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Blog: Bridal Boot Camps Should Spur a Fitness Honeymoon

Boot camp programs need no introduction. They're one of the most popular fitness regimens out there. And as a result, there are a lot of variations that are marketed to specific populations - college students, people trying to get a jump on the New Year - you name it.

One of the latest is Bridal Boot Camp. It harnesses the power of the typical boot camp program along with the powerful desire of many women to get in shape in time for their big day. And yes, there are trainers who have reality TV shows about it. But let's not go there; I'm not a fan of that kind of entertainment, and honestly, I think it's putting too much stress on the fact that weddings have become a multi-bazillion-dollar industry.

What's essential is that this is a concept that could help promote longtime fitness. Pre-wedding workouts (for men and women) can make people aware of how good it feels to get in shape and stay that way. And it doesn't have to be boot camp-style programs, either. Those who want to get in shape can turn to whatever routines they find appealing - cardio workouts, strength training, swimming, yoga, group exercise, or playing in league sports like tennis or basketball.

Ever looked at a bridal magazine? About 80 percent of it is devoted to attire, meaning dresses and tuxedos and stuff. The rest of it has information about (in descending order of content) honeymoon destinations, table furnishings and appliances. In other words, the emphasis is on the day itself, not on what comes afterward. No wonder too many people work on getting in shape for the big day and not for long-term health in the years that follow.

Maybe one of the professional associations - IHRSA, for example - will consider running some kind of advertising in some of the more popular wedding magazines. The focus of the ad could include a way to find a club near the reader, and getting a tour and maybe a free two-week membership. Whatever it takes, really, to get someone in the door and aware of all the great things there.

Perhaps we as an industry can work together to promote programs so that even after the wedding has come and gone, the honeymoon with our health clubs never ends.

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