RECENT ARTICLES
  • Air Force 24-Hour Fitness Test Shows Early Momentum

    by Christopher Prawdzik May 2013

    Three months into a yearlong test of 24-hour fitness facilities for the Air Force, early reception appears positive, but officials will collect data on the six test facilities through December 2013 to determine their feasibility.

  • Blog: Make Some Noise with Deaf Sports

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2013

    A few weeks ago, while playing in a self-refereed racquetball match, my friend and I had a moment where neither one of us could tell whether a shot was good.

  • Military Fitness Programs: Not Just for Soldiers

    by Christopher Prawdzik is former editor of National Guard magazine and The Officer journal. March 2013

    As prime breeding grounds for military fitness initiatives, installations worldwide also focus on thousands of civilian employees. Behind White House and other administrative encouragement, installations offer a variety of innovative programs to address civilian fitness. Even with budget concerns creating questions about the future of many programs, fitness facilities across the services continue promoting adaptable approaches that other facilities might emulate.

  • 'Baby Steps' in Diet and Exercise Help Get People Moving

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein March 2013

    You eat too much. You don't exercise enough. You're going to die ugly. How's that for uplifting lunchtime entertainment? et we keep getting asked back to speak with community groups and local employers to deliver that message. ...

  • MMA Boosts Kids' Confidence, Combats Bullying

    by Emily Attwood February 2013

    The nation is seeing an increase in fighting among kids, and their parents are encouraging it. Already boasting a strong following among high school participants, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) classes have drawn more than 3 million children under the age of 13 across the country. While pro MMA organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship have given the sport a reputation for no-holds-barred blood baths, it's also gaining acceptance as an athletic discipline, spurred in great part by its preteen participants.
    Classes do teach kids to hit, kick and grapple, at a level appropriate for their age, but they also offer many of the same benefits kids get from participating in any other sport. "It's not about fighting," says Jonathan Burke, owner of The VI Levels MMA gym in Ocoee, Fla. "It's about getting in great physical shape, improving your mental focus and discipline."
    Moreover, MMA, built in part on the principles of various martial arts disciplines, teaches kids how to defend themselves. "There's such a problem with kids being bullied these days," says Jake Brennan, an instructor at GymX in Waco, Texas. "MMA gives them that boost of confidence to know they're alright walking around school."

    The boost of confidence may do more to prevent bullying than the actual defensive skills taught. "Bullies tend to pick on people who are victims," explains Chris Conolley, owner of Spartan Fitness in Hoover, Ala. "These kids carry themselves different, they have the confidence to deal with someone messing with them."

  • Blog: 'Low-Price' Doesn't Necessarily Equal 'High-Value'

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2013

    So, who started putting the words "high value" after "low cost" when describing health clubs that we all know and love (and we hate) as the "low-cost providers"?

  • Blog: Bring In Teens with Pre-Prom Fitness Programs

    by Mary Helen Sprecher February 2013

    A friend with teenage daughters told me her girls want to start coming to the gym. Since in the past, they have been infrequent visitors at best, I was surprised.

  • Blog: Calling All Catch-Phrase Professionals!

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2013

    If there is one area of our business that we know is deficient, it is this - our catch phrases.

    They're getting better. Can you guess what we used to call our new member introductory program that provided three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist? We called it "our new member introductory program that provides three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist." We were nothing if not descriptive.

  • Despite Discomfort, We're Intrigued By Enhancement Fees

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2013

    To charge a fee, or not to charge a fee, that is the question. Enhancement fees - one-time annual charges collected from every member of a health club ...

  • Active Design Spurs People Toward Movement and Exercise

    by Andrew Cohen January 2013

    Before there was LEED, there was "sustainable design." Some architects preached it, some paid it lip service, but most everybody maintained that they practiced it to some degree ...