Thursday, January 28, 2010

JJB Sports Chairman Steps Down

“Struggling British sportswear retailer JJB Sports was dealt a further blow with David Jones, chairman and architect of its rescue, stepping down to continue his long-running battle against Parkinson's Disease. The firm said on Thursday that Jones, a former chief executive of fashion retailer Next who has suffered from the debilitating neurodegenerative disease since 1982, will step down as chairman on January 31 but will remain a non-executive director. The news came as JJB, which saw suppliers hold back stock as it battled to avoid administration last year, posted further falls in sales and gross margins,...

Department Of Consumer Affairs Charges New York Health & Racquet Club Hid Fees For 'Free' Services

“The city is forcing the New York Health & Racquet Club to shape up. The expensive exercise joint promised New Yorkers free yacht rides and golf outings if they joined last spring, but then socked members with fat fees hidden in fine print - a no-no under city rules, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Now the club faces $20,000 in fines and must tell 5,600 members this week that they can cancel their contract without any penalty - a move that could cost $150,000, DCA estimated.”...

Brunswick Reports Fourth Quarter Results

“Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) today reported results for the fourth quarter of 2009:

· Total net sales of $657.3 million were down 22 percent versus 2008.

· A net loss of $124.0 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, which includes $0.78 per diluted share of impairment and restructuring charges, and $1.20 per diluted share of benefits from special tax items.

· Cash totaled $526.6 million, up from 2008 year-end balance of $317.5 million.

· Pipeline reduction and inventory management strategies implemented throughout the year led to significantly lower dealer inventory levels and company cash flow benefits, while having a negative impact on revenue and earnings.

‘During the fourth quarter we continued to successfully execute against our key strategic objectives, which has allowed us not only to remain stable during the worst marine market in decades, but also to position ourselves to take advantage of market opportunities as they evolve,’ said Brunswick's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy. ‘We exited 2009 with $527 million in cash, a stronger dealer network with low inventories, and a leaner company with a significantly reduced cost structure.’”

LA Fitness Fined For Filth

“LA Fitness has been put on warning — clean up your act or close down. The Board of Health cautioned representatives of the LA Fitness at 1423 Broadway that the workout center would be shuttered if an inspection turns up any further cleanliness problems. Board members called LA Fitness before them after the facility racked up $2,300 in fines since September for unsanitary conditions. During the Jan. 11 hearing the boa...

Parents' Perceptions Of Their Child's Competence Linked To Physical Activity

“The study by Oregon State University researchers Stewart Trost and Paul Loprinzi, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, studied 268 children ages 2 to 5 in early childhood education centers in Queensland, Australia. Of these children, 156 parents or caregivers were surveyed on their parental practices, behaviors related to physical activity and demographic information. What they found is that parents' level of physical activity is not directly associated with their children, but instead that the direct link was between parental support and a child's level of physical activity...

Gold’s Gym of Regina Partners with InTouch Technology to Sell More Memberships and Get More People Involved In Fitness

“Gold’s Gym of Regina is organizing their sales force and becoming more effective at closing leads. ‘Before InTouch’s SalesTracker, it was hard for me to keep track of leads and I was afraid of leads falling through the cracks. With the automatic follow-up call scheduling I am confident that every lead will be contacted. Also, the SMS text message reminder for tours, orientation appointments and PT sessions free up my staff to focus on making ...

Overweight' Adults Age 70 Or Older Are Less Likely To Die Over A 10 Year Period Than Those Of 'Normal' Weight

“Researchers looked at data taken over a decade among more than 9,200 Australian men and women aged between 70 and 75 at the beginning of the study, who were assessed for their health and lifestyle as part of a study into healthy aging. The paper sheds light on the situation in Australia, which is ranked the third most obese country, behind the United States and the United Kingdom. The study began in 1996 and recruited 4,677 men and 4,563 women. The participants were followed for ten years or until their death, whichever was sooner, and factors such as lifestyle, demographics, and health were measured...

Detectives Crack Health Club Theft Ring

“In December, a Santa Clarita resident reported he believed someone had removed the keys from his gym locker, located his car, taken credit cards from his wallet, replaced them with credit cards belonging to other people and returned his keys to his locker -- all while he was working out inside the L.A. Fitness at 28211 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia. Investigating detectives found that was in fact...

New Year’s Resolutions Lead to Foot Injuries

“Ringing in the New Year holds different meanings for everyone. Some look forward to big parties, while others focus on new goals and plans for the upcoming year. With every January 1st, New Year’s resolutions abound. Those of all ages plan for positive changes and renew commitments to stick to an active lifestyle. One of the most popular ways to do this is by taking up a new exercise or weight loss routine. In a recent press release, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association President and Chief Executive Officer said, ‘Tough economic times and looming health care costs are making it more important than ever for people to proactively care for their own health.’ He explains, ‘Ben Frank...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Treadmill Helps Parkinson's Patients Walk Better

“However, it's unclear how long the benefits of treadmill training will last, or the best way to deliver this type of training to patients with the movement disorder, Dr. Jan Mehrholz of the Wissenschaftliches Institut in Kreischa, Germany and colleagues note. In Parkinson's disease, neurons producing dopamine, an important chemical messenger in the brain, die off, leading to movement problems, tremor and rigidity. Many Parkinson's patients have a characteristic shuffling gait, which can boost their risk of falls and fractures. Treadmill training has been used to help improve gait in Parkinson's patients, but more information is needed on its effectiveness and safety, Mehrholz and colleagues say. To investigate, they identified eight studies that compared treadmill training to no treadmill training in a total of 203 Parkinson's patients. Their analysis found that training significantly improved walking speed, stride length and walking distance. However, it did not improve the ‘cadence,’ or rhythm, of a patient's gait...

Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling From Health Club

A Yuba City woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling money from a health club where she worked as a bookkeeper. Alexa Carmen Keeney, 29, was suspected of stealing about $40,000 when she was arrested in February. She entered the guilty plea Monday in Sutter County Judge Chris Chandler's courtroom. April Helm, owner of Northside Athletic Club, 680 N. Walton Ave., could not be reached for comment. Keeney...

The Scales Can Lie: Hidden Fat

“Can you be normal weight and fat at the same time? That's the implication of a provocative recent report from the Mayo Clinic, which suggests that fat in your body can get you and your heart into trouble even if you don't look fat and if the scale tells you you're healthy. The Mayo researchers, led by cardiologist Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, have coined a term for the phenomenon: normal weight obesity. In a study that looked at data from 6,171 Americans with normal body size, as measured by body...

Downtrend Spotted in Shares of Town Sports International

“SmarTrend identified a Downtrend for Town Sports International (NASDAQ: CLUB on November 04, 2009 at $2.71. In approximately 3 months, Town Sports International has returned 16.8% as of today's recent price of $2.25. Town Sports International is currently below its 50-day moving average of $2.33 and below its 200-day moving average of $3.04. Look for these moving averages to decline to confirm the company's downward momentum.”...

Merritt Athletic Clubs Announcing Partnership with Michael Phelps Swim School

“Merritt Athletic Clubs and the Michael Phelps Swim School are partnering on additional swim school locations. The announcement came on December 10, 2009, at the annual Merritt Athletic Clubs holiday party. The Michael Phelps Swim School will expand from a single location at Meadowbrook Aquatics Center to include the Merritt Athletic Clubs’ Towson, Eldersburg, and Canton locations. In a statement released by Merritt Athletic Clubs, Andrew Barranco, Regional Aquatics Director, said, ‘This partnership combines the world-class vision and recognition of the Michael Phelps Swim School with Merritt Athletic Clubs’ services and facilities.’ The ultimate goal at the Michael Phelps Swim School is to develop the whole person physically and mentally. Swim classes include personal safety, stroke development, water sports and games, personal growth, and rescue skills. The Swim School insures that each participant has an opportunity to become very comfortable in the water. With over 27,000 members, Merritt Athletic Clubs is the most complete fitness organization in Maryland and was recently voted Baltimore’s Best Health Club by Baltimore Magazine. Starting January 2010, the public will be able to enroll in the Michael Phelps Swim School at Merritt Athletic Clubs.

Exercise Etiquette: Weighing The Rules At The Gym

“So you joined a gym when the new year began, and it seems the other members give you the stink-eye every now and then. What's up? Chances are you're violating one of the gym's rules. As there are for weddings and dinner parties, gyms have rules of etiquette and maybe you've been violating one -- or horrors, many -- of them. There probably are signs posted with the club's rules; maybe you didn't notice them. Most have to do with keeping the facility clean and orderly, such as: […],FIT-News-Gym27.article

Seniors Get In Shape, Lose Weight With Silver Sneakers Membership

"Sandy Horr was losing weight doing Weight Watchers, but she knew she had to do more to get into good shape. Her prayers were answered when she turned 65 last year and MVP health insurance allowed her to go to Curves free of charge. Since joining the Silver Sneakers club at the Chili Avenue business, Horr has lost 30 pounds. ‘It has been great,’ said Horr, who goes to Curves three times a week. ‘It is so quick to go there and work out and it is perfect for seniors. They weigh you each month and you always know where you are going with them.’"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is Your Health Costing Your Company Money?

“If you lack physical fitness, you are more likely to be costing your company money.
It is estimated that unhealthy employees are costing Australian businesses billions of dollars every year with inactive employees impact the business they work for in a cost negative way in terms of productivity, lost time at work and increased claims for sick days. With scores of unhealthy, overweight or obese...

Exercise Linked To Healthier Aging: Four New Studies

“Four new studies published in a leading journal this week link exercise with healthy aging, either through reduced risk or slower progression of several age-related conditions or through improvements in overall health in older age, and detail associations between physical activity and cognitive function, bone density and overall health. All four studies, and an accompanying editorial commentary appear in the 25 January issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. In the accompanying editorial, Drs Jeff Williamson and Marco Pahor...

Exercise In Middle Age Boosts Women's Health

“A new study out of Harvard finds that women who participate in physical activity during middle age enjoy better heath as they grow old. Researchers looked at data on more than 13,000 women with an average age of 60. They found that those who had higher levels of physical activity at the beginning of the study were less likely to have chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease by the time they turned 70. They were also more fit both physically and mentally. Dr. Qi Sun...

The Kathleen Show Teams Up With National Health Advocates to Launch Prevention Not Prescriptions Tuesdays [video]

“Tuesday, January 26 The Kathleen Show, a syndicated weekly radio program that encourages people to live their boldest and healthiest lives, will launch Prevention Not Prescriptions Tuesdays. The goal of the weekly initiative, which will be hosted at the show’s blog, is to inform and inspire people to better health. ‘This project is about putting our health where it should be—back into our own hands—not in the hands of doctors, health insurers and big pharma,’ says show host Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau. As a former (but reformed) legal drug pusher, I’m launching Prevention Not Prescriptions to create a home base for everyone out there who knows there's a better way. ‘Prevention is sexy. It looks good, it feels good...hell, it even tastes good,’ Slattery-Moschkau...

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Gym Industry Is Still In Good Shape [includes audio]

“When national gym chain Crunch Fitness filed for bankruptcy, many gym owners feared they would be next. But the rise of smaller niche operators and health club priority spending has helped the gym industry thrive. Jeremy Hobson reports.”

UFC Launches Personal Fitness Business: UFC Gym

“The Ultimate Fighting Championship is seeking to extend its standing in mixed martial arts by entering the personal fitness business. With more than 3,500 people signed up, the company's first UFC Gym will open for business Saturday in Concord, Calif., and a 40,000-square-foot facility will open in June in Rosemead, with enrollment starting next month. ‘We plan to shake up the fitness industry,’ UFC President Dana White said...

Diet-to-Go and Club One Fitness Join Forces For New Wellness Initiative

“Diet-to-Go, a national leader in nutritional meal programs, today announced the collaboration with Club One Fitness, a leader for award-winning fitness and wellness solutions operating 20 health clubs in California. Through this exciting new relationship, Diet-to-Go will deliver fresh-made food that adheres to the guidelines...

Exercise, green tea may lessen breast cancer blues

“Exercising regularly and drinking green tea ‘may play an important role in the prevention of depression among breast cancer survivors,’ report Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues. They examined depression-related factors in 1,399 Chinese women who were 54 years old on average and treated for breast cancer in Shanghai, China between April 2002 and December 2006. Six months after their...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Larry Gulko Joins CYBEX as Chief Marketing Officer

“In this role, Gulko will provide leadership and strategic direction to strengthen the company’s market position, drive growth, and maximize the value of the CYBEX brand. ‘As we identify and seize new opportunities to build our brand, expand our markets and drive demand, our goal is to position CYBEX not only to succeed in today’s ever-changing competitive landscape, but to dramatically improve business performance.’ ‘Larry is championing our top-line growth by introducing game-changing global marketing and business strategies,’ states John Aglialoro, CYBEX Chairman and CEO. ‘His tremendous energy, entrepreneurial passion, and depth...

200 Members of ANT+ Interoperable Ecosystem Bring Wireless Connectivity to Hundreds of Available Sport, Fitness and Health Products

‘This technology is unique – it maximizes functionality while ensuring a simple and seamless solution. It is proven and it’s available today.’ ‘The technical advantages of ANT+, combined with the commercialization efforts of the Alliance members, creates a real and powerful ecosystem of leading brands and products,’ added Macdonald. ‘Actual products will demonstrate the leading functionality of ANT and ANT+ in fitness applications at the IHRSA Conference in San Diego. Additional developments will be announced prior to that at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.’...

Trustmark to Acquire Health Fitness Corporation

“Trustmark Mutual Holding Company and Health Fitness Corporation (NYSE Amex: FIT) today announced a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Trustmark will acquire HealthFitness, an award-winning provider of integrated health and fitness management services, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $97 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Trustmark, through a subsidiary, will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of HealthFitness common stock at $8.78 per share in cash. The tender offer price represents a premium of approximately 22% over the closing share price of HealthFitness common stock on January 20, 2010, the last trading day prior to today's announcement, and a premium of approximately 23% over HealthFitness' $7.12...

Joining A Gym? Read The Fine Print First

“Ed Siegal was surprised when a $25 ‘enhancement fee’ from Gold’s Gym in West Roxbury was deducted from his bank account in early January. Although Siegal said he has been trying to cut back on spending, his objection to the fee was not about the money. He had cancelled his membership to the gym in November.Or so he thought. When Siegal (who works for the Transcript’s parent company, Gatehouse Media) called Gold’s to ask about the charge, he was told he was still a member. If he wanted to cancel, he would have to send a certified letter to the club’s billing company, ABC Financial Services Inc., headquartered in Sherwood, Ark. He acknowledged that there had been a clause in his contract about cancellation, but said he had misplaced the paperwork. Siegal is not alone in his frustration — an...

Alabamians Gear Up For Fourth Statewide Weight-loss Campaign

“Over the last four years, Alabamians have almost lost 500,000 pounds, but according to health experts, that's just a drop in the bucket when considering the state's problem with obesity. Organizations all across the state are waging war against this trend in a contest called Scale Back Alabama. The 10-week, weight-loss competition is in its fourth year of encouraging the state's adults to exercise more and eat less. ‘We began this contest with Alabama's hospitals four years ago,’ said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer. ‘And while it's a fairly major undertaking, there's no time to let up. A recent update from the CDC provided information on obesity rates by region, and we have some areas of the state with 36 to 48 percent of adults listed as obese, meaning their body...

Sacramento-Area Fitness Clubs Struggle With Their Bottom Line [slideshow]

“In a rugged economy, club members are taking a hard look at how they spend their money. Some have turned in memberships and taken their bicycles out of the garage, or traded a trip on the fitness center treadmill for a walk around the park. ‘If it comes down to paying the rent or going to the gym – you don't have that extra funding to spend,’ said Leah Cox, executive director of the Davis-based California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness. In its just-released third quarter 2009 index of 19 leading health club companies representing nearly 550 facilities...

Anytime Fitness Australia Stronger Than Ever

“Anytime Fitness has earned the title of ‘fastest growing fitness club in the world’, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), with the franchise's most rapid expansion occurring in Australia and New Zealand. ‘The majority of the credit belongs to our Australian master franchisees, Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez,’ said Anytime Fitness spokesman Mark Daly. ‘They have taken our US business model and enhanced it to meet the needs of Australian entrepreneurs and fitness club members. We're very pleased, but not surprised, by their tremendous success...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Compelling Power of Camaraderie [IHRSA/HSS blog post]

“‘How do we compel more Americans to exercise regularly?’ We know there are real barriers to physical activity (injury/illness, unsafe environment, etc.), but other commonly cited barriers, such as ‘lack of time,’ seem too often to simply be the consequence of low prioritization; conscious or subconscious choices to put-off exercise until a theoretical later date. At IHRSA, one way we’ve attempted to address the question is with our I Lost it at the Club! program, an eight-week motivational weight loss program designed to help individuals keep their New Year’s resolutions and maintain a healthy and active...

Health Clubs Helping Hard-Hit Members

“‘It's the right thing to do,’ said Gordon Bliss, president and part owner of the independent health club in Menlo Park, California. ‘In these times you have to do the right thing.’ Bliss has been waiving the $64-per-month individual membership fee for up to three months for a small pool of customers struggling with unemployment; after that time they can opt to renew or cancel their membership. The 22,000-square-foot club, which Bliss referred to as "middle of the road" in terms of fees and offerings, has focused its efforts...

Michelle Obama Calls For Fight Against Child Obesity

“First lady Michelle Obama called on the nation's mayors Wednesday to do their part in combating child obesity, a problem she called an epidemic and an economic threat. ‘This isn’t something that will be fixed by just a bill in Congress or an executive order from the president. And I know that the last thing you all need right now is a bunch of commands from Washington or a ton of red tape that makes it hard for you to get anything done at all,’ she said to a group of 250 mayors at the National Conference of Mayors in Washington. ‘Ultimately, it’s going to take all of us — businesses and nonprofits; community centers and health centers; teachers and faith leaders; coaches and parents; and particularly all of you, our nation’s mayors — all working together to help families make common-sense changes so our kids can get, and stay, healthy.’...

Eight Great Ways To Conquer Gym Intimidation

“Traditionally, gym memberships spike at the start of the New Year. The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association reports about 1 million people - or 50 percent of the national total gym membership - join health clubs in January with aspirations to reach New Year’s resolutions or get their bodies ready for swimsuit season. However, aspiration and action are two different things. For many Americans - no matter their age, fitness level, or gender - the gym can be a place that evokes feelings of fear, not fitness. Genie Lovorn is a 66-year-old grandmother who found even her small neighborhood gym a threatening place. ‘The gym was Greek to me. I grew up in a generation without gyms,’ said Lovorn, a Rancho...

'Spiritual Aerobics' Attract a Busy Executive [video]

"If someone told Carrie Byalick three years ago that she'd be leaving the office early to do jumping jacks, push ups and boxing drills—all the while yelling, 'I am strong, I am a warrior'—she would have called them crazy,’ the 36-year-old New York publicist says of herself. ‘I never made time for anything except work.’ Ms. Byalick is the vice president...

'Your Kid Is Obese' Diagnosis Might Now Come With Help

“Vision test? Check. Dental exam? Check. Routine physical? Check. Obesity screening? Um... If it wasn't on the keep-your-kids-healthy list already, it should be. Because now there's something to be done about it. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that not only should children be screened for obesity beginning at age 6 but that -- this is key -- they should be referred to...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Functional Training Exercises Compete With Machine-Based Workouts In D.C. Gyms

“As they do every January, people are cramming into gyms to lose weight. But this year, some gyms are also working to slim down -- by excising rather than exercising. Instead of love handles and jiggling arm flesh, their problem area is the equipment loaded with stacks of hefty plates meant to work a single muscle. ‘The day of isolated movements on machines is over,’ predicts Doug Jeffries, owner of Results Gym...

Important Trends for the Future of Business

“The future ahead for fitness and wellness or any business or industry for that matter will be increasingly difficult as growth will become harder to achieve in mature markets like the U.S. and the E.U. Doug Anderson, SVP, Research & Development, The Nielsen Company, confirmed this assertion in his recent summary report on what future consumers look like. Here are the 5 key trends that can taken from the report with a sixth thrown in for your consideration: […]”...

Friends Pump up Fitness Franchise

“Best friends since the first grade, Shane McGuiness and Eric Dore opened their first business the summer before college — an ice cream truck. ‘Shane ate all the profits,’ Dore said with a laugh. But the pair now are eating up profits with their current partnership, running 13 Planet Fitness locations in Central Florida that serve 68,000 members. In 2009, the pair opened three new Planet Fitness clubs in Orlando — in MetroWest and Rio Pinar in east Orlando on June 17 and in Dr. Phillips on Dec. 28. In 2010, the 14th center will open Feb. 1 in Kissimmee. ‘It’s been great,’ said Dore. ‘Our plan is to grow two clubs a year going forward.’ Big-box fitness cent...^2723271

WellTek Subsidiary Expands International Distribution Network in Latin America

“MedX, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of WellTek Incorporated (OTC Bulletin Board: WTKN), a global health, fitness and wellness company, today announced that it has granted Medical Exercise Centers International, Inc. (MECI) distribution rights to market and sell the Company's full line of exercise and rehabilitation equipment in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico...

Diabetes Hits Canada's Native Population Hardest

“Type 2 diabetes is much more common among Canada's native people than their non-native counterparts, and women of childbearing age are particularly at risk, new research shows. What's more, there's a "striking difference" in the age at which the two groups develop the disease, Dr. Ronald Dyck of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and his colleagues found. New cases peaked among native individuals --...

Downtown Fitness Destination Will Be 'One-Stop Shop'

“If you've put off that New Year's fitness resolution, why not wait a little longer? GoodLife Fitness, the largest club chain of its kind in Western Canada, is scheduled to open its second co-ed location in Winnipeg this April. General manager Sherri Romas took us through a verbal tour of the new fitness destination, which is currently taking shape on the seventh floor in Canwest Place. ‘We have a GoodLife-only circuit training program called 'Fit Fix' -- a...

Fitness Trainers Work Toward A Record

“Attempting to capitalize on the month of January as a pivotal time when self-made promises to do better begin to fade as soon as they are uttered, a group of physical fitness trainers recently staged a simultaneous workout in 51 locations around the world. They hoped to set a Guinness World Record, while helping a national charity and motivating more than 1,000 people to stay healthy. In New Jersey, the host location was Dynamic Personal Training, a 1,300-square-foot physical fitness studio at 82 Bloomfield Ave. in Pine Brook. The 7-year-old business, managed by Mark and Melanie Mogavero, participated with...

Chicago Man Charged With Health Club Locker Break-In

“A 41-year-old Chicago man was charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools after allegedly breaking into a locker at a west suburban health club. Last Thursday, Villa Park police were notified that a man had broken into a locker at Bally's Fitness, on the 100 block of West Roosevelt Road, according to a release from police. After being confronted by a patron, the man ran from the club and was apprehended by police...,health-club-locker-break-in-011910.article

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IBISWorld Identifies The Industries Benefiting From New Year’s Resolutions In 2010

“The new year is here and many Americans are working towards their New Year’s resolutions. These pledges for happier, healthier lifestyles can mean big profits for many businesses, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. The company identified the industries that will benefit the most from New Year’s resolutions in 2010: Getting into shape has been a long-time favorite resolution and is gaining popularity each year. Growing awareness of healthy lifestyles is driving the trend, as well as the guilt from overindulging during the holiday season. For this reason, gyms see the greatest membership growth in the first three months of the year, with approximately 12.4 percent of new members signed in January, 9.5 percent in February and 8.7 percent in March. Overall, Gyms, Health & Fitness Clubs are forecasted to post 3.2 percent growth in 2010, reaching revenue of $25.09 billion. Additionally, Weight Loss Services are expected to grow 1.9 percent to reach $3.87 billion.”

Exercise Protects and Improves The Aging Brain

“Two new studies provide more evidence that regular aerobic exercise not only staves off the problems with thinking and memory that often come with age, but it can actually help turn back the clock on brain aging.”

Apart From Lack Of Exercise, Prolonged Periods Of Sitting Are Harmful

“In an issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, specialists argue that prolonged periods of sitting are truly detrimental. In addition, we should focus on the harms caused by daily inactivity rather than on the lack of regular exercise alone. The term "sedentary behavior" has come to mean ‘taking no exercise’ according to doctors from the Karolinska Institute and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden. They say it should be more correctly used to describe ‘muscular inactivity.’ Recent research indicates that prolonged periods of sitting and lack of whole body muscular movement are strongly linked to obesity, diabetes, heart di...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Town Sports International Downward Momentum Looks to Continue

“SmarTrend identified a Downtrend for Town Sports International on November 04, 2009 at $2.71. In approximately 2 months, Town Sports International has returned 17% as of today's recent price of $2.25. Town Sports International is currently below its 50-day moving average of $2.37 and below its 200-day moving average of $3.04. Look for these moving averages to decline to confirm the company's downward momentum.”

Americans Exercise Less in 2009 Than in 2008 [charts]

“With New Year's resolutions aimed at slimming down and getting in shape top of mind for many Americans, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data reveal that Americans have some ground to make up in 2010 in terms of exercise frequency. The percentage of Americans saying they exercised for at least 30 minutes 1 day or more per week decreased from an average of 69.1% in 2008 to 68.1% in 2009, with year-over-year comparisons down for 10 out of 12 months last year. In addition to asking about exercise frequency, Gallup and Healthways also survey Americans about whether it is easy to get a safe place to exercise in the city or area where they live. Those who do not have a safe place to exercise are far more likely than those who do to report that they did not exercise at all in a given week -- 42.4% vs. 30.0%. And likewise...

Fitness Franchiser Gets Real Workout

“When Robert Shapiro and his partners decided to franchise their fitness concept two years ago, they took the conventional route and advertised in all the right places. It worked great, for a while. Then the recession hit and the credit crunch came. Dozens of people are still interested in the idea of opening a personal training boutique under the name of One2One or starting an upscale health club called BodyScapes, but deals aren’t happening. ‘People would do it tomorrow, but they can’t get funding, so we’ve hit a roadblock,’ Shapiro said. ‘What we’ve seen happen is that the credit market has completely dried up.’ Usually, a company finds someone to buy a franchise and that person finds a location and sets up shop. Instead, Shapiro and his partners are hand picking locations and then looking for...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Michelle Obama’s Cause Is Obesity

“Yesterday, in an afternoon interview that informally marked the beginning of her second year in the White House, Michelle Obama declared her intent in 2010 to lead the administration’s efforts to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. With a combination of advocacy and outreach to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government officials, she said she intends to lead the nation in making children healthier. ‘I want to leave something behind,’ she said. ‘I hope that will be in the area of childhood obesity.’ She will begin her campaign by addressing the nation’s mayors on the subject next week when they gather in Washington.”

Gaining Strength: Precor Opening Having Ripple Effect Throughout Triad

“While their industry has been soaked by the tidal wave of the recession, several Triad manufacturers are enjoying the welcome ripple effects of the opening of the new Precor fitness equipment factory in eastern Guilford County. The new facility in Rock Creek Center is open and undergoing its pilot production runs now, just a year after the first announcement that the Washington State-based firm had chosen the site for its $26 million, 225,000-square-foot factory, built by Winston-Salem-based Landmark Builders. Precor is expected to employ 142 people there by 2011. About 44 people have already been hired, said plant General Manager Bill Banczak, and he expects to be at around 100 employees by mid-year. The jobs are important given continuing high unemployment rates in the region, but Precor is also giving a boost to a number of a...^2726391

A Percentage Point Here and a Percentage Point There and Soon You're Talking Real Money

“The news that Americans have stopped getting fatter -- but are still pretty fat -- is a nice opportunity to distinguish things that change how much we spend next year from how much we spend 10 years from now. There are two things going on with health-care costs. The first is that we spend a lot right now. In 2008, we clocked in at $2.3 trillion. That's a lot of money. But the other problem is that that sum is growing by quite a bit every year. A normal year sees 8% or so growth. We can afford $2.3 trillion. We can't afford $2.3 trillion after 20 years at 8% growth (which would be $10.7 trillion, if my calculations are correct). To get costs under control, we have to change the 8%, not the 2.3 trillion. To make this clearer, let's say we do some serious cost control and cut $200 billion from the system next year...

Buff Boomers

“While many Baby Boomers may be headed toward the slow lane of retirement, it seems they are moving into the fast lane when it comes to fitness. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the 50-plus age group is the fastest growing segment of the health club market. In fact, the number of gym members over the age of 55 reached 8 million in 2005, a 314% increase since 1990. Over that same time period, gym membership among 18- to 34-year-olds increased by only 38.7%. Judee Gilbert, manager of Curves, a fitness club that caters to women over 35 in the Village at Colleyvill...

At Any Age, Exercise Is The Best Anti-Aging Drug Available [audio]

“I’m a great believer in exercise — at any age. So when I came across this column I wrote nearly 15 years ago, when I was the ripe young age of 81, I wanted to share it. It’s from The Daily Sentinel, Nov. 14, 1995…”

“The Future Of Fitness”: New Research Issues A Challenge To The Global Fitness Industry

“‘The Future of Fitness’ White Paper explores the trends that may shape human fitness and activity, and their effect on the fitness industry over the next few decades. It then outlines the key challenges that confront the global fitness sector as a result.”

Curves Of Leominster Wants You To Save More And Weigh Less

“Curves is all about strengthening women. And that also includes strengthening their budgets with an offer that allows them to keep more money in their pockets when they join Curves. Now through Feb. 28, the Leominster Curves is cutting 50 percent off the initial service fee and offering the first 30 days free to help new members save more and weigh less. ‘Good health is priceless. We are here to support our neighbors and to help them on their jo...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Health Clubs See Jump In Business [video]

“For at least one industry, January's the best month of the year: the health-club business. Membership at workout clubs normally jumps 12 percent as New Year's resolution season kicks in -- but more and more clubs are struggling to keep those members come July or December. A perfect example of the January boom is Susanna Locke, 24, of Watertown, a social-work graduate student at Simmons College who started a membership at Evolve Fitness in Cambridge on Jan. 6. She had been working out at Simmons but was attracted by a promotional deal to join Evolve, where her goal this year is ‘hoping to get a little bit more toned.’ Joe Moore, CEO of the health club trade group IHRSA, says, ‘January is by far the best month of the year for health clubs.’ IHRSA finds club memberships jump on average 12 percent every January. In this industry, the big challenge is making sure that the people who come in January are still here in July or December -- or haven't gone to competitors.”

Health Clubs Popular Every January

“New Year's resolutions and lousy weather have combined to pump up memberships at some South Hills fitness centers, following a national trend. The International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association, based in Boston, said that, historically, 12 percent of all health club memberships are added in January, the most of any month. We talked to some gym owners, managers, trainers and members about their expectations for the new year. The association found the consensus among club operators suggests the first few months of membership are crucial to developing relationships with new members, establishing patterns and ultimately retaining a member, At Amerifit Fitness Club, a 900-member health club in Green Tree, manager Jeannine Richardson said there is definitely more traffic this month. For those thinking about shaping up in the new year, the club offers short-term memberships. ‘Sometimes that helps people stay true to their goals,’ Ms. Richardson said.”

Obesity Epidemic May Have Hit Plateau in U.S., Researchers Find

‘We may have halted the progress of the obesity epidemic,’ said William Dietz, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, in a telephone interview yesterday. ‘We haven’t reversed it.’ ‘The challenge here is what do we need to implement to drive these numbers the other way,’ said Dietz, who was not involved in the study. Dietz, the CDC official, said the agency has targeted six behaviors to help reduce obesity: physical activity, breast feeding, fruit and vegetable intake, reduction in TV time, reduction in high-calorie foods and reduction in sweetened beverage intake. The agency is also working with states to combat the obesity epidemic, according to its Web site.”

In Women, Exercise May Keep High Pulse In Check

‘The most promising thing that we find is that you can keep a check on your resting heart rate by engaging in physical activity,’ Nauman, an exercise physiologist, told Reuters Health, noting that this will reduce the risk of heart attack.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What’s Important In 2010? Industry Leaders Tell Us What To Look For

“ICI’s very own Dr. Haley Perlus was recently selected by IHRSA (The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) as an industry leader. This is an incredible honor, and we want to congratulate her for her contribution to the fitness world. To start off the new year right, IHRSA has put together an e-book where each of their 30 industry leaders answered the following questions: What’s new for 2010? Dr. Perlus is making that eBook available for all ICI readers as well. Click here to download the eBook. Many of these suggestions are aimed at the club management level, but as providers of exercise classes (and for some who are personal trainers as well), there are some gems in there for you and me, too. Dr. Perlus’ contribution is on page 7. Also make sure to read #8 as well, which is something we can really espouse in our indoor cycling classes! Enjoy. 2010 keeps looking better and better every single day!”...

Bethesda Magazine Survey Names Rock Creek Sports Club One of the Best Gyms in Montgomery County

“In Bethesda Magazine's 2010 survey, readers voted Rock Creek Sports Club (Rock Creek) as one of the best gyms in Montgomery County. In addition, readers voted Rock Creek's trainer Steve Basdavanos as one of the top trainers. Rock Creek is a boutique fitness club located in Silver Spring. The club offers classes in yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, cycle, Zumba, muscle sculpt and meditation. Its equipment includes Lifefitness, Hammer Strength, Precor, Freemotion, Startrac, Cybex brands plus treadmills, spinners, stationary bikes, elliptical machines and free weights. Steve Basdavanos began working as a full-time trainer in 1996 after he received his certification from...

Study Finds Friendship May Help Stem Rise Of Childhood Obesity

“Parents are acutely aware of the influence of friends on their children's behavior -- how they dress, how they wear their hair, whether they drink or smoke. A new laboratory-based study has shown that friends also may influence how much adolescents eat. Our findings underscore the importance of considering the child's social network in studying youth's motivation to eat,’ says Salvy, a member of the Department of Pediatrics in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.’ ‘There is emerging evidence that a youth's social network may be uniquely relevant and influential to eating behavior and choice of activities,’ she continues. ‘These findings, and the work of others, imply that decreasing sedentary behavior and increasing active leisure activities may require meaningful relationships with friends, as friendship may help to promote or 'socialize' active lifestyles.’”

Gym Opening Models Man’s ‘Retro’ College Days

Obesity Linked To Common Form Of Kidney Cancer And Each Extra BMI Point Increases Risk

"“US researchers found that obese patients with kidney tumours have 48 per cent higher odds of developing a clear-cell renal cell cancer (RCC) than patients with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 30. And the odds increase by four per cent for every extra BMI point.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Increase Health Club Profitability with Nutritional Programs

As the New Year begins, so does a new budget. For health club owners this means planning to overcome a new set of challenges. Whether it’s dealing with a difficult economy, training new staff or finding an edge over one’s competition, the name of the game is increasing profitability. One effective method used by many fitness clubs is the implementation of a nutritional program for members that use a juice bar as an anchor. Creating a nutritional program within a health club can be challenging, but with careful planning it can be achieved. By definition, club members care about health, however they may not know how to take the next step forward, how to change their habits, or what foods to eat. Forward looking club managers should seize this opportunity to educate members and using a juice bar as a centerpiece to bring it all together makes a lot of sense Health club operators may find these recommendations helpful when considering the implementation of a member nutritional program: Do Your Research – There are many companies available to assist health club operators in determining the best ways to create a nutrition program into their facility. Research should be performed to identify candidates that can assist in implementing a juice bar based nutritional program, like an experienced juice bar business consultant. Furthermore, consider visiting industry trade shows, such as the IHRSA looking for these firms.”

Pump It Uptown

“Uptown residents who made a new year’s pledge to get in shape should have no trouble finding a place to sweat in 2010. Three new fitness options are coming to the area, at least two of them this year. LA Fitness is scheduled to move this spring into a new facility in Calhoun Square and a neighborhood gym called Lyn-Lake Fitness is opening this month at Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue. The third newcomer is a spa and yoga boutique that Lifetime Fitness has planned for the former Walker Library building near Lagoon and Hennepin avenues, but the franchise hasn’t set an opening date yet. ‘They’re all different and the good news is that in this health and fitness industry that we’re playing in, about 15 percent of us have some kind of a health-club membership and the rest of us don’t,’ said Lifetime Fitness spokesman Jason Thunstrom. Statewide, Thunstrom’s 15-percent club membership figure is just about right on the mark, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a trade association for the health and fitness club industry. In Minneapolis, though, the percentage is nearly double that, the highest among all of the country’s major cities, according to the IHRSA. That type of demand spawns diverse competition: large 24-hour gyms, one-on-one facilities, yoga studios, smaller neighborhood centers and so on. There’s room for all of them as long as they can each find a niche and pay attention to their customers’ changing needs, said IHRSA spokeswoman Kara Thompson. ‘No matter which type of club, to sustain their competitiveness in today’s market, they must reinvest in their facility,’ she said. ‘As new trends, equipment and programs arise every year, clubs need to stay abreast of them and be proactive by reinvesting in their facilities, their equipment, their programs and even their club design.’ In Uptown, each of the facilities that has opened or will soon open has found a way to make their operation distinct while still targeting largely the same demographic.”

Bringing Fitness To The Mall

“For Steve Kettelberger, the Optimal Sport Health Club at the Burlington Center Mall is convenient as well as friendly. Kettelberger, a Bucks County, Pa. resident who owns the Blue Rock Construction Co. in Burlington Township, said he works out about three times a week at a gym that seems to be a rarity in the region's mall marketplace. The owners of Optimal Sport believe there is plenty of demand for a place to work out. In fact, Optimal Sport -with gyms at the Burlington Center in Newtown, Bucks County, and in Philadelphia - has seen the clubs grow. According to one of the business partners, Domenic Gallelli, the Philadelphia-based company started at the Burlington mall in July 2007. Gallelli, company president Jeffrey D. Shablin, 45, and their other partner, Yul Giraldo, 35, were personal fitness trainers who met in Philadelphia, where they all live, Gallelli said. Given their backgrounds and interests, it made sense to join forces, said the 36-year-old Gallelli. ‘We could be more productive if we could combine resources,’ he said...

Local Instructor Launches Youth MMA Classes

“Youngsters who have always wanted to try out Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) will soon have their chance. Starting this Tuesday (Jan. 12) the Alpine Health Club will hold MMA classes for kids ages 10 to 15. It's all part of the meteoric rise of the sport, said head instructor Troy Sorensen. ‘We've had an adult class since 2005 and now expanded it to include youth ten to fifteen.’ Classes will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. Sorensen said some youths have, in the past, participated in the adult class. But he said having all the youths together will make it a little safer. He said Edmonton and Red Deer have huge MMA programs for young people. ‘It's very popular...

Fit Is In

“Despite the recent recession, the latest survey from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association said attendance at 70 percent of the clubs was equal to or higher than the year prior. Exercise will continue to be essential in maintaining health and warding off illness long after the recession ends, said Rosemary Lavery, IHRSA's public relations manager. ‘Health clubs serve as one of the greatest investments that you can make, an investment in your health," Lavery said. ‘Rates of overweight and obesity have never been higher - our nation is in need of a collective workout.’ As the global economy looks to rebound following the recession, the health club industry expects to see growth due to increased revenue numbers on non-dues services and the burgeoning role of prevention in health care reform, she said. But for now, the push is on to retain members and recruit new ones, said Keoni Subiono, who opened the Hawaii Fitness Together franchise in 2005.”

Choosing A Gym: Be Lazy, Because Convenience Is King

“It's January and the health clubs have come a-courting. Their sign-up sales, special offers and discounted rates have arrived just in time to prod your resolution to get fit in 2010. But as one person's dream workout venue can be another's waste of money, experts have some tips on how to find just the right facility to add inspiration to your perspiration. And topping their lists is location, location, location. ‘Most important is, is it convenient to home or work? Far and away that's the No. 1 reason people use or don't use a gym,’ said Shawn Talbott, spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine. In their guide, How to Choose a Health Club, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends using a day pass or trial membership to check on the following: ACE suggests talking to current members, checking the Better Business Bureau for complaints, and choosing a club that belongs to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and must abide by their standards.”

Resolve To Get Fit

“Gyms and fitness clubs are hoping new year's resolutions translate into an increase in memberships. The expected spike in business also can mean savings for residents wanting to get in shape. Kara Thompson, public relations coordinator for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, said gym memberships spike about 12 percent nationwide in the month of January. Thompson said despite economic conditions, fitness clubs may still see the increase in memberships. She said the average cost of a gym membership is $42 per month, which can go a long way in a difficult economy. ‘There is certainly a return on investment in a health club membership, especially if people are stressed out because of the economy – exercise is proven to help improve your mood,’ Thompson said. ‘Tell me other $42 investments that provide the same return. Certainly people have to make hard choices, but this is not a luxury; it's an investment in your health.’ About 16.6 percent of the Ohio population belongs to a health club, she said. That is above the national rate of about 15 percent. Curves Manager and co-owner Kelly Zenner said the women-only fitness club offers 50 percent off the service fee and...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bally Total Fitness Announces New Chief Financial Officer

“Bally Total Fitness today announced that it has appointed Steven Barnhart as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective Friday, January 8, 2010. Barnhart will report to Bally CEO Mike Sheehan. At Bally, Barnhart will be responsible for overseeing the company's financial functions, including the Finance & Accounting, Financial Analysis, Treasury, Purchasing and Risk Management departments, as well as the IT department. Most recently, Barnhart, age 48, served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Orbitz Worldwide from 2007 to early 2009. Barnhart previously served in a variety of senior financial executive positions with Orbitz, Cendant Corporation and PepsiCo. Barnhart received his undergraduate degree in Economics, as well as his M.B.A., from the University of Chicago. Barnhart succeeds Bill Fanelli, who served as Bally's CFO on an interim basis since June 2009. Fanelli will continue in his role as Senior Vice President, Development. In this role, Fanelli will be responsible for implementation of critical growth and expansion initiatives, including new club development throughout the U.S.”

Federal Funding Key To Success Of States' Obesity Prevention Programs

“States that received funding from two obesity prevention programs founded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention implemented more than twice as many obesity-prevention policy initiatives as states that did not receive funding, according to a study by researchers from RTI International. The study, published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, compared the number of policies implemented by states that receive federal funding and those that do not. More than 112 laws were enacted to prevent obesity in 34 states funded by the federal Nutrition and Physical Activity Program to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases, the Coordinated School Health program, or both. Among the 17 states that did not receive funding, 23 such laws were enacted.”

Former 24 Hour Fitness Executive Sentenced

“A former vice president of the parent company of 24 Hour Fitness and an advertising executive have been sentenced in federal court in San Jose to prison for defrauding the company of thousands of dollars through phony advertising invoices. Susan Powell, 52, of San Jose, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel on Thursday to one year and three months in prison. Powell was previously a vice president of marketing for Fitness Holdings Worldwide, the former parent company of the workout facilities chain. Michael Johnston, 44, of Los Gatos, the operator of an advertising graphic design company, was sentenced to five months in prison...

Fitness4less Shapes Up for Expansion

“Health and fitness operator Fitness4less has appointed Christie & Co to oversee a major acquisition and development programme across the UK. The operator first launched in Bristol in September 2007 aimed at offering an affordable health club. It is in the process of opening in Cambridge Heath, London, and in Birmingham, with both new clubs set to launch in the first quarter of 2010. It is looking for a pipeline of suitable locations to meet its growth targets. The group is seeking sites close to transport hubs with between 15,000 sq ft minimum to 20,000 sq ft of clear space on one or possibly two floors. Further requirements include 15 to 20 year leases and nearby car parking. Target locations include Birmingham, Brighton and Cardiff along with several key UK cities plus specific locations within London and the Home Counties. Jon Patrick, head of leisure at Christie & Co, said: ‘Whilst Fitness4Less is a relatively new addition to the health and fitness sector, the people behind the concept are long established operators with significant experience within the industry.’”

Alternative Fitness [ pages 10-12]

Fight Against Obesity: From Surgery To Shakes, More Overweight Americans Are Seeking Successful Solutions To Shed Unwanted Pounds

“Words like ‘epidemic,’ ’increasing’ and ‘alarming’ are used to describe the waistlines of Americans by health organizations and government officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than one-third of all adult Americans are overweight or obese, and 16 percent of American children are obese. he CDC states that the extra pounds cause severe health consequences like type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. These health consequences lead to massive government spending and health-care costs. The organization states that...

Do Extra Pounds Change Attitudes Toward Exercising In Health Clubs?

“Health clubs are holding their own in the current economy, according to reports from an industry trade association: In the US and Canada, health club revenue totaled $21.2 billion, and over 33,000 facilities served over 50 million members in 2008. People over age 55 (23% of US health club members in a small sample of clubs) and those who were most affluent had higher-than-average attendance (International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association)...

Do Virtual Health Clubs Give Real Gyms Reason to Sweat?

“On its face, the trend creates some awkward dynamics: Consider the ad onslaught for an online weight-loss program from NBC's ‘Biggest Loser’ trainer Jillian Michaels, which touts a gym-free program of dieting and exercise to drop pounds. Surely that's unwanted -- not to say cheaper -- competition for, say, the biggest sponsor of the ‘Biggest Loser,’ gym chain 24-Hour Fitness, no? Tony Wells, chief marketing officer at 24-Hour Fitness, thinks otherwise. ‘We don't view it as competitive," he said, adding that ‘Biggest Loser’ has been an ‘incredible partner.’ ‘Fitness isn't just what happens when you're inside a gym.’ The show's executive producer, Mark Koops, concurred, noting robust sales of Ms. Michaels' DVDs throughout the show's six-year run on NBC. ‘There's a larger agenda to the show than just the commercial interests, although those are certainly important,’ he said. ‘We're trying to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle any way we can.’ Analysts, for their part, largely agree, noting that because only 18% of U.S. adults belong to a health club, the online programs may actually be expanding the potential customer pools for health clubs by selling new consumers on a more-active lifestyle. Tom Shaw, who covers publicly traded club chains for Stifel Nicolaus, said the online plays appeal directly to consumers who -- like Ms. Michaels' trainees on ‘Biggest Loser’ -- may be intimidated by crowds of more-fit people in a gym setting. For those who aren't intimidated, Mr. Shaw said, there's a reason countless workout DVDs -- and VHS tapes before them -- haven't hurt the health-club business. ‘There's a social aspect to going to a health club that you can't get through a computer or a television,’ he said.”

Second Chances: Women's fitness center reopens under new ownership

“The former Just for Women Fitness Center is open again, with new owners and a new name: Bella Health Club. The women-only gym shut its doors last September, only to be resurrected by Brenda Gloor and Luz Neolia Ramos, who acquired the business in early November and spent a couple of months remodeling and adding ‘a few little extra perks,’ says Gloor, who was client of the gym under its previous owner, Nancy Vela. ‘I’ve been working out here for five or six years, and Luz has been my personal trainer,’ she says. ‘We thought us two could come in and put it together and do something with it. That’s how we decided to do it. I’m the janitor and she’s the brains.’”

Health Clubs Feel The Annual Burn

“With people resolving to get fit and healthy in the new year, fitness centers in Gloucester County are seeing a spike in memberships. But, will they last? ‘Pretty much every year, gyms see an increase in January because the average male puts on eight to 12 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day and the average female can put on between 12 and 18,’ said Tyler Rooney, general manager of LA Fitness in Woodbury Heights. ‘In the winter, people can layer up, but by now they're realizing that spring is on the way and trying to get back in beach body shape.’ Rooney says the motivation comes in many forms - whether it's someone coming in who wants to take classes, use the pool or just work out on the cardio equipment. ‘I advise people to start healthy eating habits first,’ the manager said. ‘And signing up with a spouse or a friend is always an awesome suggestio

Fitness At The Right Price: Gyms Offer Discounts

“If The Fear Of Fees Are Keeping You From Reaching Your Weight- Loss Goals, Fear Not. Gym Memberships Are Available At A Variety Of Price Points, Some As Low As $10 Per Month. In 2008, The Average Monthly Membership Cost A Little More Than $40, According To The International Health, Racquet And Sportsclub Association. Usually That $40 Gives Access To Treadmills, Ellipticals, Weight Machines, Personal Training, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Spinning, Basketball, Racquet Sports, Swimming, Nutrition Counseling And Spas. Key Areas To Evaluate Before Locking Into A Gym Membership Include: Location, Member Ages And Types, Equipment Usage Rates, Variety Of Machines And Classes, Amenities (E.G. Child Care, Tanning, Etc.) And Contract Terms.”


Savvy Shopper: Thinking About Joining A Gym? Exercise Your Options

"Health clubs are eager to cash in on your resolve to get into shape. Clubs typically introduce their best offers in January, which is the most popular month to join a gym. The average monthly gym membership for an individual costs $42.50, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. But dollars don't tell the whole story. It pays to compare amenities, services, hours and equipment at various fitness centers. It's only a deal if it works for you. Here are some tips to consider before joining a club: Consider current specials, But don't rush in, Ask about added incentives, Take advantage of discount, Try before joining, Big vs. small, Beware of strings attached, Be a smart member, Use it.”

IHRSA 2009 Showcase Video Featuring The Garmin FR60 [video]

“Garmin FR60 showcase video running in the Garmin booth at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Exhibit.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Health Club Opening In Pecos Ranch In Chandler

“A new health club offering a holistic approach to fitness and nutrition is scheduled to open this spring at the Shops at Pecos Ranch on the northeastern corner of Dobson and Germann roads, Chandler. Club del Sport will offer exercise equipment, yoga (including ‘hot yoga’), coaches, personal trainers and cooking classes. The cooking classes, which will be open to the public, will be taught in a full kitchen by chefs from restaurants as well as in-house chefs. The holistic concept was created by David Sanderson and Mark Santistevan, two Scottsdale men with experience in the fitness industry. Club del Sport was designed with the idea that nutrition as well as exercise is needed to help members meet their fitness goals.”

Smaller Gyms Show Muscle

“It’s the new paradigm in fitness centers and, particularly in urban centers like Atlanta, it’s where young professionals want to have the option to exercise anytime. Two of the newer chains, Snap Fitness and Anytime Fitness, both with metro Atlanta locations, are among the top 10 fastest-growing franchises in the U.S., according to Entrepreneur magazine. A Dunwoody-based chain, Workout Anytime, has also begun to expand, opening 5,000- square-foot gyms around Atlanta. It plans to open clubs across the Southeast.Other new chains that resemble the larger, more established gyms are also growing, including L.A. Fitness. But the popularity of the smaller, stripped-down facilities is soaring as the recession drives people to spend less. The newer breed of gym operator says many members never use the saunas or pools at bigger clubs such as Bally’s or World Gym and they don’t want to pay for them. Some of the newer gyms cost half as much as the older gyms and don’t insist on full-year contracts. Workout Anytime, for example, charges $15 a month. ‘The majority of people just...

For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough

“If you're vowing to lose weight this year, consider adding a regular exercise program while you're cutting calories. Combining the two results in better health outcomes -- such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels -- than simply cutting calories alone, a new study finds. ‘It's better to lose weight with a combination of caloric reduction and exercise rather than caloric reduction alone,’ said study author Dr. Enette Larson-Meyer, an assistant professor of family and consumer science at the University of Wyoming. For the six-month study, the researchers assigned 36 overweight men and women, average age 39, to one of three groups. One group cut calories by 25 percent. The second cut calories by about 12.5 percent and exercised enough to increase energy output by 12.5 percent. A control...

Project To Back Fitness Business

A business using dance to give older people exercise is set to benefit from a new £1.8m European-backed project. Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES) will use reconditioned shipping containers to build a business support hub in Hendon, Sunderland, offering incubator and managed workspace facilities, as well as start-up support for small and medium sized enterprises across the region. Among those taking advantage of the Sunderland centre will be social enterprise Sit n’ b’ Fit, run by Lynn Summerside, which delivers therapeutic exercise, movement and dance tailored to older people and those with mobility or other health issues...

Trained For Business

“A lot has changed since Sheila Kalas received her graduate degree in exercise physiology from the University of Kentucky in 1989. After graduating from UK, Kalas went to Miami where she got a taste of working as a personal trainer. At that time, she said, it was really only for the elite. She also saw something else prevalent in the budding field of personal training. ‘Personal trainers had very little business sense,’ Kalas said. She saw that she could use her business sense to her advantage and to the benefit of other trainers and the personal training field. She founded Fitness Plus in Florida in 1993...

Exercise May Prevent Incontinence From Prostate Surgery

“A healthy weight and regular exercise may help protect men from one of the most common side effects of prostate cancer surgery, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among 165 men who had their prostate glands removed due to cancer, those who were not obese and were getting regular exercise before surgery had the lowest prevalence of long-term urinary incontinence. What's more, even among obese men, those who had been physically active before surgery were less likely to be incontinent one year after surgery.”

Finding the Core of Fitness

“Gym enthusiasts looking for high-tech equipment, or to find their next date at the water cooler, need not apply to Rich Decker’s exclusive fitness club, Studio 89. But for those looking for privacy and Decker’s personally-designed exercise regimen, which has more to do with developing long-term strength and fitness than mastering the newest equipment, Studio 89 might be the perfect fit. Studio 89, located discretely, without signage, on Clay Pit Road in Sag Harbor is not Decker’s first foray into the fitness world. He was the founder of three East End gyms under the title of the American Fitness Factory with locations in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Cutchogue. Decker sold the gyms 13 years ago, continuing his work locally as a personal trainer before deciding to open Studio 89 – a gym built around his philosophy about personal training rather than what equipment may be the most trendy...

Topsfield’s Fitness Together Welcomes New Ownership

“The New Year is here and the downtown Topsfield business Fitness Together, which offers personal training services, is already in the midst of a transition. Hamilton resident Carl Jones, Jr. bought the fitness franchise in early December and is now focused on partnering with local schools and businesses as he gets to know the community. Jones recently decided to invest in the business because of its close proximity to his Hamilton residence and because it follows a successful model that centers on producing results. Before buying the Main Street business in December, Jones was working in corporate sales involving computer software, which he plans to continue. But earlier in his life, he worked as a personal trainer...

A Lifetime Of Inactivity Be The Result Of Having A Negative Phys Ed Teacher

“Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, according to a University of Alberta researcher. Billy Strean, a professor in the U of A's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students. During his research, Strean heard from individuals who opened up about negative experiences with coaches and instructors, some from many years ago...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Town Sports International Appoints Scott Milford as Senior Vice President—Human Resources

“Town Sports International (TSI) (, the largest owner and operator of health and fitness clubs in the Northeast, today announced the immediate appointment of Scott Milford as Senior Vice President—Human Resources. In his new position within the Executive Committee, he will report directly to CEO Alex Alimanestianu and will oversee the development and implementation of TSI’s people strategy. ‘Town Sports International’s human resources function greatly contributes to the success of our business by utilizing our dedicated employees to make member satisfaction a priority,’ said Alex Alimanestianu.

For Better Health in New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day 

“A professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., says adding a half hour of exercise a day is the key to a healthier lifestyle. ‘People don't realize you can get tremendous benefit from regular physical activity even if you never lose a pound,’ Peter Brubaker in a news release from the school. Brubaker, director of the healthy exercise and lifestyle programs at Wake Forest, has these suggestions about how to get more exercise each day:

· Don't feel like you need to exercise all at once. A few minutes here and there can add up to what you need.

· Walk. It's efficient and easy. If you wear a pedometer to track your mileage, studies suggest you'll boost your activity.

· Find ways to get exercise in your daily routine through things like taking the stairs.

· Track your exercise in a journal and don't worry so much about weight loss. If you do want to shed pounds, 60 minutes of exercise a day is a good place to start.

· Try a variety of activities and challenge your family and friends to join you in exercising 30 minutes a day.

· Set realistic expectations. Change takes time.”

Life Time Fitness Implements Kronos® to Drive Labor Efficiency and Member Experience Objectives

“Health and fitness leader Life Time Fitness, has selected the employee scheduling solution from Kronos® Incorporated to control labor costs and achieve its operational objectives. By optimizing employee scheduling with the demand for labor at its national base of health and fitness resorts, Life Time Fitness aims to enhance member experience and retention.”

Fitting In Fitness: Effort, Creativity Can Make Workouts Possible For Busy Workers

“Longer work hours -- not to mention the usual roadblocks to regular exercise, including parenthood, offbeat hours and multiple jobs -- can make a personal-fitness routine one of the first things sacrificed when life gets too busy. But does that mean that making the classic New Year’s resolution to get in shape is destined for failure by February? Mike Hardin, a personal trainer who makes house calls, hears this a lot in his business. ‘A good amount of the people I’m working with now are all stretched for time,’ he says. ‘But for one reason or another, they’ve decided they need to make exercise a priority.’ One of Hardin’s clients is Rebecca Pellman. With a full-time job in corporate communications...

The Economic Impact Of New Year's Resolutions

“For many, a new year means resolving to improve. In Regina, there are options to help make resolutions realities. Tanya Shkopich, regional manager of California Fitness, said staff at the company's three Regina gyms always see increases in guest participation and in new memberships after the calendar is new. The gyms have specials at this time of the year to encourage new folks to visit. ‘Obviously, quite a few motivated people are walking through the door having New Year's resolutions and goals they'd like to achieve,’ she said. ‘Some people do stick around. You do get some of the people that come for a few months, but then they start to dwindle.’ Anyone new to one of the three gyms will be taken through a quick, full-body workout in order to become familiar and comfortable with all of the equipment. They will be provided a program. ‘Seek a professional for optimum results,’ added Shkopich, noting personal training is available at all the facilities.”

Gold’s Gym Opens in Culver City

“Gold’s Gym of Los Angeles, with five fitness centers in the Los Angeles metropolitan region, is celebrating the opening of its sixth area facility in Culver City. Located in the Westfield Mall at 6000 Sepulveda Blvd, the new facility is conveniently located off the 405 freeway. ‘With the new Culver City location now open, we are raising the bar by which gym facilities of this size will be measured,’ said Angel Banos, chief executive officer for the Los Angeles’ Gold’s Gyms. ‘It is a smaller footprint than our other Gold’s Gyms but still contains many of the amenities gym enthusiasts are looking for.’ Culver City’s Gold’s Gym features such popular workout programs as group exercise, yoga, Pilates, dance, kickboxing, boot camp, core training, Zumba, TRX classes and boxing, among others. Additional amenities and services include personal training, nutritional counseling, supplement store, the latest cardio with individual TV’s and iPod docking stations on each machine, state-of-the-art strength training equipment and spacious locker rooms.”

Phys Ed: Can You Be Overweight and Still Be Healthy?

Some scientists and doctors began speculating that healthy people who were sporting extra pounds didn’t necessarily need to worry about losing weight. As one researcher told a reporter in 2004, ‘If a fat person or obese person has normal blood pressure, if their total cholesterol and glucose levels are normal and they are healthy, there is no reason they should necessarily have to lose weight.’ ‘The fit or fat issue has unbelievable levels of complexity,’ says Tim Church, M.D., Ph.D., the director of Preventive Medicine Research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Perhaps being active affects how fat cells operate in a heavy person. Age plays a role, too, he says, as do genetics. The very categorization of fatness using B.M.I. is a gross oversimplification, he adds.

Gyms Enjoy New-Year Rush

“Got a bit of a bulge left over from Christmas? A new year means new resolutions and that means Toowoomba residents are flocking to the gym to get fit. One Life Health and Fitness sales manager Emily Boyce said now that the ham and plum pudding leftovers have disappeared from the fridge, it was the time join a gym. ‘We certainly have seen an increase in membership after Christmas with 20 people joining since the start of the month,’ Miss Boyce said. ‘Plenty of people want to get fit as part of a new year’s resolution and we can help them with personal training, nutrition advice and tailor a program to achieve those goals.’ The gym has a special at the moment enabling people to join with a mate and save $298.”

Health Reform Bill Could Penalize People Who Don't Go to the Gym, Lose Weight, Stop Smoking

“Going to a company-sponsored gym or smoking-cessation workshop makes for a healthy society, as every member of Congress seems to agree. But if your company or insurer offers a wellness program and you don't go, should you have to pay higher insurance rates than those who attend? That's the crux of little-noticed dispute within Washington that has the nation's major health-care organizations up in arms. The Senate version of health care reform legislation, they say, has provisions that could penalize people not only for refusing to go to health screenings or exercise programs, but also those who attend but still keep smoking or don't bring down their blood pressure or body-mass index. This could undo...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Hidden Benefits Of Exercise

“As millions of people flock to the gym armed with New Year's resolutions to get in shape, medical experts are offering an additional reason to exercise: Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging. Physical activity has long been known to bestow such benefits as helping to maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress, not to mention tightening those abs. Now, a growing body of research is showing that regular exercise can boost the body's immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria. And exercise has been shown to improve the body's response to the influenza vaccine, making it more effective at keeping the virus at bay...

24 Hour Fitness® Helps Season Nine The Biggest Loser Contestants Get Fit for Life

“24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately owned U.S. fitness chain and a leading health club industry pioneer, is integrating several keys to lifelong fitness into season nine of NBC’s popular unscripted reality series, ‘The Biggest Loser’ to support contestants with the tools they need to help them reach their fitness goals and begin a new, healthy and more athletic lifestyle. 24 Hour Fitness also helps home viewers be a part of the action that they see on television via free club access on the second Saturday of every month during ‘Open Door Saturdays.’ Season nine of NBC’s hit show premieres on Tuesday, January 5, at 8 p.m. EST/PST and 7 p.m. CST/MST.”

Wellness Program Wins National Award

Christmas came a week early for the Alachua County Wellness Works program when it received a state award for its creativity in addressing health issues. The Florida State Surgeon General Health Innovation, Prevention and Management Award was given to the program Dec. 18 by Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Ana M. Viamonte Ros. ‘It was a great honor for us to receive recognition from the state, and I think it’s great that the state is starting to put health awareness into the spotlight,’ said Amy Eisenson, wellness coordinator for the program. ‘It’s great to be a part of that from the beginning and to know that we’re moving in the right direction.’...

Why You Should Step Up Your Workout

“Dr. Williams' studies have shown that exceeding the federally recommended exercise guidelines can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, glaucoma, diabetes and other diseases by as much as 70% above the benefits of merely meeting the guidelines. "There is no gene or drug discovery that comes close" to the effects of more and more-vigorous exercise, says Dr. Williams, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley Calif.”

Airport Workouts

“Do you want to relieve stress while stuck in the airport? How about getting in a workout instead of grabbing a drink or fast food? It is a healthy way to pass the time during a layover or a flight delay. Some airports such as Las Vegas’ McCarren International Airport has a 24 Hour Fitness in it. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has an adjacent Hilton with a fitness center. But, if you’re not as fortunate to have a place to sweat out the time, there are things you can do with the items that make it past security.”

Even With Fewer Risk Factors, Heavy Men Die Earlier

“Some past research has suggested that when obese and overweight adults do not have the so-called metabolic syndrome, their risks of diabetes, heart disease and stroke are no higher than those of normal-weight people. In the current study, which followed more than 1,700 Swedish men for 30 years, overweight and obese men had increased risks of conditions including heart attack and stroke, even when in the absence of metabolic syndrome....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CDC: Nation Failing To Meet Most 2010 Health Targets; Getting Worse On Obesity, Blood Pressure

“There are more obese Americans than a decade ago, not fewer. We eat more salt and fat, not less. More of us have high blood pressure. More of our children have untreated tooth decay. But the nation has made at least some progress on many other goals. Vaccination rates improved. Most workplace injuries are down. And deaths rates from stroke, cancer and heart disease are all dropping. As we move into a new decade, the government is analyzing how well the nation met the 2010 goals and drawing up a new set of goals for 2020 expected to be more numerous and — perhaps — less ambitious. ‘We need to strike a balance of setting targets that are achievable and also ask the country to reach,’ said Dr. Howard Koh, the federal health official who oversees the Healthy People project. ‘That's a balance that's sometimes a challenge to strike.’”,0,3405888.story

Pound For Pound Challenge Inspires Americans to Lose Weight to Help the Hunger Crisis

“NBC's The Biggest Loser, General Mills, Subway, 24 Hour Fitness and Feeding America are partnering on the Pound For Pound Challenge, a program that encourages Americans to lose weight nationally to help provide hunger relief locally. For a second year, for every pound of weight participants pledge to lose, a pound of groceries will be delivered to a local food bank. The new season of NBC's The Biggest Loser, which premiers tonight, Tuesday, January 5 at 8 p.m. ET, will provide updates on Americans' participation in the Challenge and how their efforts are helping communities nationwide.”

Houston's CityCentre Life Time Athletic Hosts ''Ride of a Life Time'' and Guinness Record Attempt on Saturday, January 9, 2010

“WHAT: CityCentre Life Time Athletic will host up to 600 people in CityCentre’s central plaza in an attempt to break the world record for the largest cycling class which is currently 450 cyclists set in October, 2009 in Ireland.

WHERE: CityCentre Life Time Athletic

815 Town & Country Lane

Houston, TX 75024

WHEN: Saturday, January 9 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Get Into Shape This New Year With Free Gym Trial [UK]

“Leading health and fitness chain Fitness First are encouraging customers to get into shape this New Year by offering a free 1-day guest membership pass at their gym in Hull. This offer is available to anyone who registers their details online at and is in a bid to help new customers to lose any extra pounds gained over Christmas and to keep New Year's resolutions of keeping fit.”

Bannatyne Fitness To Invest In Region's Sites

“Bannatyne Fitness, the Darlington-based national health club operator, is investing more than £700,000 at four of its sites in the region. The company is making the investment in new cardiovascular exercise equipment at its clubs in Coulby Newham, Darlington, Ingleby Barwick and Durham. The investment is part of the new four-year agreement with Technogym, signed last year, for the manufacturer to continue to be Bannatyne’s exclusive supplier of fitness equipment. As part of the agreement, Technogym will supply Bannatyne’s with a mixture of strength, free weight and cardiovascular equipment exclusively until 2013.”

Nielsen Study Proves Zoom Media & Marketing Delivers Nation’s Largest Health Club Viewing Audience

“Zoom Media & Marketing, the world’s largest and fastest growing fitness digital media company, announced today that The Nielsen Company has confirmed that Zoom’s Fitness Network has the largest viewing audience of any measured digital health club media network and that its audience is significantly more affluent than the typical American. Nielsen’s audience measurement study shows that Zoom’s nationwide digital network delivers over 14 million engaged viewers per month, with an average household income of nearly $110,000. The study also shows that nearly 80% of Zoom’s digital viewers are 18-49 years old, with the typical viewer of Zoom’s network attending their health club 3 times per week for an average of 79 minutes per visit.”

Resolutions Mean Business For Fitness Centers

“People making New Year's resolutions to lose weight and be healthy are again providing a boon to local fitness centers. The winter months typically are busy for the fitness industry as people stream in to buy annual memberships or special packages designed to keep them focused on fitness. Brandon Scheidler, general manager and personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Schofield, said the center gains almost 50 percent of its memberships in January and February with people joining to lose those extra holiday pounds. The ones who stick to the resolutions they make at the beginning of the year also see the biggest results, he said.