RECENT ARTICLES
  • Study: Lack of Exercise, Not Over-Eating Behind Obesity

    by Rexford Sheild, Athletic Business Intern July 2014

    As our country's obesity problem has gained more attention in recent years, many have looked to identify the root of the problem. A recent 20-year study conducted by Stanford University revealed that obesity is not due primarily to over-eating but rather a decline in exercise, which leads to increases in average body mass index (BMI). Categories examined by lead author Uri Ladabaum and his colleagues include: obesity, waistline obesity, physical activity and calorie intake. 

    "Our findings do not support the popular notion that the increase of obesity in the United States can be attributed primarily to sustained increase over time in the average daily caloric intake of Americans," said Ladabaum, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford. "We found a significant association between the level of leisure-time physical activity, but not daily caloric intake, and the increases in BMI and waist circumference."

    In 1994, only 19.1 percent of women admitted to not having any physical activity in their lifestyle, but by 2010, 51.7 percent for women reported that they did not work out. Men only produced 11.4 percent of those who didn't work out in 1994, but saw an increase in 2010 to 43.5 percent. BMI has increased 0.37 percent per year for women and 0.27 percent for men. The researchers found this was the case for both normal-weight and overweight women, while only for overweight men.

    Racial groups hit hardest by lack of exercise are African-American and Mexican-American women, according to the study. 

  • Tuesday Takedown: Witnessing a Health Club's Rebirth

    by Dennis Van Milligen June 2014

    It is safe to say that necessity is the mother of reinvention these days in the health club industry. The rise of in-home fitness options and low-priced health clubs are certainly factors in fitness chains reinventing themselves and how they attract/retain members, but for the Midtown Athletic Club, neither played a role in its $1 million renovation this year. Rather, it was an industry trend driving its new approach and layout.

  • Overcoming Gym Membership Retention Challenges

    by Dennis Van Milligen May 2014

    The rise of lower-priced clubs have put greater pressure on gym owners to create an environment that keeps members happy while also empowering them to feel confident that their gym membership investment is well worth it. Ultimately, though, they may lose those members to lower-priced alternatives, writing off the member loss as simply a financial decision. The reality is that the warning signs were there; they just failed to see what was right in front of them.

  • Study: Concessions at Youth Baseball Encourage Obesity

    by May 2014

    A new study published in Childhood Obesity earlier this month suggests that youth baseball may actually do more to promote obesity than curb it.

    The study, conducted by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, found that youth baseball players between the ages of eight and 11 years old at a North Carolina youth baseball complex consumed high-calorie food items 72 percent of the time and drank  sugar-sweetened beverages 53 percent of the time. Ninety percent of food consumed was purchased from concession stands.

    Some of the most commonly consumed foods: French fries, candy and cookies. 

    As a result, children involved in youth baseball could be consuming more calories than they burn off playing baseball, which leaves them at risk for weight-management and obesity problems. 

    “Though youth sports are an excellent way to promote physical activity, social interaction and positive health behaviors, the food environments are often characterized by less healthy food options with high-calorie contents and lower nutrient density,” senior author Joseph Skelton, MD, MS, said in a press release.

    According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 18 percent of children between the ages of six and 11 were considered obese in 2012 — up from only seven percent in 1980. Obesity can put children at risk for many immediate and long-term health effects.

    With these risks in mind, the Wake Forest Baptist study called for parents to play a more active role in ensuring young athletes receive the proper diet at the ballpark.

    “Parents should plan ahead for these busy times and even advocate in their local sports leagues for policies that address snacks and drinks,” co-author Megan Irby, MS, said.

  • Blog: Does Wearable Fitness Have Legs?

    by Rob Bishop & Barry Klein April 2014

    Wearable fitness tracking technology is the future!

    Such excitement was so early-2014. We saw articles in The Wall Street Journal that described how corporate CEOs were big users of wearables and how they were competing against each other to see who could sleep better or walk more. BusinessWeek ran a story earlier this year that discussed the possibility — the likelihood? — of wearables putting gyms out of business. The New York Times ran a piece two weeks ago today about how wearables were being used in gyms.

  • Specialized Gym Owner Spreads Exercise-Is-Medicine Mindset

    by Paul Steinbach April 2014

    Leave it to a Ph.D. in neuroscience to think big. In February 2012, Becky Farley opened what she says is still the world's only community center dedicated to physically training people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Last July, Parkinson Wellness Recovery — or PWR!Gym, as its known in its hometown Tucson, Ariz., and beyond — doubled in size to 6,000 square feet. But those expanded walls have done little to limit the imagination of Farley, who sees her exercise-is-medicine mindset spreading into North American communities' YMCAs and Jewish Community Centers — anywhere with space and trainers willing to challenge patients to strive for, in her words, "bigger, faster movement." Senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Farley, who says she has a waiting list of people seeking license to open their own PWR!Gyms, to share her grand vision. 

  • Blog: Wine at the Gym? I’ll Drink to That

    by Emily Attwood April 2014

    Cardio equipment? Check. Towel service? Check. Group exercise schedule? Check. Liquor license? Pending.

  • News and Notes From the IHRSA 2014 Trade Show Floor

    by Michael Gaio March 2014

    There’s nothing like attending a good trade show, especially in the fitness industry. The equipment, the innovation, the music, the energy, the people… Whether it’s our show or IHRSA, I consider attending these shows to be one of the perks of my job.

  • Police Call for More Security After Fight at LA Fitness

    by Nick Daniels March 2014

    When police responded to a large fight Sunday at a Minneapolis LA Fitness, it wasn’t the first time they had been called to respond to an incident there this year — or even the second time.

  • Blog: Let Them Eat Cake, If They So Choose

    by Emily Attwood February 2014

    On Tuesday, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of the fourth anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” program. Many of them are a great step forward in the battle against childhood obesity and inactivity, including an expansion of the school breakfast program and a five-year partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide 5 million children with healthy snacks and physical activity opportunities after school.