Joel Potter, owner/general manager of Gold's Gym in Omaha, said that health club membership, holding steady at 33.8 million nationwide, rose only 3 percent in the last year.
But for those who do commit to getting or staying in shape, Potter
said, "You can never flunk out of fitness. ...Five minutes on the treadmill is better than no minutes."
This Is Your Pilates Speaking
concurs, citing the biggest growth in fitness activities to be that of weight lifting."Of all strength training done in gyms, including free weights, 45 percent is now done by women," Potter said."And 13 percent was done by people 55 or older in 2001."Gym-goers recognize that strength training improves metabolism, appearance, even wards off osteoporosis, and it appears that women have finally learned that lifting weights will NOT make them look like Schwarzenegger.
To keep motivated, the use of personal trainers will continue to increase.
agrees, citing boredom with indoor group exercise.Individuals and fitness classes will move outside, conducting their routines in parks, on hiking trails, up mountains.And for those who do stay in the gym, machines such as rock-climbing walls will gain in popularity.Potter
said that in many ways, the fitness industry has harmed itself by making machines such as the stair climber easy to cheat on (you've seen the cheaters, leaning on the railings, buttocks protruding, barely stepping 5 inches), thereby reducing the benefits."They've even designed a treadmill with a handle in front to hold on to," Potter said."It practically drags you."