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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Now is the Time to Hit the Gym!

During the week of May 3-9, 2010, join health clubs across the nation in celebrating the 7th annual Get Active America! health initiative promoted by The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).  This year's theme is "Take Back Your Health" and it plays an instrumental role in IHRSA's grassroots project, "Campaign for a Healthier America."  The goal, as outlined by Joe Moore, IHRSA President & CEO in his written address to IHRSA members, is "to make healthy lifestyles a priority, and a possibility, for all Americans."

What can you expect from the Get Active America! program?

  •  May 3-6, 2010:  Participating health facilities will invite club members to bring a friend, co-worker, or family member to exercise with them.
  • May 7-9, 2010:  Participating health clubs across America will open their doors to the public, free of charge, so that citizens can learn how to adopt a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
Why is an initiative like Get Active America! needed?
    • Two-thirds of American adults are currently overweight or obese.  Physical inactivity is one of the main contributors to this epidemic.  The current health state of Americans is probably not a result of a lack of awareness of the risks associated with sedentary living, but a lack of knowledge as to the best way to go about increasing daily activity.
    • Only 16% of Americans currently have a membership at a health and fitness club.  These facilities are an excellent venue to get more active.  In addition to providing various forms of aerobic and strength training equipment and classes, quality health clubs can offer personal programs with fitness professionals who can help you devise an exercise plan that meets your individual needs and goals.  Furthermore, the social atmosphere that these facilities can help with motivation and improve adherence to a healthy and fit lifestyle.
    Points to consider when looking for a health club to join:
      • Does the facility provide a variety of endurance and weight training equipment to meet your fitness needs?
      • Are there qualified and credentialed fitness professionals on staff and are they readily available to answer questions and assist with exercises?
      • Does the club offer personal training as part of membership services?
      • Does the club provide classes and programs geared toward your age group and/or fitness condition and medical history?
      • Are fitness assessments available and are they conducted by experienced and credentialed employees?
      • Does the facility have a protocol that can be put into place in the event of a medical emergency?
      • Will special needs, such as physical limitations, be addressed to promote ease of use of facility amenities?
      • Ensure that you read and fully understand the membership contract and the policies of the health center before signing the contract.
      If you have been contemplating acquiring a gym membership, now is the time for you to take advantage of next week's Get Active America! health initiative by IHRSA.  To find a participating club in your area, visit

      Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

      The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association "Take Back Your Health: Feel Better. Look Better. Live Better. Program Guide, 2010.

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