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB), Kansas City, MO; and Kathleen M. Gustafson, University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), Kansas City, KS. The researchers will discuss their findings at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society, which is part of the Experimental Biology 2009 scientific conference. The meeting will be held April 18-22, 2009 in New Orleans. The primary aim of the pilot project was to test the theory that maternal exercise imparts a cardiovascular benefit to the fetus. The secondary aim was to determine if exercise-exposed fetuses have increased breathing movements compared to non-exercise exposed fetuses. Fetal breathing movements are a marker of fetal well-being and reflect functional development of the respiratory system and central nervous system control. The researchers used a non-invasive, dedicated fetal biomagnetometer to measure maternal and fetal magnetocardiograms (MCG) along with fetal movements (breathing, body movements, hiccups and non-nutritive suck). The researchers found: Fetal HR was significantly lower in the exercise group during both breathing and non-breathing movement periods. Fetal short-term and overall heart rate variability were higher in the exercise group during breathing movements. Three independent measures of vagal control were higher in the exercise-exposed fetuses during breathing movements. During periods of fetal non-breathing, there were no significant differences in measures of vagal control between groups. There were no group or breathing period differences in sympathetic heart rate control. Conclusion According to Drs. May and Gustafson, ‘These findings suggest a potential benefit of maternal exercise on fetal development because of the link between fetal breathing movements and the developing autonomic nervous system.’ Their next step is to use exercise as a potential intervention to improve short and long term outcomes in children born to women at risk for gestational diabetes.’”

Overweight Kids Show Early Signs Of Heart Disease

“Children who are overweight but otherwise ‘healthy’ may have stiff arteries, putting them at increased risk for heart disease, a study shows. As people age, the arteries normally lose some of their elasticity, making them less responsive to changes in blood flow. Stiff arteries put increased strain on the heart, often leading to high blood pressure. The rising prevalence of childhood obesity is associated with the premature development of cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the study team notes. In addition, there is emerging evidence that such obesity-related conditions predict the development of heart disease in adulthood. Dr. Walter P. Abhayaratna, of Canberra Hospital, Australian Capital Territory, and colleagues assessed the relationship among body fatness, physical activity, and ‘arterial stiffness’ in 573 healthy children whose average age was 10 years. They found a positive link between a higher body weight and the presence of stiff arteries. Weight loss, the study team notes, has been shown to improve blood vessel dysfunction related to obesity. Further studies, they add, are needed to evaluate whether public health effort.”

Program Addresses Diabetes And Exercise

“There are many reasons to exercise, but if you have diabetes there are even more. This topic will be presented by registered dietitian Isa Carani from 1 to 2 p.m. April 30 at Lake County Health Department North Shore Health Center, 1840 Green Bay Road, Highland Park. The presentation will include information on how exercise can help control your glucose level and make you feel better physically and mentally, making exercise a fun part of your daily routine, tips for exercising at home and how exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. The program is sponsored by the Lake County Health Department, Friends for Health, and the Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park. The Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Program at the North Shore Health Center provides client screening, referrals, outreach and community education on topics including diabetes, nutrition and the importance of physical activity. Each month, the Diabetes Prevention and Treatment program hosts free educational presentations in both English and Spanish.”,5_1_WA17_DIABETES_S1.artic

Obesity Levels Continue To Rise

“Less than one-fifth of the recommendations made by a high-level Government taskforce on obesity four years ago have been implemented, according to a review of the response to its report. Despite the continuing rise in the number of overweight and obese people, just 18 of the 93 recommendations made by the National Taskforce on Obesity have been fully implemented, the review shows.However, Minister of State at the Department of Health Mary Wallace, who chaired the review, insisted “huge progress” had been made in implementing the taskforce report. Significant progress has been made in one-third of the recommendations, she said, and another one-third had been partially implemented. Ms Wallace said action was ‘progressing’ on another 28 per cent of recommendations while no progress was made on 9 per cent. She promised a re-doubling of efforts to ‘row back the rising tide of overweight and obesity” although this would not be an easy task. “We must continue to work to making it easier for people to make the healthy choices required for them to take better care of themselves an to lead healthy lives, to literally invest in themselves and their futures.’ Some 61 per cent of the Irish population is overweight or obese and the numbers continue to rise every year. Research also shows that 26 per cent of 7-year-old girls and 18 per cent of boys are overweight or obese. The problem is blamed for an estimated 2,000 premature deaths in Ireland each year while the indirect cost is estimated at €400 million. Sports Council chairman John Treacy, who chaired the original taskforce, agreed with the minister that significant progress had been made in tackling obesity but said a major cultural shift in attitudes toward physical activity and healthy eating was needed if levels of the disease were to be cut. He expressed disappointment that the taskforce’s call for 30 minutes of physical activity for every schoolchild was rejected. The reasons given were a lack of time in the curriculum, industrial relations issues and cost implications.”

Changes Coming to Boston North Fitness

“Big changes are coming to the Saugus branch of the Boston North Fitness exercise club at Square One Mall, which will transfer to new ownership on May 1. Men, who make up only 30 percent of the current club clientele, will not be invited to join the new fitness venture, called ‘Pumps, real fitness for women.’ Saugus men who had memberships in the club will have the opportunity to transfer to the Boston North Fitness Danvers location, which is located about 10-12 minutes away, off Route 114 in Danvers. While many of the male Saugus members have agreed to transfer to the Boston North Fitness facility in Danvers, some women members are unhappy to see them go — along with the current low monthly fee of $19.99. The Pumps model has been in a developmental stage for several years, say the new owners Al Tassel and Glenn Anthony, who intend to make the new Saugus Pumps the first of several future clubs planned for the North Shore, specifically designed to cater to a women clientele. ‘Pumps is not a 30-minute limited express club or a weight loss studio,’ said Tassel, who stressed, “It’s a full service women’s-only fitness center that will offer cutting edge group exercise programs including separate cycling and mixed-use group exercise studios. ‘The club will also be packed with the latest and greatest cardiovascular equipment the industry has to offer and will feature the most extensive circuit training and free weight equipment a women’s-only club has ever seen,’ said the new owners in their April 1 letter to current members. ‘We’re getting two types of women signing up so far,’ Tassel told the Advertiser this week. He mentioned that his newest customers are either former members of women’s express clubs such as Curves that have recently closed, or they are members of coed clubs who are annoyed with working out with men. ‘Some men can be a little intimidating and they sweat a lot more, he joked. Changes are coming Personal training opportunities, babysitting services and the women’s locker room will all be enhanced for the new Pumps club. The existing women’s equipment will be relocated from the 3,400-square-foot upper level mezzanine to the more spacious first floor area where it will be integrated with much of the existing coed equipment. Pumps is expecting to capitalize from the closure of area women’s clubs such as Curves franchises. ‘Their type of model doesn’t work … The offerings are limited and people get bored. You need variety when it comes to exercise,’ said Tassel. Pumps will have no affiliation with Boston North Fitness after April 30. “We will honor the Boston North commitments until they expire,’ promised Tassel.”