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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fitness Trends Adjust To Economic Woes

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Fitness Trends Adjust To Economic Woes

The new year is traditionally a time for resolve. For many of us, it inevitably means a renewed commitment to personal fitness. This year, Americans of all ilk and age will once again tip the scales fantastic, and walk away determined to shed those unwanted pounds predictably packed on during yet another bountiful holiday season.

This years model may look decidedly different, however, as nervous consumers and markets alike, adjust to the flattened economy. Recent trends suggest that in the coming months, many seeking to improve their personal fitness will be looking to more cost efficient methods.

Fear not, however. Options are as varied as they are many. Fitness is a personal matter. When deciding the right program for your fitness goals, there are a numbers of options you may wish to consider.

Gym Membership

In years past, the fitness industry has remained strong even during rough economic times, leading some experts to view the overall fitness industry as recession proof. Still, the number of new gym memberships have notably declined in recent months, a reflection of consumer jitters. With membership rates often costing seventy dollars per month or more, many consumers consider gym membership a luxury. Still memberships are expected to rise again for the month of January. From there, it remains to be seen how gyms, during these lean times, will flex their muscle.

Fitness Coaches & Personal Trainers

Another option you may wish to consider is a personal trainer or fitness coach. Beware! All personal trainers are not alike. Be sure you find a fitness coach who is professional and is as dedicated and enthusiastic as you are. Your training regimen should reflect your personal health and fitness needs, and at rates often beginning at fifty dollars per hour or more, you can nary afford to choose your personal trainer in haste.

Aerobic Workout & Dance Classes

For some folks, aerobic dance classes could prove to be the ultimate fitness solution. I suppose at some point, we've all watched a predictably ridiculous dance flick and wondered if perhaps, we too might someday leave it all on the dance floor. According to some industry observers, however, high-impact aerobic workouts aren't quite the rage they were not long ago. Enrollment is on the decline.

Dance classes contain about thirty students per classroom. Rates generally start around seventy dollars per class and the price only goes up from there. On second thought, the old stair-climber is looking better by the day. For now, I am content to leave the dancing to the experts.

Gym Equipment for the Home

Okay, so I'll admit the old stair-climber isn't going to be the answer to my fitness needs. The cumbersome dinosaur never saw much use when we kept it in the dining room. It has seen even less since being relegated to the back of the garage. For some consumers, home gym equipment offers the convenience of having the equipment on hand. But with consumers nervous about the future, and most home systems priced above a thousand dollars, many consumers are finding home equipment too pricy, turning instead to more traditional (and less costly) methods of exercise.

In fact, don't be surprised to find consumers returning to the basics. During rough economies, fitness regimens are more apt to include the use of free weights, jump ropes, etc. Regimens are also more likely to include jogging, hiking, swimming and other exercises requiring minimal financial investment. And why not? After all, exercising should be fun and of course, beneficial to your health. A good fitness program doesn't need to drain your bank account. And who knows? Perhaps all you really need this year is a comfortable pair of cross trainers and a little new-found willpower.

So what are you waiting for?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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