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Blog: Over-45 Fitness Program Is a WINNing Ticket

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.

I think the greatest program CA does, though, is something called When If Not Now (WINN), which is a fitness program designed for those age 45 and up. Why 45 and up? Because (as you're well aware), statistically, people in that segment of the population are less likely to begin exercising if they're currently inactive. And because it's an age at which by becoming active, it's still possible to decrease the potential for health problems down the road.

Basically, the eight-week program reaches out to those age 45-plus and coaxes them into one of CA's three fitness facilities with the goal of teaching them about healthy living through exercise. WINNers, as they're known, get meetings with a personal trainer who provides orientation to the facility's equipment and discusses available classes, programs and sports. The trainers understand their clients aren't working toward crossing the finish line of the IronMan; they're more interested in finding an exercise program that takes into account concerns like arthritis and osteoporosis. The goal of the trainers, therefore, is to help the participants choose those activities they are interested in and comfortable with, with the ultimate goal of keeping them coming back and achieving long-term health.

It's a great program, and one of the most popular the club offers. It even has its own page on the Columbia Association's website. There are highly visible, well-placed motivational posters around the athletic club featuring WINNers talking about how much fun the program is, and how many new things they've tried. Every fitness facility should be trying some version of this - it's a great way to bring in new customers and make the gym more user-friendly.

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