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Guest Column - July 2010

Fitness & Exercise

Gateway to Exercise

By Scott Goudeseune


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here is no question that health and physical fitness are hot topics nationwide, as initiatives such as the First Lady's "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity and the debate over the role of a healthy lifestyle in fighting disease and curbing healthcare costs repeatedly have made headlines in recent months. With more Americans than ever before interested in exercise and physical activity, there is no better time for recreation facilities to examine their fitness offerings. How can you boost your facility's services to best meet the fitness needs of your community? The answer may be in supplementing your recreation programming and physical facilities with online resources.

Even as the economy shows signs of improving, today's consumer is still concerned with money and time. With tight budgets and increasingly hectic schedules, people are looking for ways to improve their health that are both time- and cost-efficient. One of the best ways to meet this need is to go online, where a wealth of free, easily accessible tools exist to help individuals enhance their time spent inside a facility or club and further achieve a healthy, active lifestyle. Credible sources are offering trustworthy, valuable tools online that can help your staff better connect with your guests and members, while providing a complete fitness experience that allows your patrons to maximize the benefits of your recreation programming and services.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) celebrated its 25th anniversary this year with the launch of a new "Get Fit" portal, located at www.acefitness.org/GetFit, designed to inform, inspire, educate and motivate people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. This expanded Web site provides fitness professionals, as well as health club and recreation facility managers, with resources to supplement their client services, including safe and effective exercises and workout routines, unbiased fitness reviews, health and fitness tips offering insight into the latest studies, trends and workouts, and exclusive research on fitness products and trends.

The resources found on "Get Fit" are intended to help your facility staff better serve clientele by offering a vast arsenal of health and fitness information and tools that your trainers, program leaders and group instructors can use to keep their programs and classes continually relevant, interesting and challenging. Additionally, fitness and recreation professionals can refer their members and patrons to these resources to build on the fitness experience your facility offers. Clients who engage in steps to pursue a healthier, active lifestyle at home will be more invested in their health progress, making their participation in recreation and exercise programming a continual priority.

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