• Rob & Barry: We Couldn't Care More About Our Members

    by Rob Bishop September 2012

    Imagine that you've just tested your pool water and found it to be - the actual numbers are irrelevant to the story - just fine. A member approaches you 10 minutes later, still in her bathing suit, dripping water on your shoes, and says, "The pH in the pool is high." You say, "I just checked it and it seemed fine, but I'm happy to look into it," even though you'd rather say, "Really? You must be a human chemical testing kit, because the water is actually perfect!" At that moment, would you rather be in the fitness business, or on a beach someplace?

  • Blog: NRPA Comes Up with Another Winning Initiative

    by Mary Helen Sprecher August 2012

    Now that kids have seen plenty of Olympic athletes, and one hopes, have plenty of new role models, it's time to harness some of that energy and enthusiasm, and use it to get them to commit to physical activity.

  • Blog: Kids Triathlon Volunteers Need to Tri Harder

    by Mary Helen Sprecher August 2012

    It's not all that common for me to rant. I try not to. But I'm on a roll now.

    My niece, Charlotte, completed her first triathlon recently. She's nine. I couldn't be more proud of her. She and a group of friends from school decided to register for the local children's triathlon after a classmate's mother, an experienced triathlete, died of cancer. Her daughter, who is in Charlotte's class, had decided to do her first tri in her mom's memory. Charlotte and the other girls decided to do it, too, to support their friend. So really, I was proud even before she started.

  • Blog: Let the Whining Begin

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2012

    If there's one thing you can count on in an Olympic cycle, it's the grousing about what sports are included and what sports aren't. This time around, the popular complaint is the fact that baseball and softball are out, and in the 2016 Summer Games, golf and rugby will be in.

  • Military Veterans Find Success in Fitness Industry

    by Emily Attwood July 2012

    The boot camp workout trend is still going strong in the fitness industry, once again making the American Council on Exercise's list of fitness trends to watch in 2012. Also on the list is suspension training, the invention of a Navy SEAL in the '90s.

  • Blog: Five Sure-to-Stump-You Cancellation Challenges

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein June 2012

    Ever seen "What Would You Do?" on ABC? Using a hidden camera, they show how ordinary people respond when put on the spot in ethically challenging situations. Here's the health club version - and all the scenarios described are 100 percent real:

  • Blog: Get Yer Erse Tae Th' Haggis Hurl

    by Mary Helen Sprecher June 2012

    I don't know what it's like where you are, but here in Baltimore, warm weather brings a sudden bloom of ethnic festivals: Polish, Latino, Ukrainian, Italian, Russian, you name it. And while such festivals are a nice diversion, they generally don't represent a sports or fitness opportunity - at least not for those who come to be spectators. Last I checked, funnel cake, which seems to be required by law in order to have a festival, doesn't fall into the category of health food. And there's not much cardio involved in going from vendor to vendor to do souvenir shopping.

  • Blog: How to Get Ridiculously Fit

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2012

    The other day at the gym, I ran into a friend who had just returned from a trip to the pet superstore. He was laughing hysterically because he'd stumbled across a fancy new dog toy masquerading as a piece of fitness equipment.

  • Blog: Pulling Weeds Could Lead to Pumping Iron

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2012

    We all spend time trying to encourage people to get off the couch and get outside. Sometimes, though, I forget that some of the best ways to start that process are by using the facilities that are right in our own back yards.

  • 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.