• Blog: More Young Triathletes Going the Distance

    by Mary Helen Sprecher August 2011

    As much as I love sports, and as much as I am a booster of youth sports, I'm against parents who push kids so hard to excel that they miss out on the typical experiences of growing up. We all know the horror stories surrounding parents who are convinced their kid is the next Hope Solo or Michael Phelps.

  • Blog: Reigniting the Passions of the Ex-Athlete

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2011

    A friend of mine runs a gymnastics program, and is counting the days until next summer. She knows the second that the Summer Olympic Games torch is lit in London, her phone is going to start ringing. And hers won't be the only phone, either - all over the nation, kids will be discovering new heroes and wanting to emulate them.

  • Health Club Owners New Believers in Prepackaged Group Fitness Programs

    by Rob Bishop July 2011

    Group fitness is vital to our business. We know that members who take classes come in more often, keep their memberships longer and bring us more referrals than those who don't.

  • Blog: Core Runners Exercise Their Motivational Muscle

    by Mary Helen Sprecher June 2011

    I'm a geek for trends and statistics, and I'm an even bigger geek when it comes to the health and fitness industry. So the announcement about the forthcoming release of Running USA's 2011 National Runner Survey really made me happy.

  • ACSM Issues New Guidelines on Exercise Quality, Quantity

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor June 2011

    The American College of Sports Medicine released new recommendations Tuesday regarding the quantity and quality of exercise for adults. So now when health club and fitness center staff members are asked by patrons, "How much exercise do I need?" they can respond definitively, the organization says.

  • Blog: Fitness' Secret Ingredient Is No Secret

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2011

    People are obsessed with secrets: The secret to long life, the secret to popularity and always, always, always, the secret to staying thin.

  • Blog: Serving Up Tennis that Everyone Can Play

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2011

    I refuse to be hypocritical and start out by saying that you know an exercise program has hit the big time when it appears on "The Biggest Loser." I hate reality TV - nothing and nobody can change that. So the fact that Cardio Tennis was featured on the show (and demonstrated by Anna Kournikova, no less) isn't the reason I'd give you to offer it. Really - it shouldn't take a TV appearance to convince anyone. You need only an interest in increasing the use of your courts and the knowledge that sports-specific fitness programs have been consistently popular for years.

  • Blog: Always Be Persistent, Consistent and Committed

    by James McPartland April 2011

    Achieving and sustaining a healthy and high quality of life has parallels to the requirements of building a growing and profitable business. Both involve facing daily obstacles and deterrents, and both require the support of great people to encourage you to stay on track.

  • Blog: Over-45 Fitness Program Is a WINNing Ticket

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2011

    The Columbia Association, to which I belong, does so many things right with regard to their athletic facilities and programs. They instituted that great Fitness Bingo program, and they also have classes, leagues and all kinds of other great stuff. If I let myself get carried away, I could start gushing, and that would embarrass everyone.

  • Blog: Zumba's Great - Just Not for Us

    by Rob Bishop April 2011

    We're going to come right out and say it, and then go hide behind something sturdy in anticipation of the response.