Friday, October 1, 2010

In Honor of International Day of Older Persons, 24 Hour Fitness Proudly Announces Alignment with the International Council on Active Aging

“24 Hour Fitness, the largest U.S. fitness chain and a leading health club industry pioneer, proudly joins the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), an organization committed to changing society’s perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for aging Baby Boomers and older adults. ‘Like the ICAA, 24 Hour Fitness believes that physical activity changes lives and can make a dramatic impact on the quality of life for older adults and people of all ages – especially older adults.’ As part of the alliance, 24 Hour Fitness will review ways to make its portfolio of clubs more relevant and accessible to older active adults. By assessing club amenities, group exercise class programming, marketing and operations, the company hopes to support the ICAA’s mission of improving the quality of life for aging Baby Boomers through fitness so they can achieve longer and healthier lives. Currently, 24 Hour Fitness proudly hosts amenities and classes that are suitable for people of all ages. In addition to state-of-the art equipment, 24 Hour Fitness offers Silver&Fit® programming and Healthways’ SilverSneakers® Fitness Program to over 500,000 eligible Medicare, Medicare Advantage and group retirees. Additionally, 24 Hour Fitness offers a series of Group X® cardio, strength, aquatic and specialty classes that are geared towards people of all ages and suitable for older adults.”

Expresso Bikes Now Support Facebook and Twitter

“Interactive Fitness Holdings® (“IFH”), announced that today it had completed the rollout of yet another industry first — software to directly support social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, on Expresso bikes worldwide. The social networking software is included in the Expresso Live package at no additional cost and is available to any Expresso station ever purchased. Called the Fall Release, the new software allows riders to share milestones, such as a specific ride or an award for cumulative mileage, on their social network. Expresso summarizes the individual’s exploits actually recorded on the bike, leaving room for the rider to describe what it means to him or her. Riders may also choose to let Expresso automatically share their top performances, like a personal best time, best score or lifetime mileage award.”

Health and Weight in America

Thought leaders in the field of health care, obesity, and nutrition met Thursday morning at the Washington Ideas Forum to discuss issues underlying America's obesity epidemic.

The Conversation: The session began with a discussion over the recently failed reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act--a product of budget cuts. Participants identified societal factors influencing America's weight problem, focusing on health education, lifestyle choices, and availability of quality food. The group consensus was that some Americans are so lacking in basic knowledge of nutrition and health that they often do not know that they are unhealthy...

GE Capital is Agent for a $40 Million Revolving Credit Facility to Planet Fitness

“GE Capital, Corporate Finance today announced it is agent for a $40 million cash flow revolving credit facility to Planet Fitness, a leading fitness center owner, operator and franchisor. The financing will be used for working and growth capital and the facility may be increased to $50 million under certain conditions. GE Capital Markets served as sole lead arranger.”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Genesis Health Clubs Celebrates 25 years

“The fitness industry is constantly changing, Rodney Steven II says, but health clubs are here to stay. Count his Genesis Health Clubs among them. From a single location, the business — now in its 25th year — has grown to seven four clubs in Wichita and one each in Hutchinson, Salina and Emporia. Nationally, the number of health clubs has nearly tripled from the mid-1980s, from about 10,000 to 29,750 at the beginning of 2009, the most recent year for which numbers are available from the International Health , Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Industry revenue has grown from $6.5 billion in 1993 to $19.5 billion in 2009, according to the association. Genesis will keep growing as long as the staff is willing to provide the personalized, passionate service that has made it a success, he said. That's been his emphasis from the start. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association said in a statement that Genesis, one of its members, has been successful because of "its ability to meet member needs and continually offer diverse programming that keeps them engaged and interested in exercise’ and has stayed ahead of the curve by adding corporate wellness and rehabilitation services.”

Michelle Obama Promotes Health In Disney Campaign

“World famous for her White House vegetable garden, first lady Michelle Obama is sharing her expertise in a Walt Disney Co. ad campaign designed to show parents and children that eating well and exercising can be fun, too. ‘Eating better and getting more active is easier than you think,’ Mrs. Obama says in the first of eight public service spots she's starring in as part of Disney's ‘Magic of Healthy Living’ campaign. The entertainment company planned to announce the campaign Thursday. The first lady appears with various Disney stars, including Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Brenda Song, of the Disney Channel's ‘The Suite Life on Deck. In another of the ads, she helps other Disney stars who want to plant a garden. ‘You don't need a big backyard or even pots to start your own garden,’ Mrs. Obama says. ‘All you need is sunlight, water and a little imagination. So let's get moving and get planting because a great way to get fresh, healthy produce is to grow it yourself.’”

Elderly Exercising Can Reduce Falls And Injury

“Elderly women are at high risk of hip fractures and costly hip replacement procedures. However, a new September 27th JAMA journal article appearing in Archives of Internal Medicine, states that improvements in gait strength and balance, achieved in the comfort of home can aid in prevention for these high risk patients.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gym Culture Not Working Out For The French

“The French may love to look good but few are willing to work up a sweat over it. Despite increasing awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and physical exercise, going to the gym in France is still a niche activity that has yet to capture the mainstream. France's generous healthcare system, its cultural preference for outdoor sports and its lack of affordable good-quality clubs are seen as reasons behind the country's low rate of gym goers, even relative to laid-back neighbors Spain or Italy. ‘It appears to me that more people are sitting in cafes smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee than working out ... the French don't see fitness as a lifestyle,’ says American-born fitness consultant Fred Hoffman, who has lived in Paris for 21 years. Only 5.4 percent of French people belonged to a health club in 2008, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, compared with 9.5 percent for Italy, 11.9 percent for the United Kingdom and 16.6 percent for Spain.”

New CV Kit for Technogym

“Technogym has introduced the Crossover, a new cardio machine enabling a combination of lateral and elliptical movement. The Crossover provides upper and lower body training, with complete muscle activation allowing optimal calorie burning and ensuring maximum glutes activation. It offers a fixed-stride cyclical exercise and completes the Technogym Excite+ line with the ‘Lateral Today Body’ concept. According to the manufacturer, the machine is suitable for varying fitness levels and all types of workout. Meanwhile, Technogym was recently appointed as the official supplier for the first Youth Olympic Games, which took place in Singapore from August 14-26. The company will also be the official supplier for the upcoming Olympic Games, which will be held in London in 2012.”

First Santa Cruz Business Goes Solar Thermal with New California Solar Initiative Rebate

"Toadal Fitness is the first Santa Cruz business to take advantage of the new California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program for commercial businesses. Toadal Fitness will be among the first commercial applications of the CSI thermal program in California, and the first commercial application in the City of Santa Cruz, according to Paul Burrowes, COO of Free Hot Water. To mark the occasion, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place on the roof at Toadal Fitness’ downtown location with Santa Cruz’s Vice-Mayor, Ryan Coonerty, who was on hand to recognize Toadal Fitness’ commitment to the environment and sustainable business practices. ‘I think it is great that local businesses, like Toadal Fitness, are taking the lead in responding to climate change. I expect that this is only the first of...

For Gym, Fitness For Entire Family

“William White, of Anytime Fitness, said childhood obesity isn't a children's epidemic. ‘It's a family epidemic,’ he said. One out of three children are overweight or obese, according to national health campaigns. And if a parent is overweight, the child is 50 percent more likely to be overweight. That's why it's time for parents to start taking charge, White said. ‘Parents as well as children should do healthy things together,’ he said. Anytime Fitness will be participating in a promotion to help parents get fit and guide their children. The program, which has been running through this month, gives the person a 30-day membership for free from the date they come in for their first visit. It also provides 30 minutes with a trainer...

Twists And Turns That Make A Difference

“It has the latest fitness equipment, from a Cybex training circuit to stationary Expresso Cycles with video screens that let you bike virtually through a bucolic countryside. It holds classes in yoga, Pilates, boot camp and the hottest exercise trend, Zumba. And it offers personal training, massage therapy and a variety of health screenings. Yet it's not a glitzy mirror-wall health club aimed at fitness-minded singles. In fact, its business has nothing to do with fitness. It's Cisco, worldwide provider of networking systems for business. And Cisco, with its state-of-the-art workout center, is hardly alone among its contemporaries in...

U.S. Children Will Exercise From Coast To Coast

“US children will exercise for 10 continuous hours on October 7, 2010 to promote healthy lifestyle and combat childhood obesity. In a unique attempt toward the fight against childhood obesity, children in the United States are going to exercise for ten continuous hours on Thursday, October 7, 2010 in the second annual Exercise US, or Exercise United States day. As stated in US News & World Report referring to the Exercise US program - - ‘In a unique attempt to fight childhood obesity and cuts being made to school physical education programs, elementary, middle, and high schools from New York...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Balance and the Elderly [Joe Moore Letter to the Editor]

“To the Editor: Re “Staying on Balance, With the Help of Exercises” (Retirement section, Sept. 16): Not only does loss of balance make us susceptible to life-threatening falls, but it also threatens our independence. Loss of balance and mobility is the main reason many adults go into assisted living facilities. And once people lose their independence, declines in health and fitness levels tend to become more rapid. As we’ve become an increasingly mechanized, sedentary society, people have lost their full range of body movements. But many health clubs offer programs that are intended to help people reawaken the sensory responses that keep them on their feet. And basic balance work can be incorporated into most resistance training and cardio routines. Balance is just one example of how exercise plays a critical role in healthy aging. Be sure to ask for instructors certified to teach balance, and always ask why an exercise is being done.”

Fitness First and Marks & Spencer Help East of England 'Get Back Into Fitness'

“As part of its Plan A strategy to help its customers live a healthy lifestyle, Marks & Spencer has teamed up with Fitness First and Sport England to shape up the East of England and offer staff and customers the opportunity to Get back into Fitness. The Get back into Fitness campaign is taking place across the eastern counties of the UK and sees 14 of Fitness First's health clubs offer an exclusive package to M&S staff and customers within the region. A special eight week gym membership is on offer which includes three personal training sessions all for the just GBP 59.95 giving staff and customers a really good reason to Get back into Fitness. As an added incentive Marks & Spencer is offering money off vouchers for use in store for those who make a certain number of visits. As the government cuts spending on it's successful Change4Life Campaign, it is up to large companies like Marks & Spencer to support the health and fitness industry by spreading the healthy lifestyle message. The scheme involves many sport and activity providers who are opening up their doors to people who may not have been exercising for some time and are nervous about getting back into it again.”

USA and Mexico Are The Fattest Countries In The World

“Thirty percent of Mexican adults are obese as are 28% of Americans, the two fattest nations in the world, according to a book just published by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). OECD obesity rates have risen from well below 10% before 1980 to at least double that amount in most countries, and triple in others. Obesity has climbed up to the top of the public health policy agenda globally, says the OECD. In nearly half of all OECD countries over half the population is overweight or obese.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Health Clubs Amp Up Their Perks To Win Members

“State-of-the-art equipment. Knowledgeable trainers. Convenient class schedules. Ostensibly, it's the essentials we seek in choosing a gym. But let's face it: It's the nonessentials, the amenities, that can make all the difference to our motivation levels. So we cased area health clubs in search of the coolest perks. (Although we've singled out a fair number, keep in mind that several of the clubs — especially the posh Denver Athletic Club, Colorado Athletic Club-Tabor Center, Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, and Pura Vida — make showings in just about every category.)…”

Historic Glasgow Health Club To Hold Open Day For First Time

“The Arlington Baths, Britain's oldest members' swimming complex, opens its doors at the weekend to the public for the first time in its 140-year history. Established in 1870, this weekend’s event is just one of a series of projects which will celebrate this landmark. The original membership of the club was rooted in the affluent mercantile class who built the neighbouring park and Woodlands district in the mid-19th century.

Fitness Obstacle Course Competition To Take Place At Local Health Club

“Naples-based health club Florida Fitness Coaches is holding the final timed competition of its fitness obstacle course challenge on Saturday, September 25. The competition begins at 9:00am at the gym, located on Tamiami Trail in north Naples. The challenge started on August 16, when all of the participants were given the details of the obstacle course. For the past six weeks, they have been practicing the events, which include push ups, pull ups, mountain climbers, medicine ball throws, a rope climb, running, and much more! Portion of proceeds to benefit Naples charity ‘Bikes for Tykes.’ Founded in Naples in 1987, Bikes for Tykes is dedicated to providing a pre-loved bicycle to every deserving child in America...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Big Up Your Health Club Workout with MTV and Virgin Active

“Virgin Active Health Clubs ( have teamed up with MTV UK & Ireland, combining modern music and dance with health club fitness to bring the UK the ultimate urban exercise class. MTV Urban Workout is based on the hit US show, Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew and is a pulsating mix of break dancing, hip-hop and free running. Taking place at 71 Virgin Active health clubs nationwide, MTV Urban Workout challenges the entire body with emphasis on the kind of core fitness, cardio exercise and upper body work normally associated with a hardcore gym workout. The fitness centre class is made up of four elements starting with a full stretching warm up, followed by the main section of the class where health club members will learn and practice a number of hip-hop, free running and floor-based break dancing moves. The third part of the workout sees the health club class separated into two ‘crews’ for a dance-off before a thorough cool down.”

Major Health Initiative Announced To Help Fight Obesity

“Governor Phil Bredesen along with state health officials announced a major new health initiative aimed at reducing obesity in Tennessee. ‘Eat Well, Play More Tennessee" urges people to eat better and exercise a bit more. ‘Eat Well, Play More Tennessee’ is a five-year plan developed by the Tennessee Obesity Taskforce and provides a comprehensive roadmap to reduce obesity and chronic disease in Tennessee by 2015. Bredesen along with Health Commissioner Susan Cooper officially kicked off the plan Thursday. ‘I think ultimately, kids in particular, they want to be thin, they want to exercise, kids like to move around. And if we can provide the opportunities to do that and help them with some of these choices they make, I think you begin to change that culture...

Staying on Balance, With the Help of Exercises

“Balance is a critical issue to older people. And more and more, at one-on-one training facilities like Mr. Morea’s or at larger health clubs, whether in yoga and Pilates studios or adult-education exercise classes for older adults, balance training is becoming a priority. With good reason. Unintentional falls among those 65 and older are responsible for more than 18,000 deaths and nearly 450,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Most of these falls are caused by a decline in that complex and multidimensional human skill known as balance. Yet, unlike many effects of aging...

Cooking Is 'Common Form Of Moderate Exercise' In U.S.

“Only a tiny fraction of Americans heed the advice to take part in moderate or vigorous activity to keep weight down and stay healthy, and when they do, they're likely to do something a little self-defeating: prepare food. Those are two key findings of a study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. For the study, researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed data collected between 2003 and 2008 from nearly 80,000 respondents for a nationwide survey in which Americans were asked what activities they did in the preceding 24 hours. Only 5.07 percent of Americans reported doing any vigorous-intensity activity like running, while at the other end of the scale, more than 95 percent said they had engaged in the highly sedentary...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Polar Introduces New Physical Education Technology, Motivating Students to Lead Healthier, More Active Lifestyles

“Polar (, the leader in heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technologies, today introduced the Polar Active activity monitor – an easy-to-use training computer that allows students to measure and record their physical activity level – along with, an online service for teachers and students to monitor and track student activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Polar Active provides a continuous 24/7 measurement of daily activities, including calories burned, active steps and time spent in each activity zone – ranging from easy to vigorous. With the built-in activity bar feature, students have an easy-to-read visual...

ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center to Open New Health Club Near Short Pump

“ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center is pleased to announce plans for a new health club in West Broad Village in Richmond. Located a quarter mile from Short Pump Town Center, the new 57,000 square-foot club will span three stories. In addition to state-of-the-art fitness amenities and group class studios, the facility will include an indoor aquatics center, a rooftop pool, and squash and racquetball courts. ‘We are very excited about the opportunity to expand our presence in the Richmond market,’ says Phil Wendel, ACAC club owner. Recently recognized as one...

The General Mills Foundation Joins the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition to Announce the One Million PALA Challenge

“The General Mills Foundation, a leader in fostering youth nutrition and fitness, today launched the One Million PALA Challenge in partnership with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN) President's Challenge program, Box Tops for Education(R) and the Amateur Athletic Union. Through the initiative, the General Mills Foundation will fund up to one million PALA for students across the United States. The program encourages children to lead healthy, active lifestyles.”

National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity Selects Carton Donofrio Partners As Its Marketing Partner

“The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), the leading force in the U.S. promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives for all ages, has retained Carton Donofrio Partners, a full-service marketing communications firm, to help get Americans more physically active through several cause-marketing programs. The agency will develop the messaging and brand identity for implementation of the nation's first U.S. Physical Activity Plan, which aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. ‘We selected Carton Donofrio Partners because of the firm's proven ability to communicate cause-related stories effectively and to generate keen insights and ideas on how to change our culture,’ said Barry Ford, board president of NCPPA. ‘We're excited to partner with them on this very important assignment which will get Americans moving and ultimately prevent disease and disability and enhance the overall quality of life for all.’”

Technogym To Provide Health Check-Ups And Fitness Assessments For UAE Residents

“UAE residents will be able to have their health examined and receive personalized fitness assessment in Dubai on Saturday, 25th September and Sunday, 26th September. The health check-ups offered by The City Hospital, Welcare Clinic Mirdif and Welcare Clinic Ibn Battuta include random cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) tests. Technogym expert trainers will offer free one on one personalized fitness assessments along with exercise tips to suit one's health. They will explain and demonstrate to visitors the importance of looking at your heart rate function when exercising and benefits to your overall health. This will be done using equipment provided by Technogym and explained verbally. The activities on the days are in acknowledgement of World Heart Day, an initiative of the World Heart Federation and the World Health Organisation. The annual event is marked in more than a hundred countries.”

One In 20 Of Us Will Engage In A Sweaty Workout Today

“Here's a statistic in support of the U.S. obesity epidemic: Only 5% of Americans exercise vigorously on any given day. That's the conclusion of a study by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. They analyzed data from about 80,000 Americans participating in the American Time Use Survey and found that while almost 80% engaged in light activities, such as driving a car or getting dressed, most did not engage in moderate or vigorous activity on any given day. Just more than 10% reported lawn, garden or houseplant care and only 2.2%...,0,7308023.story?track=rss

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Germ-Proof Your Workout

“You already know the gym can be a germ-fest. It's full of people--some cleaner than others--sweating all over things, touching their hands to their faces, wiping their foreheads, showering and walking around in various states of undress. In fact, the National Athletic Trainers' Association released a report last month detailing the dangers that gym settings pose to athletes, particularly from skin infections. The same report noted that studies have shown the percentage of healthy adults who are carriers for a nasty bacterium called MRSA shot up from 0.8 percent in 2001 to 7.3 percent in 2004. Illinois Department of Public Health statistics show that about 30 percent of Chicago's residents report exercising at least three times a week. And the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association reports that about 15 percent of Chicagoans have a gym membership, which figures to be about 439,000 people. As fall settles in and temps drop, some will move their workouts from outside into those gyms, where icky stuff can linger. Gym germ hot spots include machine handles, swimming pools, showers, saunas--anything wet or moist--and locker rooms. Dr. Russell Robertson, chairman of family and community medicine at Northwestern University, knows all too well that perspiring humans are like germ superhighways. ‘The perspiration, then, will sort of disseminate whatever [germ] it is that you have picked up,’ he said. While exercising in the gym at his own workplace, Robertson meticulously wipes down the machines on which he works out, both before and after his session, even if he thinks the previous person already cleaned it. ‘I wouldn't make any assumptions.’ The alternative--that you might not exercise at all, just for fear of contracting a rare or relatively harmless illness--can be counterproductive. ‘We need more people to be in [the gym],’ Robertson says. ‘If you choose to not work out because you're afraid of acquiring some infection, you're going to die a lot sooner.’”

Fitness Instructor Offering Free Aerobics Classes to BVI Community

“Inspired by the efforts of persons involved in the Caribbean Wellness Day program and health and fitness month, instructor and personal trainer Mitch Gordon of the Body Images Health Club has decided to take the extra step to help rid the BVI community from many non communicable diseases by offering free aerobics classes every Saturday on the AO Shirley grounds, beginning Saturday September 18 at 5:30 am. Persons are asked to bring along a towel and drinking water for this programMr. Gordon is hoping to make this exercise program the largest free exercise program throughout the Territory. Everyone is welcomed.”

HHS Awards $31 Million More for Prevention and Wellness Projects

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced $31 million for awards to ten communities in eight states and one award to a state health department to support public health efforts to reduce obesity and smoking, increase physical activity and improve nutrition. ‘With Communities Putting Prevention to Work, we’re creating evidence-based models that we can replicate on a large scale to permanently reduce the chronic diseases plaguing so many of our communities.’ The awards funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund included in the Affordable Care Act are part of the HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program, a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘As I’ve seen throughout the year in my work with Let’s Move!, prevention works when it comes to improving the health of our families,’ said First Lady Michelle Obama. ‘These critical investments will help more communities across America tackle serious health challenges like childhood obesity...

IHRSA Chairperson Calls Upon Health Club Leadership

“On my flight to San Francisco today I cracked open the September 2010 Club Business International, where I ran across Art Curtis' article ‘A Culture of Healthy Behaviors’ on page 85. Art is the Chairperson of IHRSA, which represents the global health club industry. Here is an excerpt: ‘Like many of you, I was excited by the possibility that our national leaders might be able to work together to produce genuine healthcare reform. And, like most of you, I was extremelt disappointed when the resulting legislation dealt more with reforming health insurance than improving the nation's well-being.’ Of course Art's right and I've written extensively on the topic he raises (see for example Private Insurance, Health Care & Corruption, and Why Wel...

Smaller Fitness Clubs Play To A Single Strength, From Rowing To Yoga [Video]

“Tired of feeling like a ‘hamster’ at a full-service health club, André Foisy dropped his membership and joined a gym with one main attraction: rowing classes six days per week. At Rowfit, a new West Town indoor rowing studio, he pays $99 a month for unlimited classes, up from just over $40 a month for his discounted membership at the Hilton Chicago gym. His new workouts are ‘incredibly intense,’ says Mr. Foisy, 31, an adjunct professor and administrator at Columbia College, ‘but there's also a great community aspect where everyone knows one another and roots for everyone else.’ It's a welcome change from traditional gyms, where, he says, people either ‘exist in their own isolated bubble’ or compete too much. Rowfit, which also offers classes in yoga and boxing, is one of a crop of boutique gyms to spring up around the city...

Friday, September 10, 2010

How Does Obesity in Adults Affect Spending on Health Care?

“Over the past two decades, the adult population in the United States has, on average, become much heavier. From 1987 to 2007, the fraction of adults who were overweight or obese increased from 44 percent to 63 percent; almost two-thirds of the adult population now falls into one of those categories. The share of obese adults rose particularly rapidly, more than doubling from 13 percent to 28 percent. That sharp increase in the fraction of adults who are overweight or obese poses an important public health challenge. Those adults are more likely to develop serious illnesses, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. As a result, that trend also affects spending on health care.”

Seniors Stay Active To Keep Muscles Healthy, Prevent Disease

“Instead of easing quietly into his golden years, Barritt goes four times a week to a gym owned by Pender Adult Services where he works on weight machines for his arm and back muscles. Health club memberships among those 55 and older have become one of the fastest-growing segments of gym members, jumping more than 400 percent between 1990 and 2007 when there were 9.9 million members in that age segment, according to the trade group the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association...

How to Become a Personal Trainer

“Although personal training has been associated in the past with young bodybuilder types, a growing number of Americans are entering personal training as a second career, industry officials say. About half (52 percent) of NASM's certified trainers are now over 35, according to the organization. More than half — 57 percent — are women. And 75 percent are doing it part time, meaning 24 hours a week or less, NASM says, which was great for Leber, who was already collecting a pension but was bored to tears. The average hourly pay for a personal trainer is $43.78, according to a 2008 survey by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association...

Alarms On Youth Obesity In Mass.

“More than one-third of Massachusetts students evaluated during the 2008-2009 school year were overweight or obese, according to a report released yesterday that revealed stark differences in how the obesity epidemic has touched cities and towns. The study, which reflects weight and height measurements for about 110,000 students, for the first time provides data on separate school districts and underscores the role of poverty and affluence in determining weight. Lawrence, one of the...

Give Me 10 ... Thousand: Parents Shell Out Small Fortunes for Kids' Personal Trainers

“Youth sports training has grown into a $4.5 billion industry, according to IBISWorld, an industry and market research group. And, for trainers who are increasingly marketing themselves to kids and their folks, it can be a bonanza, with some charging $300 an hour for their services. The number of kids who use health clubs has more than doubled since 1990, and more than half of fitness professionals now offer one-on-one personal training for kids 18 and younger, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. But, as more kids get additional training, their teammates who don't pay for outside help can see their performance lag and end up riding the bench. ‘If they want to be competitive, they don't have...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese. There are concrete steps we can take right away as concerned parents, caregivers, educators, loved ones, and a Nation to ensure that our children are able to live full and active lives...

Minnesota Firm Taking Anytime Fitness To Poland

“A Minnesota investment firm is taking Anytime Fitness Inc. to Poland, the Hasting-based fitness club chain said Wednesday. Wayzata Poland Z.O.O, a subsidiary of St. Louis Park-based Wayzata Capital Management Inc., plans to open three Anytime Fitness clubs in Warsaw in the next two years, according to a news release. The first is scheduled to open in Warsaw in November. As many as 10 clubs are planned for the nation's capital before the firm expands to other Polish cities...

Cybex Named the Preferred Fitness Equipment Supplier to Troon Golf

“As part of this new relationship, Troon [which operates more than 200 high-end private, resort and daily fee golf properties across 26 countries] has recommended CYBEX to its facility managers, who will give full consideration to the Company's diverse range of fitness solutions, including the CYBEX Golf Fitness platform. ‘CYBEX really understands the needs of our properties, excels at delivering an exceptional value with its fitness program, and provides the service quality our members and guests associate with the Troon Golf experience,’ says John Easterbrook, Executive Vice President of Operations, Troon Golf. ‘Because they're extremely flexible and willing to work within the confines of what a club can dedicate to fitness, CYBEX truly...

Limber Up for All New Strictly Fit With Fitness First

“As Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back onto TV screens, everyone can try their hand at dance moves inspired by the hit BBC One television show with the newly refreshed Strictly Fit group exercise classes from Fitness First. The classes were initially launched last year and have proved so successful with members and non members that new classes are set to be introduced nationwide this Autumn...

Hoole Hall Health Club's Fund Raising Ride

“STAFF and members from a Chester health club are gearing up to take part in a mammoth 300-mile charity cycle ride from London to Paris. The Club and Spa at Hoole Hall’s charity feat will start on September 22 in an effort to raise £5,000 for The Hospice of the Good Shepherd, in Backford, Chester. To get the ball rolling with their fundraising, staff members have been visiting local supermarkets with spinning bikes and have already raised £4,000 towards their total. Members and staff have joined forces to raise as much money as possible for the hospice, which provides highly specialised care for people living with incurable illnesses.”

Long-Term Weight Loss May Be Harmful To Health

“Long-term weight loss may release into the blood industrial pollutants linked to illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers said on Tuesday. These compounds are normally stored in fatty tissues, but when fat breaks down during weight loss, they get into the blood stream, said lead researcher Duk-Hee Lee at the Kyungpook National University in Daegu in South Korea. ‘We are living under the strong dogma that weight loss is always beneficial, but weight gain is always harmful...but we think that increased (pollutant) levels (in the blood) due to weight loss can affect human health in a variety of ways,’ she wrote in an email to Reuters."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cape Coral Tennis Club Receives Good News

“‘The club is going on,’ a relieved Bob Lynch told me on Friday. The club he was referring to is the Mid-Cape Racquet & Health Club, which recently went into foreclosure. ‘(Community South) bank is bringing in a management company,’ said Lynch, who opened the $4 million dollar facility in 2004 with his wife Suzanne. "The good news is the staff and everyone is staying. Based on conversations we've had, they're not going to change a thing. ‘It's a very unusual situation. A bank would usually shut it down but it's making money. It's a profitable club so they're...

In Shape Plans 2nd Manteca Club

“In Shape has submitted plans for a proposed state-of-the-art fitness center as part of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. Community Development Director Frederic Clark confirmed the plans are in the preliminary site review stage and that no target date has been for the issuance of a building permit. In Shape has been looking at expanding in the growing Manteca market for a number of years. About 10 years ago they were considering a site on West Yosemite Avenue west of Airport Way for a larger club similar to the one they have in Tracy complete with outdoor tennis courts and even a ball field.”

An Exercise Class With an Element of Joy

“At least from my mat, yoga in this city feels like just another form of competition—in the guise of a love-in. But exercise can co-exist with an element of joy. And it's happening in the basement of an old luggage factory in Park Slope. At the Union Street Dance studio, choreographer Eva Dean has created exercise classes based on movement of her own design: Bounce Dance Technique. There are no po-go sticks or fancy shoes. It's all about using those giant workout balls that typically clog up apartments and make for a handy extra seat. But it's more than a workout method. The undulating, smooth movements are the basis...

Making Soldiers Fit to Fight, Without the Situps

“Dawn breaks at this, the Army’s largest training post, with the reliable sound of fresh recruits marching to their morning exercise. But these days, something looks different. That familiar standby, the situp, is gone, or almost gone. Exercises that look like pilates or yoga routines are in. And the traditional bane of the new private, the long run, has been downgraded. This is the Army’s new physical-training program, which has been rolled out this year at its five basic training posts that handle 145,000...

Why Trainers Say, 'Slow Down'

“Roughly 10% of athletes preparing for an endurance event are training too hard, estimates Jack Raglin, director of graduate studies at the Indiana University's department of kinesiology. Research in the field has shown that injury rates rise as runners increase their weekly mileage. Besides injury, excessive training can contribute to or cause major depression, loss of sleep, anorexia and sometimes death. Statistically, the harder line to reach is the start line. Of the tens of thousands of Americans who pay as much as $180 to register for marathons, as many as 25% fail to make it to the race. Injury, illness and loss...

Beijing Suits Up for Health Push [video]

Chinese authorities are reviving mass calisthenics as part of a new government health campaign, broadcasting daily routines over the radio. Video courtesy of AFP.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Technogym Founder Alessandri May Buy Back Stake From Candover, Sole Says

“Technogym SpA founder Nerio Alessandri may buy back the 40 percent stake he sold to Candover Investments two years ago, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported, without saying where it got the information. Alessandri may be able to buy the stake in the Italian equipment maker before it is sold to a third party according to a clause in the contract signed with Candover, Il Sole reported. Candover halted investments in January and plans to focus on the sale of its remaining assets and return cash to investors after talks to find a buyer for the fund manager broke down.”

UNC Teams With Cybex To Help Fund Cancer Research

"The UNC Fitness Center has joined Cybex International and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Cybex, a leading manufacturer of exercise equipment, developed pink treadmills and arc trainers for gymnasiums across the country to spur physical activity and fund-raising. For every mile logged on a pink Cybex treadmill...

Town Sports International Offers Investors the Best Cash Flow in the Leisure Facilities Industry

“Town Sports International (NASDAQ:CLUB) has a price to free cash flow ratio of 7.2x based on a current price of $2.68 and a free cash flow per share of $0.37.”

Does Stretching Before Running Prevent Injuries?

“The study, one of the largest of its kind, involved almost 1,400 runners, from age 13 to past 60, who were assigned randomly to two groups. The first group did not stretch before their runs, while otherwise maintaining their normal workout routine: the same mileage, warm-up (minus any stretching) and so on. The second group stretched, having received photographs and specific instructions for a series of simple, traditional poses, like leaning over and touching toes, that focused on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles. The volunteers were told to hold each stretch for 20 seconds, a technique known as static stretching. The entire routine required three to five minutes and was to be completed immediately before a run. Phys Ed The...

Anytime Fitness and Exercise is Medicine™ Team Up for a Healthier America

What if the health care and fitness industries merged to ensure that exercise was the most widely prescribed drug in the world? A partnership between Anytime Fitness, the world’s largest co-ed fitness chain and the American College of Sport Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine ™ global initiative aims to do just that. During a time when the nation faces a serious health crisis, Anytime Fitness and Exercise is Medicine are teaming up in a joint promotion aimed at bridging the health gap that exists between the doctor’s office and the gym...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bally Total Fitness Agrees To Refund Customers' Overpayments

“Nearly 1,000 Texans who paid money to Bally Total Fitness Corp. that they did not owe are now due a refund, according to a final judgment between Attorney General Greg Abbott and Bally. According to the settlement agreement, between summer 2009 and March 2010, Bally sent 11,000 "past due" bills to former customers when they didn't owe anything to the health club chain. The mailings threatened to harm the consumers' credit ratings if they did not pay, the settlement said. The 1,000 customers due refunds were the ones who responded to...

Physically Active Lifestyle May Reduce Genetic Predisposition To Obesity

"New research from the UK suggests that living an active lifestyle can reduce people's genetic predisposition to obesity by about 40 per cent, challenging a popular view that exercise doesn't help people lose weight if they are genetically predisposed to obesity. The study was the work of senior author Dr Ruth Loos, group leader in Genetics in the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the Institute of Metabolic Science, based at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, and colleagues, and was published online on 31 August in the journal PLoS Medicine. For their stud...

The Sports Club/LA Brings Fitness Fun to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts!

“Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and The Sports Club/LA -Boston have teamed up once again to bring fitness fun to the Girl Scouts!Girl Scouts is happy to announce that The Sports Club/LA has created an educational health and fitness curriculum to train Girl Scout volunteers on how to teach their troops about fitness in a fun and interactive way. Private Trainers, Tracy Mernin and Ann Bruck, from The Sports Club/LA -Boston developed an easy-to-follow and fun fitness curriculum, designed to help troop leaders set girls on a path to health and wellness. The complimentary trainings will take...

Top 5 Companies in the Leisure Facilities Industry Providing Best Value To Investors

“Town Sports International has a price/sales ratio of 0.13x based on a current price of $2.62 and trailing 12-month sales per share of $20.8.”

New Workout Programs Show That Pools Can Attract Exercisers Of All Ages [photos]

‘Water is magic,’ says Laura Ribbins, who's one of the world's leading authorities on aquatic exercise -- perhaps because she's based in the Cayman Islands, where water workouts are possible year-round. I ran into her at the DCAC fitness convention in Alexandria last month, where she was presenting sessions on how to lure baby boomers to water classes with super-athletic moves. As great as water is for older bodies, she recommends it for ‘anyone who's into fitness.’ Unfortunately, the quality of aqua instruction has generally lagged behind that of other classes, which has contributed to the misconception that you can't get a good workout in the water. And the tendency of water workouts to turn into senior citizens' social hour hasn't helped their reputation, either. That's why Teri Bothwell, director of group exercise for Washington area gym chain Sport & Health, has a new mission for its pool programming: "Get it...

Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers Take Heart From Program

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers will have access to a new fitness program that could help manage some of the symptoms of the disease. MS Heartmoves is a joint initiative of the Heart Foundation and MS Australia and will be available in Orange at Integra Health Club from next week. The program is adapted from the Heart Foundation’s existing Heartmoves regime for heart disease and diabetes sufferers. The foundation hopes it will encourage MS sufferers to participate in regular exercise. ‘There’s been a bit of a shift in how people approach managing MS as a disease,’ Heartmoves leader...

New Pole Fitness Club Helps Women Spice Up Their Workouts

“The Mayor of Parker calls it the most unique business the town has ever seen. The Mile High Pole Club opened its doors in March with the full support of city leaders. The new club features pole fitness classes and chair dancing for women looking to spice up their workouts. Owner Dionne Sieretzki opened the club in Parker because she lives there and wanted to share pole fitness with other women. She told FOX31, ‘So many different types of women enjoy it, stay-at-home moms, working moms, so why shouldn't we be in the suburbs? I also needed a place closer than Denver to work out.’ With pole fitness studios starting to quickly gain popularity in Colorado, it's no wonder they're starting to make their way to the suburbs. David Cas...,0,4848702.story

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Candover Looks At Selling Off Portfolio

“Candover has sealed its fate as the biggest private equity victim of the financial crisis by announcing plans to wind itself up by selling what is left in its portfolio to return cash to shareholders. The move underlines the steep fall from grace suffered by Candover, which was considered the gold standard of European private equity just a few years ago. Candover said on Tuesday that the net asset value of its portfolio had fallen 13 per cent to £197.4m, or 903p per share. This reflected the impact of the weaker euro and a 9 per cent writedown of its biggest investment in oil services group Expro International. Shares in the group rose 5p to 600p, as analysts welcomed its decision to go into run-off. Candover has invested £250m since June to support five of its portfolio companies: Hilding Anders, the Swedish bed maker; EurotaxGlass’s, the automotive data provider; Technogym, the Italian fitness equipment maker; DX Group, the UK mail delivery company; and Expro.”

Local Gym Offers Free Memberships to Veterans and Active Military

“In a patriotic effort to show appreciation to our Houston community veterans and active military service members, Spring Fitness owner Tom Kennison and General ManagerDerek Terrell, a hospital corpsman during Desert Storm, and his management team were inspired to give back to our community’s armed forces by offering them free memberships as a courtesy in return for their sacrifice and service. ‘Being the wife of a veteran,” said gym manager Megan Robertson, ‘I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to our community and others, such as my husband, who have so bravely served our country.’ Veteran airman and gym member Bob Otto stated, ‘It’s wonderful to be a member of a community that appreciates and recognizes what we did.’”

Monday, August 30, 2010

SOKO Fitness Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year End 2010 Financial Results

“SOKO Fitness & Spa Group, Inc. an operator of fitness centers and beauty salons and spas in Northeast China as well as suburban Beijing, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 31, 2010. "During fiscal 2010, we achieved solid top and bottom line growth, high margins and strong operating cash flow. This performance speaks to the significant demand that exists for our premium fitness and aesthetic services in the markets in which we operate, as well as the ongoing success of our growth strategy," said Tong Liu, Chief Executive Officer of SOKO. "Fiscal 2010 was notable for several important milestones, including our entry into the Beijing market, where we currently operate two fitness centers and one spa. We expect that our fourth Beijing facility, Yoga Wave Beijing, will open in September in Westin's Chaoyang hotel, marking our second facility located in a luxury hotel...

Virgin Active Shelves $1.6 Billion Plan for London IPO, Sunday Times Says

“Virgin Active Holdings Ltd., the health club owned by billionaire Richard Branson, has decided against a 1 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) initial public offering of its shares in London, the Sunday Times said, citing unidentified sources. The company had been considering its options for the business, including a sale to a private-equity firm, the newspaper said. Virgin declined to comment, the newspaper said.”

Long-Term Exercise Can Reduce Vets' Muscle Pain

“A bout of exercise can worsen the aches of American military veterans suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain, a small new study shows, But researchers say that it's only temporary. Long-term exercise, they stress, can help reduce veterans' chronic pain. About 100,000 veterans from the first Gulf War war have reported chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) similar to fibromyalgia. The researchers used heat to test the pain sensitivity of 15 Gulf War veterans with CMP and 17 healthy veterans of that war after a workout. Compared to the healthy participants, veterans with CMP found the heat stimuli to be more intense and unpleasant. The vets with CMP also reported more intense leg pain during exercise and were more sensitive to the heat stimuli after the bout of exercise than they were before it. However, there were no significant differences in the pain threshold between vets with CMP and healthy vets. Previous research...

Fitness Center Will Open As Planned

“A year after groundbreaking for the Jack and Jo Willa Morton Fitness Center began, the building is nearing completion and will open in November. The $3 million project ran smoothly and without issue, said Superintendent of Byrne Construction Nate Hernandez. The fitness center features a room for cardio, weights and aerobics. Upon entrance from the mall area, the cardio room is located on the left and will be filled with equipment from Cybex International, Inc. All equipment will have custom Texas Wesleyan colors and logo.‘It will have a good uniform look to it,’ said Director of the Morton Fitness Center Aaron Whaley. The cardio room will also house four 60-inch LED TVs to enjoy while burning calories, he said. Senior soccer player Heather Pagano said she’ll use the fitness center often during off-season. ‘It will be very useful since it’s my last season, and I can go there to stay in shape,’ she said.”

Playing Snap

“Snap Fitness Australia has a big vision: at least 200 clubs and overseas expansion are in the five year plan. Right now Snap has six clubs, with 10 planned and 30 territories sold. Brisbane based Roz Barker is the Australia and New Zealand managing director and highly experienced in the industry with roles as varied as group fitness instructor, sales representative, and state management. ‘I've been working in the industry for 20 years, selling full service memberships. In the last four years in clubs it's been harder to sell membership. People don't want to use all the facilities like the childcare and the group classes. Cardio and weights are the prime focus,’ she explains. ‘Snap is an easy sell, we have world class equipment.’ Competition is heating up in the home-base Brisbane area, says Barker, which has corporate stores in Carina and Strathpine, although the fitness chain is now in WA and NSW...

SP recebe a primeira ACADEMIA DOS SONHOS em setembro [Brasil]

“Entre os dias 02 e 04 de setembro, quem visitar a 11ª IHRSA em São Paulo, maior feira e congresso de fitness da América Latina, vai poder “sentir na pele” e vivenciar o dia a dia da primeira ACADEMIA DOS SONHOS. O espaço concentra não só o que há de mais moderno em equipamentos, iluminação, piso, decoração, como também as mais avançadas tecnologias, treinamentos de condicionamento físico, acessórios, suplementos alimentares, e, principalmente, o tão almejado atendimento dos sonhos.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Easy Ways To Fall Into Fitness

“3. Return to your club or gym: It takes 30 days to make fitness a habit, and supplementing outdoor exercise with increasingly frequent visits to your health club will help diversify your exercise regimen and set the stage for regular workouts once autumn's leaves have fallen. Ask any schoolchild: Fall is a great time to learn something new. Many classes at gyms and elsewhere get started in the fall, so look around and see if something intrigues you. And with the kids in school, parents have more time to check out those classes. Fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills, because you burn more calories when you begin a new activity (thanks to the learning curve and your muscles working harder at something new). If you learn something new now, by next summer, you'll have mastered the skill -- and you'll burn more calories doing it, just in time for swimsuit season. A well-rounded fitness regimen is important. While aerobic activity such as running or bicycling is good for your heart, resistance training is also a critical component of a balanced program, so be sure to take advantage of your club's weight lifting equipment.”

San Diego: Best Health Clubs To Get Fit, Fierce And Fabulous

“It takes a fair amount of effort to stay in shape, but in Southern California, it's a labor of love. Every day, thousands of Golden State hotties make their way to gyms and fitness facilities of all kinds to stretch, run, bike, lift, dance, swim, and get their hearts pumping in an endless variety of creative ways. Whether you're into weightlifting, aerobics, boxing, or even rock climbing, you'll find a health club where you can get fit, have fun, and maybe even meet some like-minded workout enthusiasts. Here's a list of the top five health clubs in San Diego where you can work on the convergence of mind, body, and spirit - or just sweat out last night's debauchery while listening to a bangin' nightclub soundtrack.

1. Pacific Athletic Club

2. Fit Athletic

3. Pure Fitness

4. City Boxing

5. Solid Rock Gym”

Precor AMT 100i Fitness Trainer Is Highly Adaptable

“Everything these days that can be customized seem to catch on faster than a stock version, and the Precor AMT 100i fitness trainer falls under such a category. It allows you to get to your workout regiment on the spot without having to worry about pushing any buttons to change movements or adjusting the contraption according to your body build and shape. This is made possible as the commercial grade cardio fitness product is smart enough to adapt itself to individual body sizes and fitness goals, delivering a low impact, high intensity workout. Changes of its movement path from elliptical, treadmill to climbers can be achieved without having to push a single button. Sweat it out in peace now, eh?”

Philips International Announces New Lease with L.A. Fitness at Palm Springs Mile in Hialeah, Fla.

"Michael Pilevsky, managing director of Philips International, one of the country's leading developers of retail shopping centers, has announced that L.A. Fitness has signed a long-term lease for a brand new 52,780 square foot state-of-the-art health club facility at the Palm Springs Mile shopping center, located at 630 West 49th St. in Hialeah, Fla. Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina stated, "Thanks to the excellent working relationship with Palm Springs Mile, we were able to attract L.A. Fitness, a business that will create hundreds of employment opportunities to Hialeah residents as well as bringing much needed amenities to our community."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?

“In fact, it’s music’s dual ability to distract attention (a psychological effect) while simultaneously goosing the heart and the muscles (physiological impacts) that makes it so effective during everyday exercise. Multiple experiments have found that music increases a person’s subjective sense of motivation during a workout, and also concretely affects his or her performance. The resulting interactions between body, brain and music are complex and intertwined. It’s not simply that music motivates you and you run faster. It may be that, instead, your body first responds to the beat, even before your mind joins in; your heart rate and breathing increase and the resulting biochemical reactions join with the music to exhilarate and motivate you to move even faster. Scientists hope to soon better understand the various nervous system and brain mechanisms involved. But for now, they know that music, in most instances, works. It eases exercise. In a typical study, from 2008, cyclists who rode in time to music used 7 percent less oxygen to pedal at the same pace as when they didn’t align themselves to the songs. But there are limits to the benefits of music, and they probably kick in just when you could use the help the most. Unfortunately, science suggests that music’s impacts decline dramatically when you exercise at an intense level.”

Fitness Center Set For Ballantyne Debut

“Urban Active Fitness is slated to open a 42,000-square-foot health club this weekend. The $13 million facility features three stories of fitness equipment and exercise venues. The club boasts an indoor swimming pool, elevated track, racquetball courts and more than 115 pieces of workout equipment. The facility also will operate a supervised playroom for children. Urban Active Ballantyne will have roughly 55 employees. The club is at 12325 Copper Way. It will be open Aug. 28 and 29 for previews and open to members Aug. 30. Urban Active operates 35 fitness clubs in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. The Ballantyne facility is its first in North Carolina.”

Jungle Club Hosts Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program

“The Jungle Club Sports Complex of Vero Beach announces its “Back in School, Back in Shape” open house on Saturday, August 28, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The public is invited to come to the health club for free all day for a variety of fun events and activities for the entire family. Tours and membership specials will be the main focus of the open house, but the public may use any part of the gym, take a group exercise class, use state-of-the-art equipment and have a family fun day by the pool. There will be massage demonstrations, free metabolism evaluations, a personal training...

Planet Fitness Gym to Open in Fairfield

“Planet Fitness is opening its first Cincinnati-area location in Fairfield. The Dover, N.H.-based fitness company signed a 15-year lease for 14,000 square feet at Patterson Place, according to landlord Neyer Properties. The property was formerly known as Fair Plaza. Neyer said it is making interior and exterior improvements to the space, including repairs, improved storefronts, updated HVAC systems, repaved parking and signage. It is part of a 25-acre site redevelopment that will include an updated 60,000-square-foot shopping center, a senior living complex and patio homes. Planet Fitness is slated to open in September and employ a staff of 12.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crunch Fitness Appoints Keith Worts as New President

“Crunch Fitness, the health club chain renowned for fusing fitness and entertainment, today announced the appointment of Keith Worts as its new president. Former chief operating officer of the company, Worts has been an industry leader with over 20 years experience in all aspects of operations including brand development and strategy. Worts will oversee the management of Crunch's unique fitness brand with 21 locations in the U.S. ‘I couldn't be happier to continue working alongside...

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

“It’s 1 p.m. on a Thursday and Dianne Bates, 40, juggles three screens. She listens to a few songs on her iPod, then taps out a quick e-mail on her iPhone and turns her attention to the high-definition television. Just another day at the gym. As Ms. Bates multitasks, she is also churning her legs in fast loops on an elliptical machine in a downtown fitness center. She is in good company. In gyms and elsewhere, people use phones and other electronic devices to get work done — and as a reliable antidote...

Mercedes Puts Workers On Road To Good Health

“There's a little tinkering going on under the hood at Alabama's Mercedes-Benz auto factory, and it has nothing to do with the luxury SUVs built there. Employees are eating better, exercising more and setting ambitious physical fitness goals for the coming year, all part of a new push to promote healthy living among the 2,800-member work force. Changes include a wider selection of healthier foods in the plant's cafeteria, with nutritional information posted for the daily options. Signs...

Exercise ‘Makes You Feel Full’

“Brazilian researchers have discovered that exercise not only helps you shed kilos by burning calories but also makes you feel full by triggering neurons in the brain. Researchers at the University of Campinas Exercise say that exercise restores the sensitivity of neurons involved in the control of satiety (feeling full), which in turn contributes to reduced food intake and consequently weight loss. The increase in obesity has become one of the most important clinical-epidemiological phenomena...

CB Richard Ellis Advises On Health Club Sale

“The North West leisure and alternative investment team at CB Richard Ellis has been instructed to advise on and dispose of a health, fitness and racquets club in Shropshire. An established and successful club with an existing membership of around 3,500, the facility presents an acquisition...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[Hey Bric Spender] Low-Cost Treadmills For Brazilian Joggers

“Brazil is often seen as an image-conscious country whose residents are willing spend lots of time and money to make themselves look toned and beautiful. Stereotypes are always exaggerated, but in this case a look at the number of fitness gyms confirms that there is definitely something to it. And gyms’ traditional status as havens for the moneyed elite may be about to change. Brazil has 15,521 health clubs, the second highest number in the world behind only the US. The number has doubled since 2007. And Brazil’s 4.6m members generated $1.1bn last year, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). But for the average Brazilian - and for the less-than-wealthy foreigner - these gyms are an expensive affair. The membership rates of...

Fitness Feels the Burn

The recent economic climate has impacted consumers’ spending habits, leaving populations young and old seeking more bang for their buck. Overall trends are expected to show a return to the basics in regard to fitness, with boot camps and energizing, calorie-burning group classes becoming popular...

Shake Things Up With Vibration Platforms

“Vibration platforms, which purportedly provide a host of bone, muscle, circulatory, flexibility and injury-rehab benefits by shaking your body 20 to 50 times a second as you stand on them, are becoming more varied and practical as the market grows beyond pro sports teams and physical therapy offices. Backed by numerous studies (sometimes company-supported) suggesting that vibration increases load and stimulation with less joint stress, the machines are promoted as "workout accelerators" that hammer muscles in half the time of normal gym sessions. Some of the newest...,0,43082.story

The Communist Approach to Obesity

“Here’s one way to fight obesity: mandatory exercise, as Beijing has commanded again, after a three-year break. ‘The short-term goal is to involve 60% of the workforces in Beijing by 2011, and 70% of the workforces of the government,’ says Zhang Yujing of the Beijing Federation of Trade Unions. ‘We want all state-owned enterprise workers to have restarted this routine by next year.’ The city’s residents seem to support the policy: ‘I think this [resumption] is really necessary, because people’s living habits are very bad now. They sit in the office the whole day,’ said one 30-year-old, who works in marketing. ‘I have my own exercise plan, but I never put it into practice because I am too busy.’”

Power Plate To Target Men Via F1 Team Tie-Up

“The brand, which manufactures gym equipment, has previously relied on endorsements from celebrities including Dannii Minogue and Courteney Cox to target women, who are the most frequent users of its products. The latest activity is intended to capitalise on Formula One's huge global fan base, which is male-dominated. Power Plate will be able to use Williams drivers Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenburg, as well as the team's crew, within its marketing. As part of the change in approach, Power Plate will shift its focus away from endorsements to concentrate on gaining brand recognition. Male-focused marketing will promote its affiliation with the racing team. The company will roll out experiential work to educate consumers about the brand...

Legendary Boxing Gym Goes The Distance

“The folks at Gleason's Gym like to say that boxing is the art of not getting hit. With its down-at-the-heels decor, Gleason's looks like it's taken a punch or two. But focus and fancy footwork have kept this oldest active boxing gym in the United States firmly in the ring since 1937. ‘I'm a specialist. We're a boxing gym. That's what we do,’ said Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason's, located in Brooklyn, New York. ‘Woman or businessman we'll train you in the sport of boxing, prepare you physically and mentally for a 12-round fight.’ Although the gym has retained its...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fixing a World That Fosters Fat

“Why are Americans getting fatter and fatter? The simple explanation is that we eat too much junk food and spend too much time in front of screens — be they television, phone or computer — to burn off all those empty calories. One handy prescription for healthier lives is behavior modification. If people only ate more fresh produce. (Thank you, Michael Pollan.) If only children exercised more. (Ditto, Michelle Obama.) Unfortunately, behavior changes won’t work on their own without seismic societal shifts, health experts say, because eating too much and exercising too little are merely symptoms of a much larger malady. The real problem is a landscape littered with inexpensive fast-food meals; saturation advertising for fatty, sugary products; inner cities that lack supermarkets; and unhealthy, high-stress workplaces. In other words: it’s the environment, stupid. ‘Everyone knows that you shouldn’t eat junk food and you should exercise,’ says Kelly D. Brownell, the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. ‘But the environment makes it so difficult that fewer people can...

Gym Mixes Vodka With Fitness

“Sweat and alcohol are both great social lubricants,” said David Barton, founder of the David Barton Gym. So in a move that might seem silly or inevitable, depending on your point of view, he has combined them. The gym chain became a watering hole at its locations in Chicago, Miami and New York when it started hosting cocktail hours after its intense boot camp training classes. They are sponsored by the Swedish vodka brand Svedka throughout August and are meant to tie in with the brand’s ‘RU Bot Or Not?’ ad campaign that features a female robot with proportions Barbie would envy. ‘I want people to find the gym not just a place to work out, but a good hang as well,’ Mr. Barton said. After the trainer-led group exercise classes, customers can take off their sweaty socks and trade their usual smoothies with scoops of protein powder for cocktails made with clementine-flavored vodka, orange juice, sour mix and fresh mint...

Friday, August 20, 2010

August Heat Can Be Risky For Athletes

Each year, nearly 10,000 high school athletes in the U.S. suffer heat-related illnesses that require medical attention and cause them to miss practice or games, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fully two-thirds of those cases occur in August, according to the report, and roughly 80 percent of the stricken athletes are football players, who at this time of year are often slogging through grueling preseason workouts. With temperatures hovering in the 90s and beyond, dehydration and heat exhaustion while exercising are a very real -- and potentially dangerous -- threat. And competitive athletes aren't the only ones who can experience problems when the mercury and humidity peak. Even if they're in excellent shape, weekend warriors may find themselves suffering heat-related symptoms after a long run or even a day of lawn mowing and yard work. ‘People get out there a really hard workout,’ says Scott Anderson, a certified athletic trainer in Clearwater, Florida. ‘The sensible thing is to go slow, and work up progressively. ...A lot of people even go indoors and cross-train if it's too hot.’”

First Lady's Health Campaign Motivates Island

“Inspired by this initiative, a group of locals will be kicking off an Island version of the national campaign that will target Islanders of all ages and hopefully lead to a community commitment to improved health. The newly formed LetsMove Martha's Vineyard will host an inaugural event on August 24 that will feature activities, healthy food preparation and samples, sign-up opportunities for those interested in making a commitment to maintaining an active lifestyle, and a...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Entrepreneurs Seek Safety In The Franchise Fold

“If you can't beat 'em join 'em. So said Corey Butcher, a health club entrepreneur who progressively purchased four gyms before deciding he needed some national muscle to stay healthy in the competitive Dallas market. Last year, Butcher brought all of his clubs under the umbrella of Gold's Gym, a national franchise with some 520 U.S. locations. ‘The problem was you're fighting against the dollars of LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and Bally's,’ said Butcher, 38, who prides himself on turning around underperforming clubs. ‘We needed some synergy in the corporation. Really the only way of doing that I felt was with a franchise.’”

Adult Gyms Encourage Kids To Come Join The (Health) Club

“The games they play leave little doubt about the ideology: Duck, Duck, Goose with squats; Hot Potato with a medicine ball. In response to the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States, traditionally adult health clubs have begun offering fitness programs designed specifically for kids - combining exercise movements, athletic skills and basic nutrition guidance with aspects of childhood that are familiar and fun. At the same time, motivated by health concerns, competitive athletics and vanity, teens are working out more frequently in adult gyms, especially over the summer months. Team CrossFit, an independently owned gym in Woodland Hills, launched CrossFit Kids in June. The collection of fitness The appeal is not hard to grasp: Parents can work out...

Climbing Gyms, Indoor Rec Facilities Retaining Foothold Despite Plunging Economy

“With so many businesses closing or hanging on by a thread during the recession, Adventure Rock, an indoor rock climbing gym in suburban Milwaukee that opened in 1991, just had its best year ever. It and other indoor sports facilities in Wisconsin are doing things like hiring and planning new construction -- activities that for other luxury businesses are well out of reach these days. ‘We added a lot of staff,’ said Adventure Rock manager Eric Olson. ‘Some areas of our business are down, but overall revenue is up double digits. Kids’ birthday parties are down, but membership is way up. We had by far our best year ever as of the end of October.’ In Madison, Boulders Climbing Gym has been crowded on recent evenings, to the surprise of general manager...

The Rush Fitness Complex Grand Opening Celebration

On September 3rd, 4th, and 5th, THE RUSH FITNESS COMPLEX based in Knoxville Tennessee, celebrates the GRAND OPENING of their newest facility in Winston-Salem North Carolina (their 20th location). Along with the RUSH, local area businesses will be providing food, door prizes, music, balloons, free tours, and chance to win a free 1-year RUSH membership for all who attend...

Gym Owner Learns How To Be Fiscally Fit

The pounding music and loud cries of encouragement that flood out of the CrossFit Oahu warehouse are almost as intimidating as the rigorous drills of jumping squats, glute-ham situps and kettlebell swings that can make up a typical training session. But Bryant Powers has created a workout community that welcomes Olympic weightlifters and fitness rookies alike. The fitness Mecca where Powers spends nearly all of his waking hours is what could be described as a gym rat’s dive-bar — ropes hanging from the ceiling, original CrossFit shirts on display like...^3801941

Roll-Out Of Budget Gyms Planned By Group

“A health and fitness operator is planning to create up to 300 jobs by rolling out a chain of budget gyms across Yorkshire. Xercise 4 Less, which already has a base at Xscape in Castleford, is planning to launch the brand in up to 15 more sites over the next five years. A thousand members have already signed up to join the Wakefield gym, which will feature 300 pieces of gym equipment, and the company says it is on target to reach its goal of 4,000 members at the site. Xercise 4 Less, which has a turnover of £750,000, plans to launch the brand in towns...

Best Gyms in Los Angeles

“The fitness business is going strong there, with thousands of personal trainers who are able to take advantage of the beaches, mountains, and amazing year-round weather to train outside of the gym setting. Although the majority of personal trainers freelance, others choose the gym setting to make a living.

Los Angeles' Best Gyms:

Congratulations to the nearly 100 IHRSA member clubs listed:

Sports Club LA (Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County)
Equinox (West Hollywood, Westwood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and more)
LA Fitness (Sixty-three gyms in and around Los Angeles)
Gold's Gym (Several locations in and around Los Angeles)
Crunch (West Hollywood, Bob Harper teaches spin on Saturdays)

Non-IHRSA clubs:

Bodies in Motion (Several locations in and around Los Angeles)
Tao Athletic Club (Beverly Hills)
Train (West Hollywood)”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Massachusetts Legislative Update: 2009-2010 Session Ends with Three Victories for Mass Clubs

"The Massachusetts Legislature adjourned its 2-year legislative session on July 31, 2010. While Beacon Hill lawmakers remain in an informal session, the legislature is now very unlikely to advance multiple pieces of legislation that could have harmed the Massachusetts health club industry, essentially guaranteeing victories on the following issues:..."

TrustLine Update

As reported July 1st, IHRSA and CCD have worked to secure the introduction of legislation that aims to address industry concerns about the enactment of Senate Bill 702 (SB 702). The new law requires health club day care employees to clear a background check through the state-administered TrustLine registry. That legislation, Senate Bill 1196 (SB 1196), would clarify that only health club employees ages 18 and over would be subject to the new rule, set to go into effect on January 1, 2011...

Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends With 3 Victories

The Massachusetts Legislature ended its formal session on July 31st effectively defeating three potentially negative bills for the Bay State’s health club industry. The bills covered a broad range of issues, from personal trainer licensing to membership contracts. “Massachusetts has an active legislature and a large club industry,” says Amy Bantham, deputy vice president of government relations. “One of the greatest concerns is that many other states look to what Massachusetts has done in crafting legislation. Therefore, stopping negative bills here and in California, is nationally important as these states tend to be in the forefront of legislative trends.”....

Crunch Announces Third Franchise Location in Rocklin, CA

“Crunch announces it will swing open the doors to its third location in their line of franchise clubs in Rocklin, CA in October 2010. The newest Crunch outpost will be in the Blue Oaks Shopping Center at 6680 Lonetree Blvd. Located next to the Blue Oaks Cinema 16 movie theatre, Crunch looks to bring the brand's fitness meets entertainment and No Judgments philosophies to the Rocklin community. ‘I am excited to bring the first club of its kind to the Sacramento area,’ said the new Crunch Rocklin owner. ‘Rocklin is the perfect place for Crunch because it's an active, health conscious community. Our clubs will provide a fun, friendly and clean environment, with brand new equipment and group exercise classes that will be affordable for everyone.’”

Gaiam's latest exercise tool hopes to be a Step360 to better balance

“The newest fitness tool coming to a gym near you looks like a tire stolen from an alien automobile. But more important, it resembles the love child of the step and the Bosu, two of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment in recent history. Even if you've managed to avoid sweating for years, you're probably at least acquainted with the cardio-conducive step platform and the blue squishy domes meant to test your balance. The two concepts are melded in the form of Step360, which fitness company Gaiam recently debuted at a convention in Los Angeles.”

We Hope To Set Up 100 Health Clubs By March: Anant Gawande, CFO, Talwalkars

“In an interview with ET Now, Anant Gawande, CFO, Talwalkars, talks about their expansion plans. Excerpts: […]”

American Council on Exercise (ACE) Announces New Youth Fitness Initiatives to Support Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit Campaign

“The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's leading authority on fitness and the largest fitness certification, education and training organization in the world, has teamed with Henkel, the company behind some of the nation's leading brands such as Dial®, Purex®, Renuzit®, Right Guard®, and Soft Scrub®, to support the company's Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit campaign through the launch of new educational tools on the Youth Fitness section of the ACE Get Fit™ website. These online resources support the Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit campaign, which was recently launched...

Planet Fitness To Open In Fairfield Plaza

“For years, people have been taking tennis lessons at the Mid-Cape Racquet and Health Club. But because the club may have to shut down, those people might have to find some new courts. The club's owner, Bob Lynch, says the $4-million facility is going through foreclosure. ‘It's difficult turning a profit at a facility like this when $29 is all you're paying for fitness and keeping up with the maintenance,’ he said.That includes not only the fitness machines and weights, but also keeping the 10 tennis courts in top condition for lessons and tournaments. And even with more...

Premier Sportsplex of Lubbock, Texas Names Brandon Hughes as Marketing Director

“Premier Sportsplex, a leader in helping Lubbock residents lose weight and get back in shape along with providing five star kid’s programming, today announced that Brandon Hughes has been named Marketing Director while maintaining General Manager duties. ‘We couldn’t be happier that Brandon agreed to handle our marketing,’ said Curry Blackwell, President, Premier Sportsplex ‘His extensive experience in marketing, training and managing fitness staff in the health club industry will be a key factor in the growth of the Premier Sportsplex.’”

Docs Writing Veggie Vouchers To Combat Obesity

“Physicians have long told patients fighting obesity to eat their fruits and vegetables. Now they’re writing prescriptions for it. Health care providers are offering vouchers worth $1 per day to members of low-income families in Massachusetts and Maine participating in a new program. The idea is to boost consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by providing one serving a day from local farmers. The program, created by Connecticut-based Wholesome Wave, is formally launching Wednesday in Portland and Skowhegan, five days after it began in Massachusetts. It will measure how the fresh produce affects blood pressure, weight and body mass index; blood-sugar levels; and participants’ weight. It also collects data on physical activity.”

Overweight Kids Risk Weak Bones, Diabetes

“Overweight children who are at risk for developing diabetes before puberty also face greater odds for having weak bones, a new study indicates. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia studied 140 children between the ages of 7 and 11 who got little regular exercise and found that 30% showed signs of poor blood sugar regulation and 4% to 5% less bone mass, which is a measure of bone strength. The researchers...

Some Minority Groups Hit Hard by Childhood Obesity

“The study, to be published in the September issue of Pediatrics, finds that black, Hispanic and American Indian girls have two to three times higher odds of having a high body-mass index (BMI) compared to white girls. What's more, although rates of obesity peaked for Hispanic girls in 2005, they have kept on rising for American Indian and black girls. ‘What was encouraging was that we saw some decline in obesity, [but] we saw an increase in the racial disparities. So...