RECENT ARTICLES
  • Obesity Costs Soar, But Physical Burden Can Be Eased in Kids

    by Emily Attwood May 2012

    The American College of Sports Medicine has calculated the number of steps required for children and teens to meet their daily exercise recommendation, offering a new tool in the fight against obesity. A study published in the May edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise calculated the correlation between step counts and physical activity time counts, equating 12,000 steps to 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity.

  • Blog: Programs Seek to Hook Kids on…Anything

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2012

    I love fitness statistics. I don't love them when they're discouraging, but I do love the fact that if you study them long enough, trends begin to emerge. And when you look at the trends, you can see what powers them. That's the best way to learn how progress can be made, even when things are discouraging.

  • Capitalizing on the 'Strongman' Training Trend

    by Rob Bishop April 2012

    Many years ago, before age and injury took their toll, one of our favorite pastimes was strongman training. Actually, it was one of Rob's favorite pastimes.

  • Blog: Indoor Triathlons on the Rise

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2012

    Last week, one of my friends told me he was gearing up for a local triathlon.

    That came as a surprise, to say the least. March might not be Maryland's worst month, weather-wise, but it certainly is one of the least predictable. There are sunny days with 70-degree highs, and there are discouragingly cold days with snow, or at least the threat of it. There are also days that start out like the former and turn into the latter, and how cruel is that?

  • Blog: Beach Sports Beckon Spring-Breakers

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2012

    The great pre-bathing suit rush is on in college rec centers. It's a sure sign of spring: The New Year's Resolution crowd might have waned, but the kids preparing for spring break are there, helping fill up any empty spots on the fitness floor.

  • Blog: Balance Training Yes, Checkbook Balancing No

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2012

    You've heard of the nanny state? We're feeling a lot like the nanny health club lately.

    It seems that many of our members expect us to balance their checkbooks for them, track their monthly expenses and keep them out of credit card debt. They also expect us to use divine intervention to know when they want to cancel their memberships. These requests aren't by any means new to us, but there sure have been a lot of them over the past few weeks. Some examples:

  • Why Health Club Members Are Not Always Right

    by Rob Bishop February 2012

    The customer is always right." How many times have you said this to your staff - or when you were the customer, felt this yourself?

  • Blog: Get Hearts Pumping on Valentine's Day

    by Mary Helen Sprecher February 2012

    Red and green? That's so six weeks ago. These days, the in colors are pink and white and red. Generally in the shape of a heart and wrapped around something chocolate.

  • Blog: Specialty Stores Have to Think Outside the Big Box

    by Mary Helen Sprecher January 2012

    I have a lot of respect for small specialty sports stores. Whether they're selling bicycles, skis, running shoes, tennis racquets or something else, they have a tough row to hoe. They have small staffs and tight budgets. They can't buy in the quantities necessary to compete with the really low prices on the Internet, and they often aren't able to offer the selection of colors and sizes found there either. Worse, they usually share their town with at least one sporting goods chain store or a big-box department store.

  • Blog: It's Past Time to Get PHIT

    by Mary Helen Sprecher December 2011

    Recently, I spent some time at the Technical Meeting of the American Sports Builders Association. It's the annual convention for those who design, build and supply materials for sports and fitness facilities. Of course, one of the points we kept returning to was this: How do we move the needle? How do we stimulate the fitness industry's economy so that Americans increase their pursuit of healthy activities and keep up the demand for good facilities?