• 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.

  • 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?