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Jul 24 12

Nostphoria. Part 1

by Daniel

No. I don’t think it’s in the dictionary, but I need a better word than “nostalgia” as Fitness Management celebrates its 15th birthday. “Nostalgia” is based on Greek words akin to homesickness; I am feeling something more akin to homewellness — I am happy in the present, but I do remember the past and those who made the fitness argument as strong as it is today. Nostphoria. read more…

Jul 18 12

Diagnosing and Treating Low Morale, Part 2

by Daniel

Fault finding and complaining

Miserable people not only whine and complain a lot, but they are always looking for someone to blame for their misery. When you find the people who are doing all the blaming, you have probably found the people who are the source of the problem. read more…

Jul 18 12

Diagnosing and Treating Low Morale, Part 1

by Daniel

Employees who are “doing time” in the corporate world are familiar with Scott Adam’s Dilbert. This cartoon features the “Pointy Head Boss,” known for his complete disconnect from the concerns of employees and his resulting irrational, counterproductive plans and directives. If your employees appreciate these cartoons as not only funny, but true to life, your facility may have a case of the insidious, destructive and common workplace disease called low morale.

Some managers choose to ignore the signs and symptoms of low morale, telling themselves that it doesn’t matter, or hoping that maybe the problem will go away. Others attribute low employee morale to a few “bad apples,” figuring that getting rid of them will rid their facility of the negative attitude that seems to have settled over the club. read more…

Jul 10 12

Tracking Down a Tax Refund

by Daniel

I am expecting a tax refund but haven’t received it. Could it be lost? How do I find out? I filled out and sent in my own return.

Actually, it’s quite easy to check on the status of your return — simply telephone the IRS at 800-829-4477. But do a little preparation ahead of time, because you’ll be asked for three pieces of information: read more…

Jul 9 12

Group Exercise

by Daniel

Back in 1988, shortly after I first started working at Fitness Management, I was an avid participant of high-impact aerobics. There was a small gym down the street from our office where I was a member, and I would attend a lunch-time aerobics class that was popular among the local women. Our instructor spent a great deal of time choreographing each workout, adding onto a routine each day, until he got tired with that one, and he would start over with a new routine. One day, he was really excited that he had just gotten his hands on a copy of the newly released Michael Jackson Moonwalker video, which he announced he would play for us after our workout. But on that day, no matter how hard each of us tried, we just couldn’t get in sync to his choreographed routine. Well, this really upset him, and by mid-workout, he exclaimed, “That’s IT! We’re NOT going to see the Michael Jackson video.” Suddenly, I was 10 years old again, being yelled at by my gymnastics coach about my tumbling routine. And I realized that my aerobics instructor didn’t choreograph those workouts for my benefit; what he cared about was accomplishing his work of art. And that was the last time I went to that gym.

As Kat Ricker, a personal trainer at a Gold’s Gym in Salem, Ore., says, “things now look a lot different from the early days of high-impact aerobics, Jazzercise, pink leotards, leg warmers, terrycloth headbands and Jane Fonda” (see Group Fitness Today at
features.html). During those days, it was common to experience what I did, because quite frankly, participants didn’t know what they should expect. But today, Ricker points out that a successful group fitness program helps meet the goals of participants, provides both challenge and achievement, and provides a social outlet.

Group exercise classes have evolved far beyond “high-impact” and “step,” and the demographics are changing as well. Amanda Vogel points out in her article, Group Muscle Conditioning (p.48), that classes are providing a venue for women to take part in activities, such as strength training, in which they were too intimidated to participate before. And, with the introduction of more sport-related activities, like group cycling (pp.38 and 44), men are now participating in group exercise classes, whereas their participation previously was almost nonexistent.

But even more important than programming is the support by your staff of your members’ exercise efforts. The studies cited in Jim Annesi’s article, Reducing Attrition with Group Exercise (p.30), point out that members need to feel like they are part of a group to keep them coming back to your club. And, they need a leader to initially facilitate their involvement in the group.

Many clubs are now catching on to the importance of making members feel like they “fit in.” And it’s not just the staff who has to take a role in making group exercise programming a success.

Group fitness is a core part of each facility’s business that must be tended to from management on down. Those who realized this have seen their membership and programs grow by leaps and bounds.

For instance, CourtSouth in Knoxville, Tenn., earned $120,000 in membership sales after they launched their group fitness program; Gold’s Gym in Douglasville, Ga., experienced a 242-percent increase in its group fitness participation; and Gold’s Gym in Worcester, Mass., experienced a 33-percent decrease in cost per member served in its group fitness program in one year.

Group fitness is no longer just “aerobics”; it’s the key to keeping members motivated and coming back to your facility.

Jul 5 12

Are Physicians on your Marketing Team?

by Daniel

Fitness facilities are about to have their best opportunity ever to make physicians in their market areas active producers of new exercising members. After years of talk, physicians and exercise professionals are finally beginning to cooperate to further the health of individuals in their community. This month will mark the beginning of that new relationship for many facilities that are willing to take advantage of it. read more…

Jun 27 12

Maggie and Me, Part 2

by Daniel

And so Maggie did. She was much more lively than I had wanted. At 2, she still loved to run, as border collies do. She is not a purebred border collie — her legs are too long and her hair is too short, but she has that border collie face and the melting eyes. We met her and we loved her. All of us. Unbelievably, some family had abandoned her and she had been picked up by canine control, where she had stayed for a couple of weeks before being rescued. She lived with Lily and her family, but in the garage with other rescued dogs, for a couple of weeks. We all sensed she just wanted a real home, to be part of a family because she had so much love. read more…

Jun 27 12

Maggie and Me, Part 1

by Daniel

It’s time to write about Maggie and me. Maggie has only been a member of our family for about two months, but in that time she has stolen my heart and become the best companion. She was an unexpected gift, in a way.

Three months ago, I saw a sign in my local drugstore, with a picture of a beautiful border collie (the dogs featured in the movie, "Babe") asking for people to adopt border collies who had been "rescued" from less-than-ideal situations.

Something about that note spoke to me, even though I had vowed I would not get another dog after our family dog, Spanky, died last year from old age. Too much trouble, I thought. No freedom. The kids are soon to leave the nest, so who needs to be tied down? True, we have more than enough cats, but they are more self-sufficient, less needy. But here was this sign and this voice speaking deep inside me. I clawed through my purse until I found a scrap of paper and wrote down the name and number.

And that's how Maggie came to us. I held onto the note for a couple of days, running the idea around in my mind before mentioning it to the rest of the family. I knew my three sons would be totally enthusiastic and that my husband would probably want to pass on the idea. He had been very close to Spanky and had mourned him, but was set on no more dogs. Finally, I broached the subject.

My husband said something about my being crazy to want to take this on, but he didn't say no, and I thought I saw a tiny gleam of interest in his eyes. I called a lovely woman named Lily and told her of our interest. We met two collies, as it turned out.

The first one turned out not to be available for a couple of months or maybe ever, and we decided to wait for another dog. I had a fatalistic attitude -- if it was meant to be, and something told me that it was, another collie would come our way.

Jun 21 12

Paula’s Journal: Week Six. Part 2

by Daniel

Armand’s Reply

I am very proud of you with your exercise this week. If you could exercise like this every week, it would be ecstatic. How did you feel after doing six cardio sessions — were you more tired than usual? read more…

Jun 21 12

Paula’s Journal: Week Six. Part 1

by Daniel

Armand and Sharon!
Well I lost again! This week 1 ВЅ more pounds are gone! I hope I keep losing at this pace. I did really well with the exercise and OK with the food. read more…