Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Never Too Old To Get Fit

“Betty, 85, and Bill, 95, are among the oldest members of the Whitemarsh Island fitness club. For the past eight years, the Talahi Island couple has spent four to six days a week working out there with weights, treadmills and stationary bikes. It's a sight that gives other members a boost, Ewaldsen said. ‘Everyone knows them. Everyone is just in awe.’ Betty says she and her husband are proof that you don't have to be a spandex-wearing muscle man or woman to enjoy a gym membership. he Fishes aren't the only older adults going to the gym these days. Seniors have become the fastest growing segment of the health club population, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). Memberships among those ages 55 and older increased from 1.5 million in 1987 to 8.5 million in 2006.”


Exercise OK for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Review

“Aerobic cardio exercise is safe for patients coping with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a new French review of prior research suggests. The study, published in the July issue of Arthritis Care & Research, also found that regular exercise can lead to less joint pain, higher functioning and an improved quality of life overall for these patients. ‘While past studies have indicated that RA patients are quite physically inactive, our study shows aerobic exercise to be a safe and beneficial intervention...


Study: Women Gain Average 20 Lbs. In 16 Years, But Don't Have To

“Women who want to prevent weight gain as they age should hop on a bike or take a brisk walk, a new study shows. The findings add to mounting evidence of the importance of moderate to vigorous exercise for weight control. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed data on more than 18,000 premenopausal women in the Nurses Health...


Monday, June 28, 2010

Louisiana End of Session Legislative Report

The Louisiana Legislature adjourned its 2010 legislative session on June 21st. In a victory for clubs statewide, legislation that would have placed restrictions on business’ use of automatic renewal of health club consumer contracts was replaced with more industry-friendly legislation. The legislation, Senate Bill 618 (SB 618), which IHRSA originally brought to our Louisiana members’ attention on April 2, 2010, would have required businesses, including health clubs, to send consumers written notification of pending contract renewals. Following conversations between IHRSA and the office of the bill’s sponsor, Senator Joe McPherson, Senator McPherson substituted SB 618 for new legislation that does not impose requirements that would...


Adding Muscle - Equinox Holdings Looks Overseas For Growth While Other Gyms Struggl

“Planning a trip to China? Better pack workout gear. Equinox Holdings Inc., which operates 20 fitness and yoga centers in New York City, is in expansion mode, and that includes straddling the globe from Canada to Asia. Equinox is bulking up not only with overseas expansion, but also with its domestic yoga centers and its own branded apparel, at a time when other gyms are losing strength. National health-club membership declined 0.4% to 45.3 million last year compared with 2008, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. During the recession, clubs such as Bally Total Fitness and Crunch filed for bankruptcy and closed outposts. Additionally, Town Sports International, which owns New York Sports Clubs, has amassed a debt load of nearly $320 million, making it difficult to grow...


Fitness First Looks to Asia Listing

“BC Partners, the private equity group which owns Fitness First is looking to organise a £1.2bn (€1.46bn, $1.80bn) flotation for the popular gym chain on an Asian exchange, according to sources close to the negotiations. The initial public offering, which would take place in Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore or Shanghai, is likely to be scheduled to occur within the next year. But insiders emphasise that plans are in their early stages and could change. ‘It’s very very early,’ said a source close to the talks. ‘Due to the focus of the growth of Fitness First’s business, BC is looking into whether an Asian IPO might be a sensible option.’ A decision to list the company that was founded in Bournemouth in the UK on an Asian exchange would represent a setback...


New Northern Colorado Fitness Studios Try To Fight The Flab

It's so easy to find a gym, there's one on every corner, yet our country continues to get more out of shape,’ said Kris Barrow, who next month will open Phoenix Training Studios in downtown Greeley. Barrow's not just throwing around gym statistics. The International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association based in Boston noted this month that memberships soared in 2009. According to the IHRSA, industry revenue in 2009 reached $67.2 billion from a global count of 128,500 health clubs and 119.5 million members. With over 42 million members, the market in Europe, alone, totaled an estimated $31 billion in revenue. In North America, 53.1 million members used 38,000 facilities. The Asia-Pacific region has remained steady...


rinceton Club To Open Satellite Health Club In Fitchburg

“The Princeton Club is expanding and slimming down at the same time. The Madison-based health clubs will open a smaller Princeton Club Xpress in Fitchburg later this summer, with a plan to have more smaller clubs in the area. ‘The goal is to take the services that are expensive to operate — the pool, the classes, the basketball courts — and leave them at the large clubs,’ said Peter Gerry, general manager of the Princeton Club at 8080 Watts Road on the Far West Side and co-owner of the new club. ‘That will allow us to have a scaled-down version of the larger clubs at...


Technogym Provides Emirates European Medical Centre With Advanced Rehabilitation Equipment

“Technogym have recently joined hands with Chiropractic Dubai at the Emirates European Medical Centre to provide quality rehabilitation facilities to its patients. Technogym has set up the Kinesis one, Run Excite 700 and Bike excite 700 within the centre. Mr. Christian Dietrich, Managing Director, Technogym Emirates, said, "Exercise is Medicine and Technogym is the leader in offering total rehabilitation design solutions to the medical industry to address health issues especially in the UAE. Technogym is delighted to support Emirates European Medical Centre and spread the...


Friday, June 25, 2010

Biggest Loser Taps Cybex for Exercise Gear

“Cybex International, the Medway fitness equipment manufacturer, said it has signed a multiyear agreement to be the fitness equipment partner for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser’’ weight-loss reality show. ‘The Biggest Loser’ gives us an opportunity to have their contestants use our equipment for the first time,’’ said Larry Gulko, chief marketing officer for Cybex. Viewers ‘are going to want the equipment they see on TV,’’ he said. ‘A variety of people are going to take note, and they are going to see that this is a key step in creating another great fitness story.’ The show will also feature Cybex’s new Arc Trainer...


In U.S., Parents Struggle to Fit in Exercise

“Among Americans aged 18 to 50, those with children 18 years old or younger at home are less likely to report frequent exercise than are those with no child younger than 18 at home. Parents who have a child younger than age 4 also report lower levels of frequent exercise (24.5%), defined here as at least 30 minutes five or more days per week, than those with a child 5 to 18 years of age (25.7%). Parents with a child 18 years old or younger are also more likely than those with no child younger than 18 to say that they exercise for at least 30 minutes zero days per week....


Lifestyle Intervention Reduces Preschoolers' Body Fat, Improves Fitness

“The public health program in this study attempted to reduce the risk of obesity among preschool children from areas of Switzerland with high migrant populations. Specifically, it encouraged the children to increase their physical activity, improve nutrition, get more sleep and reduce audiovisual media use, especially TV watching. Excessive media use can contribute to lack of physical activity, and insufficient sleep in early life may play a role in childhood obesity, according to the authors. Before and after completion of the program, the researchers evaluated numerous measures, including overall fitness..."


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Most Luxurious Fitness Clubs Across America [slideshow]

“With 30,000 health clubs across the country, Americans have their pick of where to work out. Some fitness clubs, however, are simply a cut above the rest. The country’s most luxurious and exclusive fitness clubs are more like health oases, where you might find Olympic-size pools, indoor tennis courts, private changing cabanas, steam rooms, celebrity trainers and even retinal identification scanners. The price of entry to most of these health sanctuaries is steep, with the combination of initiation fees and monthly dues ranging from several thousand to $30,000 a year. This is a far cry from the median yearly cost of the ordinary fitness club, which runs about $775, including an initiation fee. In most cases, there is an initiation fee and a monthly charge. In one case, there is simply an all-inclusive annual fee. […]”


First Lady Gets Physical With DC Students

Michelle Obama knows how to strike a pose — a yoga pose, that is. The First Lady exercised with local D.C. students Wednesday afternoon. The event marked Obama's launch of her recast President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The council, formerly the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, will now include an emphasis on healthy eating habits. One in three Americans is overweight or obese, Obama said. "We're spending billions of dollars on treating obesity-related conditions and we can't afford to keep going down this road," she said. Obama said Congress needed to set stricter nutrition and exercise requirements for public school students. ‘I urge Congress to provide the resources we're going to need to support these important programs,’ Obama said. ‘This is an important time.’ Yoga was only one of the fitness stations that was set up at the event, which was staged inside the Bell Multicultural High School gym in Columbia Heights in northwest Washington. Obama also jump-roped, juggled with scarves and helped assemble trail mix snacks with the students, along with star athletes including gymnast Dominique Dawes, figure skater Michelle Kwan and NASCAR driver Carl Edwards — all council members. It's not just about calorie-counting, Obama said. She stressed the importance of striking a balance between exercise and nutrition.”


Active Game Play: Humana & Motion Fitness Launch Online Exercise Tracking Game

“Motion Fitness is proud to announce their partnership with Humana Games for Health in the distribution efforts to bring The Horsepower Challenge and activity based online game play to more communities throughout the country. ‘The Horsepower Challenge,’ developed by Humana Games for Health and sponsored by The Humana Foundation, is a unique exercise/video-game program intended to increase kids' activity to improve their health. Participating students are given smart pedometers, called actipeds, to wear on their shoes and keep track of steps. Steps are then...


Crunch Fitness Announces New Location in Portland, OR

“Crunch announces it will swing open the doors to its newest location September, 2010 in Portland, OR at 335 NE 223rd Ave & NE Glisan St. in Gresham, Oregon. In their 21 year history, Crunch has built a reputation for innovation in the fitness industry with their No Judgments attitude and one-of-a-kind group fitness programming. The brand looks to share their unique philosophy in a new fitness-friendly market.”


'Swimming Is The Key To A Long Life'

“A Winsford woman who’s mother said she would live reach her 100th birthday, celebrated the milestone last weekend. Hilda, who turned 100 on Saturday, June 19, was joined by friends and family to for a tea party and dance at Hazelmere residential home, Winsford. Shedding some secrets on longevity, Hilda puts her age down to plenty of exercise, cycling daily and swimming 30 lengths up until the age of 93. A keen swimmer, Hilda often fell into trouble for joining the boys in the baths years before mixed bathing was introduced. Her daughter, Anne, recalled a time when the pair visited a health club...


Zumba Craze Helps Local Business Expand

“Daphne Hardage, owner of Oasis Fitness Spa and Salon, said in order to meet the demand of participants in the fitness program she is dismantling her gym to make room for an exercise studio – not because another gym could be coming to Andalusia, as is rumored. Hardage said her plans are to create an exercise studio ‘like you see in the larger cities.’ And her Zumba classes have been extremely successful..."


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kids Take To The Gym

"...There are other reasons, besides weight management, why parents are footing the bill for professional fitness services. Kids like Zakery, who plays ice hockey, want a competitive edge over their ‘We're giving him all the tools he needs to succeed,’ says Nelson Galambos, Zakery's dad. ‘Not only does it keep him busy and out of trouble, he excels. It's a wise investment.’ Galambos also says it will pay off for Zakery not only physically but mentally. ‘He will notice a difference when he competes against kids his age and older kids,’ he says. Zakery asked for a trainer, and Galambos says that he wouldn't push Zakery to use one to improve his hockey skills if Zakery didn't want it.”...


Crunch Acquires Redwood City, San Mateo Gold's Gym Sites

“Fitness chain Crunch said Tuesday it acquired clubs -- both former Gold's Gym locations -- in Redwood City and San Mateo. ‘We could not be happier to add these two incredible locations to the Crunch family and to be expanding our brand's already impressive footprint in the San Francisco Bay Area,’ said Jim Rowley, Crunch's CEO. Crunch Redwood City is at 515 Veterans Blvd.; Crunch San Mateo is at 1150 Park Place. There are six other Crunch gyms in the Bay Area, and the company said it plans to ‘aggressively expand’ within the market.”


Most Heart Patients Skimp on Exercise After Rehab

“The Case Western Reserve University research team followed 248 patients after they completed a 12-week cardio rehabilitation program to help train them to exercise. Exercise patterns in the longitudinal study were tracked through heart monitors worn by the patients. After one year, only 37 percent of the patients were exercising even three times a week, the investigators found. Women were less likely than men to exercise, while younger men were more likely than women or older men to stick with their exercise program, the study authors noted...


Exercise May Combat Alcohol Cravings, Animal Study Suggests

“Alcoholism disrupts normal daily circadian rhythms (such as when to sleep and eat), which leads to disrupted sleep patterns. As a result, alcoholics may begin to drink even more in an attempt to fall asleep easier. But this often leads to more sleep problems and an even greater craving for alcohol. For this study, researchers tested the effect that exercise (in the form of wheel-running) had on hamsters' alcohol intake. The findings appear online and in the September print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "In this study, we found that the more...


Staying Fit: Majority of Older Adults Struggle with Weight

“Nearly 70 percent of adults over age 60 are overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of diabetes and other diseases, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Study shows relationship between weight and diabetes in older adults. The study followed more than 4,000 men and women for 18 years and found that those who were overweight, measured by a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29, or obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. ‘As you age, your body changes,’ ABC News sen...


World Gym Approves InTouch Technology to Sell More Memberships and Get More People Involved In Fitness

“World Gym International, LLC has chosen InTouch Technology Ltd as one of its Approved Vendors to help their clubs improve their sales and prospecting effectiveness.‘InTouch offers a unique and powerful sales and prospecting system that helps clubs follow up with all their leads and improve their closing ratios’ said Bill Windscheif, VP - Gym Development for World Gym. ‘InTouch is excited about working with World Gym and connecting with all the franchise owners to learn more about their businesses and how we can help them gain more members’ --- Scott Johnston, CEO, InTouch Technologies”


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Om Sweet Om

“With 10,000 people expected to attend The World’s Largest Free Yoga Class in Central Park, it’ll also have the distinction of being the only yoga class visible from space (where it’ll look like a giant, Lululemon-colored crop circle in the middle of Manhattan). The Flavorpill- and Jet Blue-sponsored event is led by Elena Brower with MC duties from Conan O’Brien opener Reggie Watts. Great Lawn, 6PM.”


Repairs to Storm-Damaged Kailua Gym Complete

"A blessing ceremony is being held today for the recently repaired Kailua Gym. In December 2008 the gym was undergoing roof repairs, which were about 85% complete, when a storm hit the islands causing major flood damage. The gym floor had to be replaced. Crews also performed structual repairs, mold clean-up, and installed new electrical wiring. Today's blessing ceremony will mark the completion of the repairs and the reopening of the gym at Kailua District Park..."


Angeion Corporation Launches New TRUcal(TM) from New Leaf(R)

“Angeion Corporation announced that it has launched its new TRUcal(TM) resting metabolic rate system. Part of its New Leaf(R) product line, TRUcal includes an analyzer that gently measures one's breath for oxygen and carbon dioxide which gives consumers their true individualized daily calories their body requires. The TRUcal(TM) system also includes a compact netbook with Bluetooth(R) technology, adding the benefit of wireless connectivity...


Why Are So Many Teens So Overweight?

“The latest data show that about 18 percent of kids ages 12 to 19 are obese, as defined by having a BMI of 95 or higher. That percentage has remained stable over the past decade. So nearly one in five American teens is obese. Statistics are one thing. But coming face to face with teen obesity drives home the need to do something about it. The new ABC series ‘Huge’ sure brings you face to face with adolescent obesity. As I write in this week's ‘Eat, Drink and Be Healthy’ column, the show, set at a summer weight-loss camp, is sobering in many ways, including the fact...


Struggling To Stay Fit At World Cup

“When you're covering a World Cup, you quickly get out of your usual routine in a hurry and sometimes that includes getting proper exercise. Sorry, climbing the stairs from the ground level to the second floor does not necessarily constitute the type of exercise I have in mind. I'm talking about stationary bicycles (aerobic) and some weights (strength). It just so happens there is this marvelous gymnasium literally right around the corner from the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel where some of the American media is staying. For $70 over a two-week period, you can have unlimited run...


Monday, June 21, 2010

Tighter Belts Shape Health Club Industry

“Big health club chains tackled far-flung markets, and value clubs drew budget-minded consumers in 2009, according to the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) 2010 Global Report on the state of the health club industry. ‘Clubs doing well in Europe and the United States are either high end or budget clubs, because people want to cut back while still keeping gym memberships,’ said IHRSA spokesperson Alison O'Kane. ‘It's squeezing the middle market a lot.’ In the United States health club chains made more money in 2009 but the number of clubs fell slightly. Club membership in Europe, led by the United Kingdom, Germany and the...


Anytime Fitness Appoints GM

“Australian 24 hour fitness franchise network Anytime Fitness has appointed a general manager, David Ciantar, who brings to the role experience at Gloria Jean’s Coffee, New Zealand Natural, and McDonald’s. Ciantar will manage a franchise support team of two staff, and takes responsibility for franchisee support, increasing the speed of club openings, and overseeing the property arena. This leaves brother and sister team of Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez, who...


Outdoor Fitness Business Pursues Permit From City

“For 10 years, Lisa Druxman has been on a mission — to cost herself money. The San Marcos mother has been running a stroller fitness business, but she’s had to do it without a city permit. On Wednesday, in part because of her persistence, the San Diego City Council budget committee will consider offering a permit for outdoor fitness businesses to use city parks. The cost would be $93 per quarter, and Druxman said she would be happy to pay it for the legitimacy it will bring her business. Druxman’s business, Stroller Strides, meets mainly in regional parks such as Balboa, Mission Bay and La Jolla Shores for stroller-incorporated aerobics.”


Sebelius Announces New $250 Million Investment to Lay Foundation for Prevention and Public Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $250 million in new Affordable Care Act investments to support prevention activities and develop the nation’s public health infrastructure. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year among Americans, and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending. Many Americans engage in behaviors such as tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol abuse, which harm their health. ‘Investing in prevention and public health builds the foundation for improving the health and well-being of Americans, and for lowering costs in the health care system,” said Secretary Sebelius.
--Community and Clinical Prevention: $126 million will support federal, state and community prevention initiatives; the integration of primary care services into publicly funded community-based behavioral health settings; obesity prevention and fitness; and tobacco cessation...


Many Of The Top Employers In Northeast Ohio See Their Offices As More Than Just A Place To Work

“With a range of unique perks, the region's top workplaces are a place to live, work and interact. ShurTech in Avon, the maker of Duck brand duct tape and adhesive products, offers its employees an on-site fitness center, and is starting a new program that will offer incentives to employees who take part in activities to promote good health. Steven Pennell, director of human resources, said it's a different approach than tacking on extra insurance costs for employees who smoke or are overweight. ‘Keeping our employees physically fits helps us reduce our insurance costs and helps them live a healthier lifestyle,’ Pennell said. ‘Instead of punishing people for bad behavior, we're rewarding people for good behavior.’”


Formerly Obese, Trainer Sami Kader Helps Others Find Health, Self-Esteem

“At 15, he weighed 300 pounds; he estimates his body fat hovered near 45 percent. A year later, Kader had lost 100 pounds and gained self-esteem. He kept working out while pursuing his communications degree at California State University, Sacramento, and for the past eight years he has been a certified personal trainer. His specialty is working with obese people, particularly teens, helping them develop a diet and workout program to turn, slowly and safely, from slothful to energetic. He is more than just a cardiovascular- and strength-training coach...


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fitness First Commits To Inclusion Of The Disabled

“Fitness First has been recognised for its determination to include disabled people with the first of its clubs accredited through the Inclusive Fitness Initiative’s (IFI) National Sports Foundation (NSF) Programme. The country’s largest gym chain was the first major operator in the commercial sector to commit to the programme that works not only to create accessible facilities but also engages disabled people in physical activity. So far 24 of the clubs...


More Americans Exercise, But They Are Still Obese

“A survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday finds obesity rates were frozen last year at around 28 percent of adults compared to 2008. But 34.7 percent claimed in 2009 they engage in regular leisure physical activity, up from 31.9 percent in 2008. Health experts and the U.S. government both recommend getting daily exercise -- about an hour a day of moderate exercise for most adults -- to keep weight off and prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer. ome other facts from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics:...


Shares of Cybex International Rank the Highest in terms of Best Value in the Leisure Products Industry

“Cybex International (NASDAQ:CYBI) has a price to book ratio of 0.6x based on a current price of $1.4 and a book value per share of $2.47.”


Treadmill Doctor Closing Operations In Four Cities

“Treadmill Doctor is closing city operations in St. Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham and Mobile, Ala. The fitness equipment repair company cites increases in state and local taxes, including unemployment taxes, in those cities as the primary reason behind the decision. Treadmill Doctor will eliminate five jobs because of the closures. It will maintain its Nashville location at 2803 Foster Ave, Ste. 108. Jon Stevenson, president of Memphis-based Treadmill Doctor, said the locations were ‘marginally profitable,’ but the tax increase of 241.97 percent on a year-to-year basis destroyed that profitability...


Local Gym Growing Strong [video]

“From town to town, a local business is spreading across Iowa, and maybe beyond. Rick Rosenberg started the first Orion Fitness Center in Saint Ansgar a few years ago, and he says the reception has been great. ’We built our first gym in St. Ansgar 2 years ago,’ said Rosenberg. ‘We have 100 members there, then we followed up with Northwood. We currently have 175 members here, so we've...


Fit Line introduces CYBEX Bravo Functional Trainer in India

“Premium Fitness Equipment retail chain Fit Line has introduced CYBEX Bravo Functional Trainer, a total training solution ideally suited for more than 300 different exercises that enhance strength gains, movement coordination and core integration in the Indian market. According to a recent...


Councillor ‘Baffled’ By Gym Opposition

“A councillor says he is ‘completely baffled’ by opposition to a free gym for Canvey. Councillor Peter Burch (Con, Cedar Hall), Castle Point Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said he understood residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour near the site, but believes the facility is an ‘asset’. The £150,000 AdiZone in Kismet Park, off Eastern Esplanade, was paid for by Adidas and Veolia Cleanaway...


Complete Body & Spa to Open 17,000 sq ft Fitness Center with Pool in Midtown Manhattan


Complete‐Body & Spa Announces Krav Maga


Too Fat To Fight? Military Recruits and ObesityToo Fat To Fight? Military Recruits and Obesity

“Titled "Too Fat to Fight," the April study bluntly concludes that 9 million 17- to 24-year-olds -- 27 percent of all young adults – ‘are too fat to serve in the military.’ The report by the nonprofit organization Mission: Readiness calls this trend ‘a threat to national security" and notes that ‘being overweight is now by far the leading medical reason for rejection.’ From 1995 to 2008, the study says, "the proportion of potential recruits who failed their physicals each year because they were overweight rose nearly 70 percent.’ Despite the dire long-term predictions, all four military services...


Exploring the Links Between Depression and Weight Gain

“In a society enamored with thinness, many assume that being fat is depressing — that if there is a cause and effect relationship, it’s obesity that makes people feel down. But ‘there is an alternative explanation,’ said Belinda L. Needham, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, ‘and that is that being depressed actually makes you gain weight.’ Her new study found that young people who reported symptoms of depression like...


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crunch Gym Celebrates 21 Years of Sets, Grunts and Rock n' Roll

Crunch Fitness is finally legal and celebrating 21 years of sets, grunts and rock n' roll. The gym chain, which got its start in a basement level aerobics studio in New York City's East Village circa 1989, has since built a reputation for innovation in the fitness industry with their unique philosophy of No Judgments. Now, with 19 state-of-the-art locations in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco (and more on the way), Crunch looks to celebrate over two decades of making fitness fun with give-a-ways, membership deals, parties and more. In keeping with tradition, Crunch is yet again...


Obesity Is Century's Greatest Public Health Threat

“Obesity is ‘the single greatest threat to public health in this century,’ an expert panel declared in a report Tuesday that urges Americans to slash calories and increase their physical activity. An advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls on people to cut back on added sugars and solid fats (butter, marbled meats) and to follow a more nutrient-rich, plant-based diet. The report is based on the latest scientific evidence and was prepared by a 13-member panel of national nutrition and health experts. The public now has 30 days to comment at www.dietaryguidelines.gov. The final 2010 dietary guidelines will be released later this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. About two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. The advisory committee highlighted four major steps:

•Reduce excess weight and obesity by cutting calorie intake and increasing physical activity.

•Shift to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and eat only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.

•Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, which contribute about 35% of the calories in the American diet. Cut sodium intake gradually to 1,500 milligrams a day and lower intake of refined grains, especially those with added sugar, solid fat and sodium.

•Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Those recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, or 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination of the two types. Children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous physical activity each day.”


Workout Music: Give Me The Beat Boys

“Fitness experts say boosted by that backbeat you might not even notice that you're working harder. ‘Higher tempo certainly seems to drive the intensity of exercise performance,’ said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise (ACE). ‘The faster the beat, the higher the intensity,’ he explained. ‘Listening to smooth jazz would not do it.’ Bryant said preliminary results of an ACE-commissioned study on how music affects exercise performance suggest that under the influence of a strong beat, exercisers will actually work harder than they think they do. ‘Individuals listened to different types...


Shares of Town Sports International Rank the Highest in terms of Cash Flow in the Leisure Facilities Industry

“Often companies with the lowest ratio present the greatest value to investors. Town Sports International (NASDAQ:CLUB) has a price to free cash flow ratio of 4.2x based on a current price of $2.76 and a free cash flow per share of $0.66.”


Rush Fitness Chain To Open 8th Triad Site

“The Rush fitness chain will open its second Winston-Salem gym in September, marking the company’s eighth location in the Triad. Randy Gregory, general manager of the planned club at 420 Jonestown Road, said The Rush is building a roughly 20,000-square-foot gym in the former location of Peak Fitness. It will operate out of a temporary workout location and enrollment center on Country Club Road until construction is complete, Gregory said. The Rush operates a gym on Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, as well as locations in Greensboro, High Point and Burlington...


Gym Gets New Owners

“Neslted along dozens of businesses on Forest Avenue in Pacific Grove, Anastasia's Club Fit is a small, but popular gym among locals. Anyone driving down the street can usually see four or five health nuts sweating it out behind the glass wall huffing and puffing away on a treadmill. Now, a new parent company is taking over and promising to make their name known here locally. In-Shape Health Clubs announced that Anastasia's, located at 1146 Forest Avenue, is now part of the In-Shape family of clubs. It's the company's second gym in the area and the fourtieth club overall in the state. In-Shape announced immediate plans to upgrade cardio and weight training equipment, install new TVs in the cardio theater, and repaint. Anastasia's members will be converted to...


After Heatstroke, When Is It Safe to Exercise?

‘This is a very controversial area, even more so than concussions,’ said Dr. Francis G. O’Connor, president of the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine. He moderated a debate on the topic at a recent meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. Guidelines on returning to exercise, from the American College of Sports Medicineand the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, are not based on the best scientific evidence, Dr. O’Connor and others say. Instead, they are based on what the guideline committees think makes sense. ‘There is a lot of reliance on dogma that...


Weight-Lifting Gains Bring Pains, Too

“A new study finds that from 1990 to 2007, nearly a million Americans wound up in emergency rooms with weight-training injuries and that annual injuries increased more than 48 percent in that period. About 82 percent of the 970,000 people injured were men, according to the study, which appeared in the April issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine. (The researchers used information from a national injury surveillance database.) But the annual number of injuries in women increased faster — by 63 percent, compared with 46 percent among men — perhaps because weight training is growing more popular with women. Women were more likely to injure their feet and legs, while men’s injuries were more common in the trunk and hands; men had more sprains and strains, and women had more fractures. “We want people to continue to use weight training as part of their physical routine,” said a co-author of the study, Christy L. Collins, a senior research associate at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. But, she added, they ‘should receive proper instruction and use proper techniques for their lifts.’ She added, ‘We want to learn more about these injuries so that we can develop targeted preventive measures.’”


President Bill Clinton Honors 179 U.S. Schools For Combating Childhood Obesity

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, today recognized 179 schools that have transformed their campuses into healthier places for students and staff. President Bill Clinton, American Heart Association Chairman Neil Meltzer, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey presented awards during an event in New York City. The 179 schools hail from across the country, though the cities of Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Lincoln, Neb.; Los Angeles; Miami; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and San Antonio all boast multiple awardees. Among the schools and healthy achievements honored today:


24-Hour Winchester Gym Fanatics Are All Heart

“FIT fund-raisers have exerted themselves to raise a predicted £5,000 for the British Heart Foundation. Some 30 people took part in the 24-hour gym challenge at the Winchester Tennis and Squash Club recently. They comprised four teams and everyone stayed at the club off Bereweeke Road for the full...


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Japan Agreement Lands Anytime Fitness in Asia

“Anytime Fitness, the fastest-growing fitness club chain in the world, continues to accelerate its international expansion, this time – into Japan. The attainment of a master franchisee agreement for Japan, one year in the making, comes just weeks after the fitness chain announced its plans to open clubs in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Recent overseas deals, combined with 300 new club openings in the U.S. each of the past two years – puts Anytime Fitness on pace to open its 2,000th club by the end of next year. The fitness franchise currently boasts nearly a million members, 1,250 gyms across all 50 states, and over 100 clubs open in Canada, Australia...


24 Hour Fitness & Playworks Partner to Help Save Play

“24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately owned U.S. fitness center chain and a leading health club industry pioneer, is taking donations to raise money for Playworks, a national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools. Now through July 4, 24 Hour Fitness members and non-members are encouraged to make $1, $5 or $10 donations to Playworks by visiting a nearby 24 Hour Fitness® club or by clicking the Playworks donation link at www.24hourfitness.com. As little as a $1 donation will bring a day of play to a deserving student. 100% of funds raised will go directly to Playworks; and will help improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play during...


Sebelius Stumps For Anti-Childhood Obesity Plan

“The Obama administration is calling on mayors to help in the fight against childhood obesity because the effort won't work if communities don't engage in it, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a conference Friday. Sebelius touted first lady Michelle Obama's ‘Let's Move’ campaign against childhood obesity at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. Sebelius encouraged about 400 mayors and members of their staffs to have their cities join a new part of the campaign, dubbed ‘Let's Move Cities and Towns.’ ‘I know well how critical it is that you are mobilized and energized...


Monday, June 14, 2010

Obesity Plans Need Funding to Work

“Last month, the fitness industry saw quite a flurry of activity in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives introduced a Healthy Choices Act, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (along with other organizations) introduced a National Physical Activity Plan, and the Childhood Obesity Taskforce, requested by President Barack Obama and headed by First Lady Michelle Obama, released a 70-point plan for decreasing childhood obesity. Helen Durkin, executive vice president of public policy for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), says the groups that worked on the National Physical Activity Plan are actively seeking funding for it. Of course, concerns about how the Healthy Choices Act will be funded are moot unless that bill actually is passed. And the possibility of that happening is slim, according to Durkin. She expects it will take several sessions of lobbying, and possibly the attachment of various parts of this bill onto other bills, for it to pass.”


RMG Networks Doubles Fitness Club TV Audience

“RMG, a leading place-based entertainment company, announced today that Nielsen Media Research’s ongoing study of RMG’s Fitness Entertainment Network reported nearly 18 million ad exposures for a typical campaign in March 2010. These viewership levels almost double the Q4 2009 averages which were included in Nielsen’s inaugural ‘Fourth Screen Report’ published earlier this year. This significant and rapid audience growth is the result of RMG’s expanded relationships with the high-end LA Fitness and Lifetime Fitness chains, and an aggressive deployment strategy into over 270 new venues through Q1 2010. Additionally, RMG will soon begin deployment into over 150 Powerhouse Gym locations as part of a recent agreement with that company. RMG operates the largest place-based television network, providing multiple, live feeds from the major national cable networks – with custom ad insertion – into fitness club cardio rooms across the US. The company plans to have 1000 club locations deployed by the end of 2010.”


Get Healthy Or Get Out, Boss Told Employees

“Howard Weyers believes that the bottom line for health care costs depends on what's happening with the waist lines of employees. Or the lungs, or any other organ that could fail due to misuse or neglect and cost an employer money. And he believes those employers should be encouraging workers to live healthier lifestyles and aggressively monitoring what they do inside - and outside - of the workplace. The company helped pay for health club memberships and to support such activities as biking and hiking - anything that could improve the well-being of workers. Again, the company kept tabs on the results. Weyers is a trim man of 76 who said he eats healthy and works out five or six times a week. He was a runner for 40 years before knee problems slowed him down. He said the third hurdle to staying healthy is not following a doctor's orders. He had an employee who was diabetic but neglected to take the steps...


Obese and Pregnant

“How sad and frightening that our health care system is willing to invest in ‘longer surgical instruments, more sophisticated fetal testing machines and bigger beds’ and even bariatric surgery for the one in five women who are obese when they become pregnant. These women do not become obese overnight, but do so because of many years of poor eating habits, limited fresh fruits and vegetables and little or no physical activity. With estimated costs of more than $200,000 to deliver and care for just the one obese motherfeatured in the article and her baby, how can our health care system not be paying for preventive services long before these women become both obese and pregnant? Nutritionists, health and wellness coaches, personal trainers and the like must be used to their fullest potential in our health care system if we are ever going to make an impact on the raging obesity epidemic in this country. Particularly, with regard to women of childbearing years, millions of dollars could be saved if we called upon the services of the allied health professionals and helped women to eat right and exercise before it is too late.”


Parental Enforcement, Exercise Help Kids Cut 'Screen Time'

“Children whose parents keep consistent rules about how much screen time their children are allowed are less likely to exceed the recommended limits, a new study has found. The study also found that children and teens who were involved in physical activities were at lower odds for going over the limits for screen time. The findings are published in the June 14 issue of the journal Pediatrics.”


Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicago-Based Fitness Formula Clubs Expands “FFC Cares” Efforts

“Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC or ffc.com), a Chicago-based company that owns, develops and operates full service fitness clubs, has taken part in several philanthropic movements so far this year and is preparing for their largest fund raising effort, Clubs for the Cure supporting the fight against ALS/Augie's Quest, in June. FFC is Chicago’s largest private group of health clubs in the city, currently totaling12 locations. A team of Personal...


Exercise Helps Reduce Falls In Young and Old

“Falls are a major hazard in the United States, with about 19,000 people dying from them each year and an estimated 8 million seeking treatment in emergency rooms annually. The protective effect of exercise was documented by University of Pittsburgh researchers, who analyzed data from people taking part in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal...


Berlin Gym Holding Fair To Promote Healthy Living

“Average Joe’s 24-Hour Fitness is hosting its second annual health fair Saturday to help promote life-long healthy living. The Community Fit Fest and BBQ highlights local health professionals and healthy living sponsors to help residents adopt healthier habits and promote at-risk health prevention that address many common health issues. ‘I wanted to showcase what we have in town and within the community in regards to health and wellness. Last year was very successful and we helped...


Keeping KY Kids Off the Obesity Track [audio]

“Eating a little less and exercising quite a bit more sit at the center of a new set of guidelines from Washington aimed at keeping Kentucky kids off the path to obesity. The White House Childhood Obesity Task Force says children need every advantage they can get, including quality pre-natal care, good nutrition and more exercise. Tonya Chang, advocacy director with the American Heart Association in Kentucky, says more children face this problem than one might think. ‘We have about 20 percent of young children under age 5 who are overweight or obese, and about one in three children...


Moms' Full-Time Work Tied To Childhood Obesity

“In a study of more than 8,500 UK adults followed since their birth in 1958, researchers found that the study participants' young children were 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than they themselves had been back in the 1960s. When the...


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ontario Socialite Enjoys UFC So Much, She Opened A Gym

“Rachelle Bronfman swears she can't be having a mid-life crisis. Even after doing a few quick calculations and realizing, with a gasp, that she is indeed 49 years old and in prime mid-life crisis territory she dismisses the theory as an utter impossibility. Ms. Bronfman, see, is married to a Bronfman, of Seagram's fame and unfathomable fortune. On her right wrist, there is a thick diamond bracelet. On her wedding finger, a chunky diamond ring. And on her head is a black hat -- with the letters UFC -- that complicates the portrait of the polite society lady. UFC is better known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a blood and gore mixed-martial arts fighting franchise that is decidedly unladylike and outlawed in Ontario. ‘I guess I have a bit of a split-personality problem,’ Ms. Bronfman says with a laugh. She didn't always. But after years of joining gyms, and never going, Ms. Bronfman enlisted Erez Cohen to be her personal trainer...


Fitness Franchise, Pure Barre, Sweeping the Nation!

“’Pure Barre’ is becoming a new buzz-word in several cities across the country, and now Chattanooga joins the craze. A Pure Barre studio will be opening in Chattanooga mid-August, but what has everyone so excited that enables this company to thrive in a down economy? This 55 minute class uses a ballet barre as well as light hand weights, a small ball, and resistance band to “lift, tone, and burn” trouble areas like the hips, seats, abs and arms. Each class is choreographed to upbeat music. Also, a stretching portion, to keep muscle groups long and lean, follows each strength segment. The total body workout results in a “dancer-like” body. Carrie Rezabek, founder of Pure Barre, created the technique in 2001. She opened her first studio in Michigan in the basement of an office building. The business began to expand in 2006, and now Pure Barre studios are found all across the country. Of the 30+ studios nationwide, 21 of them have opened since January 1, 2010.


Life Fitness Attracts More Than 700 Attendees From 62 Countries To First Ever Global Summit

“The first Life Fitness Global Summit, held last month in Las Vegas, joined more than 300 global health club customers and more than 400 of the company’s global sales representatives, dealers and distributors in a dynamic discussion of the fitness industry. The four-day event featured experts in fitness technology, social media, demographic data, facility management, marketing and exercise biomechanics. The Global Summit also provided a unique atmosphere for networking and presented attendees with an insider’s look at the company’s newest products and services. The highlight of the week was the company’s unveiling of the Life Fitness Journey, a new concept that utilizes non-traditional equipment layouts and stimulating visuals to drive differentiation and member attraction. During the Summit, Life Fitness introduced the next phase of machines in its Signature Series Plate Loaded Strength Line. Featured in candy apple red, the new line brings plate loaded training to an entirely new audience, through its sleek design and compact size. The company also unveiled new Optima Series Strength dual machines at the Global Summit. The ‘duals’ offer multi-exercise options in one space-efficient, easy-to-use machine. Life Fitness global sales representatives, distributors and dealers gathered earlier in the week in a series of open forums and discussions. More than 400 Life Fitness representatives from 62 countries came together for the first time to share experiences and expertise.”

Local Gym Hosts Events To Benefit Children With Autism

“Bailey's Powerhouse Gym will host fundraising events all weekend. On Friday, the gym will host a Zumba for Autism. It will be held at the Mandarin location beginning at 7 p.m. Participants can enjoy Latin-inspired dances for a good cause. The event will last until 8:30 p.m. The next day, Bailey's Step For Autism will be held at the same location from 9 to 11 a.m. This low-impact, high-energy class consists of basic moves and patterns with innovative choreography that will keep you moving for two hours. Then on Sunday, the gym will host an indoor ride. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. and last until noon. Indoor cyclists will ride for more than three hours at the location on San Jose Boulevard. Organizers said 100 percent of the proceeds from these events will benefit DOSA Camps, a special summer camp for children with autism and other disabilities. Children can participate in three camps.”


Michelle Obama's Next Childhood Obesity Target: Summer Break

“School is out for much of the country, and kids everywhere are looking forward to a few months off. But nutrition and education experts warn that for too many kids, summer break is also a time when they backslide educationally and fall into bad eating habits. On Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama helped launch another component to her campaign to tackle childhood obesity, this time targeting summer vacation. She joined several members of the Obama cabinet in announcing the administration’s new ‘Let’s Read. Let’s Move.’ campaign, aimed at promoting exercise, healthy eating, and reading among kids on break from school. The campaign will be coordinated by the...


Help For Women Runners With Knee Pain

“Patellofemoral pain (PFP) occurs when the thigh bone rubs against the back of the knee cap. Typically, pain doesn't occur when someone with PFP first starts a run. But once the pain begins, it gets increasingly worse. The pain disappears almost immediately after the person stops running. This study included five runners with PFP who did hip-strengthening exercises twice a week for six weeks and a control group of four runners. The hip-strengthening exercises lasted for 30 to 45 minutes and involved single-leg squats and exercises with a resistance band. The exercise program reduced and, in some cases, eliminated knee pain, according to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researchers.”


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Health Leadership: Be A Mountain-Climbing CEO [by Joe Moore]

“Consider this: Physically active employees take 27 fewer sick days and report 14 to 25 percent fewer disability days than inactive employees. And employees who exercise one or more times per week, regardless of their weight, have lower health care costs than their sedentary co-workers. Business leaders are already becoming personally involved in the effort to promote physical activity and wellness. Take, for example, Lincoln Industries' Chairman and CEO, Marc LeBaron. Every year LeBaron leads Nebraska-based Lincoln Industries' people in a challenging climb up a 14,000 foot Colorado mountain. To qualify for the climb, which includes a paid day off, an all-expense paid Colorado mountain climbing expedition, and transportation...


VW Has Workers Get Fit Before Hitting Factory Floor

“Volkswagen is requiring production workers hired for its new U.S. assembly plant to go through a fitness program on top of the usual job training, aiming to forge an ‘industrial athlete’ who can lift, grip, bend and push without flagging. VW formally opened its training academy at the $1 billion plant site Friday. But dozens of workers hired ahead of a projected production start early next year have already been building their bodies there before they start building cars. Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesman Scott Wilson said the workouts are aimed at better product quality when the German automaker starts building a midsized sedan at the plant, which is expected to create about 2,000 jobs. He said time in the classroom, hands-on training and fitness training...


SilverSneakers Gets Seniors Moving

“Nancy Mehring, senior advisor, started SilverSneakers at Flathead Health & Fitness about two years ago with two people. ‘Now I have 55 active participants,’ she said. A national program offered through local fitness centers, Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program has nearly a million members taking part in an exercise program designed exclusively for older adults. Many Medicare insurance plans such as Humana Gold, Secure Horizons and Athena offer free fitness memberships through their plans. According to Mehring, over 900 people in this area carry some of those plans. She hopes to encourage...


O2 Fitness Buys Millennium’s Chapel Hill Gym

“Health-club chain O2 Fitness has acquired the Millennium Sports Club facility in Chapel Hill and will be closing O2’s Southern Village location in July as it merges with Millennium’s facility in the Cole Park Plaza shopping center. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but the deal does not affect Millennium’s facility at the Independence Plaza shopping center in Durham. Millennium’s Chapel Hill club manager, Dan Sparrow, says that O2’s management has already taken over operations of the gym and that the name change will be official July 1 with the closing of the Southern Village O2 Fitness facility. ‘We consider it an upgrade for both our members and theirs,’ Sparrow says...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Spin-A-Thon Helps Raise Money For Veterans And Military Families

“Treasure Valley residents got the chance to spin for charity today as part of the Gold’s Gym Spin-A-Thon. Members of the gym and the public got the chance to participate at the three Treasure Valley locations of the gym. For $10 an hour, they got their chance to hop on an exercise bike to help military families. Proceeds will be given in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Idaho Guard & Reserve Family Support Fund, and Operation Warmheart. There has been no word yet on how much money was raised."


Ubisoft Announces Gold's Gym Dance Workout

“Today Ubisoft announced that it is continuing its partnership with Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority on health and fitness, to publish a new game Gold's Gym Dance Workout in the United States and Canada. Developed by Landho Co., Ltd. and available exclusively for the Nintendo Wii system, the game will be in North America stores this August 2010. Gold's Gym Dance Workout includes Latin dance styles, choreographed boxing dances and fun mini-games that target specific muscle groups. ‘We are excited to partner with Ubisoft again,’ commented Lisa Zoellner, chief marketing officer of Gold's Gym International...


Power Plate(R) Exercise Helps Rafael Nadal Serve Up Victory at The French Open; Rise Again to Number One in the World

“Before stepping onto the court, 2010 French Open winner Rafael Nadal steps up to the Plate. Ranked number one in the world, with seven Grand Slam Singles Titles, a record 18 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournaments and the 2008 Olympic gold medal under his belt, Nadal is one of many elite athletes who integrate Power Plate machines into their training regimes to help them stay at the top of their game and maintain their competitive edge. ‘We congratulate Rafael Nadal on his success at the French Open this weekend, he is truly a world-class athlete and we are proud to have him on the Power Plate team,’ commented Mark de Gorter, President of Power Plate North America. ‘With benefits ranging from increased...


Growing Obesity Increases Perils of Childbearing

“About one in five women are obese when they become pregnant, meaning they have a body mass index of at least 30, as would a 5-foot-5 woman weighing 180 pounds, according to researchers with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And medical evidence suggests that obesity might be contributing to record-high rates of Caesarean sections and leading to more birth defects and deaths...


Friday, June 4, 2010

Prescription For Exercise - Should Questions About Physical Activity Be A Part Of Doctor Visits?

“People visit physicians to get or stay healthy, but should questions about physical activity be a part of these visits, too - every time? The American College of Sports Medicine and its Exercise is Medicine program think so. So does Indiana University physical activity expert NiCole Keith. ‘Doctors ask their patients about cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and dietary habits, because those behaviors habits all affect health,’ said Keith, associate professor in the Department of Physical Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. ‘Failure to exercise or be physically active also is linked to several chronic diseases, and a discussion about those habits also must be part of a general medical visit.’ If health care providers take just one minute, Keith said, to ask about physical activity levels and counsel patients, if necessary, they could then refer them to an appropriate program in the community or healthcare system for additional help. ‘Hearing from a provider that you need to be more physically active or need to exercise will reduce the stigma associated with exercise and physical activity,’ said Keith...


Employees Earn Cash for Exercising More

“How much money would it take to get you to lose some serious weight? Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways. ‘There's been an explosion of interest in this,’ said Kevin Volpp, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives. OhioHealth, a central Ohio hospital chain, last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win. OhioHealth set the maximum reward for its step-counting program at $500. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain's five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes. Health officials lament that more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight and one-third obese, and lecture on fat's role in diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. The problem has a huge economic impact, too...


Regina Benjamin Leads the Fight Against Obesity [podcast]

“Regina Benjamin knows all too well that it's tough to make the time for exercise. Before becoming the nation's 18th surgeon general, Benjamin was a small business owner. She founded a rural healthcare clinic in Bayou La Batre, La., and struggled to keep it solvent, making house calls and seeing patients in a rented house after the clinic was devastated by hurricanes and fire. Those challenges inspired her to get her MBA, and work on efforts to fund healthcare for low-income rural residents. As surgeon general, Benjamin is leading a broad federal effort to combat obesity. ‘We've done a good job of telling people they need to lose weight,’ Benjamin, 53, says. ‘The challenge is going to be getting people to [exercise] and enjoy it.’...


To Burn More Fat, Skip Breakfast Before Workout

“Running on empty may not be such a bad idea after all. Though many athletes eat before training, some scientists say that if you really want to get rid of more fat, you should skip the pre-workout snack. Several studies suggest exercising while your body is low on food may be a good way to trim excess fat. In a recent paper, European researchers found that cyclists who trained without eating burned significantly more fat than their counterparts who ate. Muscles usually get their energy from carbohydrates...


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gold's Gym Declares June National Cheat Food Awareness Month

“Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority on health and fitness, has officially announced today that it's OK to cheat on your diet. That's right. Gold's Gym is encouraging people to indulge in a slice of pizza, enjoy that cheeseburger they've been dreaming about or even dive into a tub of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. In fact, the success of their diet might even depend on it. To help salvage the more than 90 percent of diets that fail every year, Gold's Gym is transforming June into National Cheat Food Awareness Month. The month long initiative will focus on showing consumers how ‘cheating responsibly’ can actually help them stay motivated and stick to their diets. It will also show consumers how to do it without ruining their workout routine or crashing their diet completely. ‘Diets often fail because people feel like they're punishing themselves,’ said Belisa Vranich, a psychologist with the Gold's Gym Fitness Institute. ‘A diet with severe limitations leaves you feeling frustrated and wanting the diet to end – this is when most people cave. Cheating responsibly is a great way to control a diet, rather than feeling like an awful punishment has been imposed on you. By periodically rewarding yourself, foods you often crave become less desirable, allowing you to become more confident in your dietary decisions and feeling good about your relationship with all types of food.’ While "cheating" has always been a word associated with negative connotations, cheating responsibly on a diet can help consumers maintain a positive, healthy lifestyle and can even result in long-term positive results...


Risks: Obesity Is Found to Take Toll After Age 40

“Obesity increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses, but a surprising new finding suggests it may not affect one’s health until after age 40. The study compared medications taken by normal weight, overweight and obese Americans ages 25 to 70 who participated in National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1988-1994 and 2003-6. The surveys included 8,880 men and 9,071 women. While obese people of all ages took slightly more medications than those of normal weight, the differences were mainly among adults 40 and older, according to the study, published in the International Journal of Obesity. For example, 28.7 percent of obese men and 25.2 percent of normal weight men ages 25 to 39 took medications...


States Requiring PE, But Amount Varies

“More states are requiring physical education for elementary, middle and high school students, though few require kids to exercise for a specific amount of time. A report released Tuesday by the American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education said exercise for schoolchildren is also threatened by a rising number of waivers and exemptions from PE in school districts around the country. Nancy Brown, CEO of the heart association, said the group is pleased that more states are requiring physical education but is also concerned that the requirements don't have more teeth. ‘We are concerned that the movement has not been more significant,’ she said. ‘It's more of a sporadic approach.’ Brown...


Complete-Body & Spa & Candy Samples Worked It Out For Equality at the 19th Street Grand Opening Celebration [photos]



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Health Clubs Adapt To Changing Client Demands

“After forking out more than $50 a month to a Seminole fitness club for five years, Bonney Lowe found You Fit Health Club. ‘It was closer to home and costs less than half as much,’ said the 38-year-old bartender who lives in Largo. ‘I don't need the pool, the sauna or those personal trainers hovering around offering you tips. Hey, I've got mirrors at home.’ That sort of trading down has roiled the $19.5 billion fitness industry. Industry leaders say their business proved to be more resilient than most retail and discretionary service industries that endured steep declines through the recession. But nationally, fitness club membership remains stuck at 45 million, about where it was in 2004, and the number of clubs has slipped 4 percent since 2007. In Florida, ground zero for the recession, the trend has been more pronounced as the number of operating fitness clubs plummeted 18 percent to a six-year low of 1,831 this year compared with 2007, before the recession. ‘Overall, we were flat in 2009 in revenue, which was pretty good given this economy,’ said Joe Moore, president of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association...


Williams F1 And Power Plate Unveil A High Octane Collaboration

Power Plate International today confirmed a new licensee partnership with Williams F1, to produce Williams branded Power Plate machines to be sold globally through selected exclusive retail partners. The limited edition Power Plate pro6 machine, finished in the distinctive Williams livery, was officially launched at Harrods department store in London, on Friday 28th May. It was also previewed to the Formula One community during the Barcelona and Monaco Grand Prix events. The Williams name has been synonymous with performance in the motor-racing world since the late 1970s, while Power Plate International, global leader in Acceleration Training technology, has set the standard in vibration training equipment since its launch a decade ago...


Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear To Be A 'Stress-Buffer'

“Short bouts of exercise can go a long way to reduce the impact stress has on cell aging, new research reveals. Vigorous physical activity amounting to as little as 14 minutes daily, three day per week would suffice for the protective effect to kick in, according to findings published online in the May 26 issue of PLoS ONE. The apparent benefit reflects exercise's effect on the length of tiny pieces of DNA known as telomeres. These telomeres operate, in effect, like molecular shoelace tips that hold everything together to keep genes and chromosomes stable. Researchers believe that telomeres tend to shorten over time in reaction to stress, leading to a rising risk for heart disease, diabetes and even death. However, exercise, it seems, might slow down or even halt this shortening process. ‘Telomere length is increasingly...


Local Employer Health Incentives Promote Wellness

“Employees of Cass County Electric can get up to $80 on a gift card each year by exercising, taking part in a 10-kilometer race, getting a yearly physical or having their teeth cleaned. Some of the electric cooperative’s 100 employees can also earn up to $400 annually for their flexible spending or health savings account by being tobacco-free, completing a health screening and having blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol readings within an acceptable range, or by learning about their health issues. ‘Our goal is to get people aware of it and get it taken care of,’ said Linda Otterson, manager of human resources. ‘We’re trying to do more of a reward-based program than a penalty program.’ Local incentive wellness programs aren’t as much about the number on the scale...


For China's Growing Middle Class, Expanding Waistlines Pose Problem [video and mp3]


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Giving More Expendable Than Gym Membership, Survey Finds

“The urge to stay fit would appear to be stronger than the impulse to give to charity, according to a year-long survey of just under 20,000 donors. More than a third of donors to the JustGiving website reported that they were considering cutting down on the amount they gave to charity, compared to 24 per cent who had entertained the idea of reducing their spend on gym membership. Philanthropy ranked as more critical to spending habits, however, than eating out or going on holidays, both of activities JustGiving donors appeared relatively willing to cut back on (73 per cent and 54 per cent respectively). But the results of the survey were far from pessimistic. The vast majority of donors, surveyed after...


Pool Fitness: Different Strokes For Aquatic Folks

“Young or old, active or aching, just about everyone can buoy their workout by plunging into the pool, fitness experts say. But whether you're swimming laps or pedaling inside an inner tube, there's more to aquatic fitness than just splashing around. ‘Swimming is just a great overall fitness activity. You're using all your muscle groups, balancing your body in that environment,’ said Dr. Barbara Bushman, an expert with the American College of Sports Medicine. Even at the shallow end aquatic exercises can improve balance in older people and help anyone with joint or orthopedic problems to stay fit. ‘Anytime you're in the water you can basically unweight the body,’ Bushman explained. ‘There's the support of fluid around you.’ ‘Take a few lessons so you can sustain that 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity you need, Bushman advises, ‘and learn different strokes for interval training and variety.’ As group fitness manager at Equinox in New York, Mark Hendricks oversees the gym's Aqua Fitness classes,


Westlake Gym Plans Blood Drive For Teen

“The plight of a high school valedictorian who is battling brain cancer has inspired the general manager of a Westlake Village gym and spa to organize a blood drive. Total Woman Gym & Day Spa will sponsor the blood drive in the name of Alex Samuels, Agoura High School’s 17-year-old valedictorian who is battling brain cancer. ‘Donating blood a couple weeks ago really inspired me to put together a blood drive for the children’s hospital, and after reading Alex’s story, I knew that we could get a great response of donors that will love to help a local boy fight his battle with cancer,’ said the gym and spa’s general manager, Shannon Mann. ‘The thought that we could potentially save the life of not only Alex but the hundreds of children in need of blood was reason enough to get this blood drive together,’ she said. The gym and spa is offering each non-member blood donor a free 30-day membership. Complimentary food and beverages are planned.”


Obesity And Asthma Are Linked: Study

A number of studies have shown an association between obesity and asthma, both of which have become much more common over the past three decades, Dr. Jun Ma of the Palo Alto Medical Research Institute in California note in the medical journal Allergy. Ma and her team looked at about 4,500 men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005-2006. About a third were overweight, and another third were obese. Forty-one percent had some type of allergy, while 8 percent had asthma. The researchers wanted to tease out those rates because allergy and asthma are related in some people. Twelve percent of the obese individuals had asthma, compared to six percent of the normal-weight study participants. And the likelihood of asthma rose as the body mass index -- BMI, a...


Star Player Has New Challenge

“Since bidding farewell to a career in professional rugby, former Western Force forward David Pusey has his eye on a new goal. His sights are firmly fixed on helping people tackle their weight and fitness problems, and sidestep obesity-related illnesses. The Wembley sporting great last month opened Pure Fitness on Cambridge Street, where he offers personal training sessions focusing on hard work, accountability and altering negative mindsets. ‘Muscle-heads’ and people looking for instant success need not sign up, says Pusey.’ ‘From my experience, quick fixes and shortcuts rarely achieve the results people truly want and they are not sustainable,’ he said. ‘If a person wants to change their lifestyle, it has to be gradual.’”