Monday, June 8, 2009

Athletes Work Out Ways To Stay Fit In Recession

“Renee Roberts joined a gym in 2000 and made a commitment to get fit. ‘I was out of shape and needed help,’ the Smiths Station, Ala., 39-year-old said. Despite the penny-pinching the economy has forced many Americans to adopt, Roberts never considered cancelling her membership to Fitness Plus in Phenix City. Going to the gym motivates her to stay healthy. ‘If I stay home I won’t work out,’ she said. According to an American Heart Association study released last month, more than half of Americans are having trouble taking care of their health because of the economy. Despite the AHA reporting that 25 percent of those holding a gym membership cancelled it in the last six months, locally owned gyms haven’t seen the same trend. ‘We thought we were,’ said Fitness Plus owner Carl Kinzalow. ‘October, November and December were the worst three months we’ve had in the history of this club. We’ve been open 20 years.’ Kinzalow added that their current numbers are in line with last year’s at this point. Sara Bull, general manager of Fitness for Women, echoed Kinzalow’s remarks. ‘Nothing’s really changed dramatically here,’ she said. ‘Actually, sales have gotten extremely better here in the gym.’ They both said that offering reasonable rates and a comfortable environment have contributed to maintaining membership. Kinzalow said they have cancellations due to military members relocating, ‘but as far as somebody just walking in the door and saying ‘Because of economics we need to cancel this membership,’ we just haven’t had that.’ Some gym owners think the poor economy is why some members keep working out. ‘Basically, my theory on it all is, the economy is tough, life’s tough right now, but the best thing to do is come work out and relieve stress,’ said Bull. ‘Everybody’s numbers are up,’ said Jason West, manager of Gold’s Gym on Manchester Expressway. ‘There’s no better way to relieve stress (than working out).’ Cutting their gym memberships didn’t even cross the minds of some working out at Fitness Plus. ‘I’m retired and I have the money,’ said Cecelia Little, 66, of Phenix City. It helps that she’s on a month-to-month gym plan and didn’t have to sign a contract, she added. Steve Green, 42, of Phenix City said he works out to slow the aging process. He said he goes to the gym because ‘I rest when I’m at home.’

No comments: