“National Physical Fitness & Sports Month”: a Model for all Nations,”to prevent spread of Chronic-Diseases” | by: Helen Durkin, IHRSA | Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is as relevant today as it was back in 1983 when “President Ronald Reagan” signed the very first proclamation making May the month to get moving…It matters ” even more Now “….!! 

Three decades and two generations since that initial signing, America has become entrenched in a state of technological advancement where movement has been largely engineered out of daily living…

#Sedentary-Activities, permeate our Work, Educational, and Social Lives…And as a nation, we’re feeling acutely the physical and fiscal consequences of Too-Little Exercise…!!  

Indeed, today’s #EpidemicRates of Obesity, Diabetes, and “Unbridled spending on Preventable #ChronicDiseases,” all link-back in some way to the simple fact that we just don’t move enough….!!

To fathom the “Benefits that #RegularExercise brings”, we don’t need to dig deep…After all, Regular #PhysicalActivity, is a well-established mainstay of #PrimaryPrevention….!! 

 

By primary prevention, I mean basic #LifestyleBehaviors that STOP Preventable ChronicDiseases before they Start…Specifically, the FOUR Key Pillars of Primary Prevention include :

(i) Regular Exercise

(ii) Sound Nutrition

(iii) The Avoidance of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other controlled-substances

(iv) #StressManagement – Primary prevention is so influential to health outcomes,

In-fact, that if everyone followed these Low-cost Behaviors….,at least 80 % of all #HeartDisease, #Stroke, and #Type2Diabetes—along with 40 % #Cancer — would be prevented…!!

Regular exercise, in and of itself, yields tremendous benefits….In fact, a new study just determined that #PhysicalActivity, is so important to a woman’s heart health that when a woman over 30 does not exercise, she increases her risk of heart disease even more than if she smoked, were obese, or had high blood pressure…When you consider that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and that #CoronaryHeartDisease Costs the United States $108.9 billion each year in #HealthcareServices, Medications, and Lost Productivity, you begin to realize just ” how much clout “ Exercise really carries…!!

But that’s not all…Other research suggests that exercise also may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease….This includes a new study that found that moderate physical activity reduces hippocampal atrophy in the brains of older adults who have a genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s…

According to the researchers, the hippocampus is critical for the formation of episodic memories—or more simply put, memories of past personal experiences. Now that’s important stuff, especially given the rate at which Americans are developing Alzheimer’s—one new case every 67 seconds; and that Alzheimer’s disease is now the most expensive condition in the nation…

In 2014 alone, says the Alzheimer’s Association, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid…!!

Let’s not forget the ” Preventive Power” that exercise holds over Type 2 Diabetes…That’s the type that accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases, and the type that is largely preventable….!!

In fact, research has shown that ” 30 minutes a day of moderate OR high-level physical activity is an effective and safe way to prevent Type 2 Diabetes in all populations…!! It’s worth noting, too, that the total annual costs of diagnosed diabetes is now up to an estimated $245 billion, and that we also know that exercise helps manage type 2 diabetes for the millions who already have it…

Yes. We still desperately need Physical Fitness and Sports Month as a focal-point for raising awareness of the preventive power of exercise. But we can’t stop there. We must encourage and support physically active lifestyles throughout the year..

” After all, Exercise truly is the most Cost-effective Medicine we have for Preserving Health and dodging “avoidable Chronic Diseases”…With chronic-conditions now costing $2 trillion or more in health spending each year, it really is worth breaking a sweat….!!

“Fitness on Demand” : a “service at Gym/Health-clubs” that allow members “24-hour access to High-Quality Fitness-classes” | Club Solutions

Technological advances in the Fitness, Health-Club & Leisure clubs across the landscape is evolving and adopting to the Newer #Innovative developments in this space…

This has to become an imperative integral-part of any existing OR new-developing facilities, that wants to differentiate from their competition and also provide their club-members an flexibility in utilizing the club-services at their convenience and Not being bound by a pre-scheduled time…

With this flexibility on accessing such services at their clubs as and when they find time…they will stick to their Fitness regime and continue to incorporate them into their day-to-day Lifestyle and not find reasons to skip their exercise / fitness regime..which is the core-reason for any Gym OR Health-club existence..!! and when this area of concern is addressed, you could see this directly making a positive impact and add-value to your company’s bottom-line and sustainability…

THE PROBLEM : 

Any full-service 24-hour fitness-center…In a heavily #CompetitiveMarketplace, looking to differentiate its club from the pack…should be able to offer Live #GroupFitness options, early in the morning, but lacked additional options for club-members to make these times…It is essential to offer something that would allow members to have 24-hour access to Quality Group Fitness classes while keeping cost low….that would allow members “ wanted that freeing-option to come in and choose whatever they like”…!!

THE SOLUTION :

Of the several options available in the market that could help vamp up its #FitnessOfferings, to set them apart from competitors…FOD™ seems to out-beat its peers,because it encompasses all the Clubs & Members needs : #Technologyinnovation, #ScheduleFlexibility, and something that could Sell-itself…!! 

THE RESULT :

Having Fitness On Demand™ in a Gym / Health-Club would allow it to differentiate and stay competitive in the fitness-realm… with competitors in their area Not having this technology, “It definitely has its wow factor ”…!!

Fitness On Demand™ also helps sell more memberships…“ It allows them to raise their Ticket-average because they are offering a product like Fitness On Demand™ … it really has become a great sales tool for many Clubs…Fitness On Demand™ offers FREE Marketing-tools, making it easy on Club-owners to keep current-members informed and draw in New-members..

Members now have 24-hour access to top-rated #GroupFitnessClasses…. 55 % of Fitness On Demand™ classes are played during hours that Clubs are un-able to offer ” Live Group Fitness-Classes. This allows them to serve 15-30 more members per day… Members can choose what they want, when they want it…!!

KEY TAKE-AWAYS :

  • Added flexibility and class variety to satisfy members..
  • Added flexible top-rate group fitness classes
  • A sales tool that speaks for itself
  • Available 24 Hours a day
  • Technology innovation is a competitive advantage
  • Supplement live fitness classes to decrease unoccupied studio time

“How Analytics & Big-Data” is “Changing” Soccer,Tennis,Basket-Ball,Golf & any-other “Sport’s performance” | by: Bernard Marr | API

” If there is One Area in which “Analytics & Big-Data” are literally Guaranteed to be Game-changers, it’s Sports…!!

Sports have for a long time been accompanied by a wealth of statistics – what’s different today is the amount of data and the multitude of ways that we have to analyze and interpret that data – and put it to work…

That could be to boost Performance on the Field, Decrease-Injuries and Recovery times, or simply make the game a more entertaining spectacle for the fans…!!

But the volume of data is going through the stratosphere too – every day companies, teams or individuals are coming up with ways to capture more data, and record more information about what’s happening on pitches and fields around the world…!!

This and similar projects mean that most major teams now employ data specialists, dedicated to interpreting the facts and figures and making sure their teams get the most benefit from them..

Athletes can be monitored with sensors tracking every element of their performance from their #HeartRate to their location and their routine saliva tests, and all this data analyzed to provide coaches with clues to help them spot the superstars of the future…!!

The athletes themselves can gain a better understanding of the way their own bodies act under the stress of competition, and use this to fine-tune their own preparations…

The insights will help teams better understand the factors for success and the hurdles that #EliteAthletes, will have to overcome to make it to the top of their game…Daily Workouts,Performance in Competition and Injury-rates (as well as subsequent #Rehabilitation times) can all be ” improved through the intelligence that #BigData provides”….!!

Oakland Athletic’s mission to redefine their game through Stats & #Analytics, is well known thanks to the book and film Moneyball, but that wasn’t the beginning by a long shot..

Decades earlier, in the late 1940s, a retired RAF wing commander began to make notes from his stadium seat as he watched his beloved Swindon Town play a frustratingly bad game of soccer…

What he discovered was that most goals were scored within three touches of the ball… This had not been noticed before. However when he approached the team with his findings, they were not particularly interested…

Convinced that his findings had the potential to improve the game, he approached rivals Bradford Town, who decided to refocus on their long-ball game. That season the team reversed their fortunes and avoided what many had considered an inevitable relegation to the lower leagues…

Today #Big-Data has also found a use in the boardroom politics that are part of every major televised sport in the 21 century…NBA commissioner Adam Silver told a conference that sports analytics had played a big part in ending the lockout which preceded the start of the 2012 season…

After the dispute caused by the ending of the 2005 collective bargaining agreement was settled, Silver told the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference that “ The Analytical People are More Important than the Lawyers ” in resolving the situation…!!

It’s not all about the pros though – amateur sportsmen are starting to find they can save money on personal trainers by taking advantage of the many apps available for #smart-phones designed to #monitor-performance, so it “can be Datafied, Analyzed & Improved “…

The popular #SportsTracker, for example, allows you to monitor your workout and then share that data-online, where it can be compared against that of friends…

Nike’s Golf 360 app is one of the most impressive apps for monitoring personal performance. As well as acting as a trainer with real-time advice you can upload your scores to online leader-boards and compete for the top-positions…

And standalone devices such as the Nike Fuelband, which tracks your movement and converts it into a score, prompting you to set targets and continuously increase your activity levels, are flooding onto the market…

Perhaps the biggest winners, though, are the fans. Games can be scrutinised in greater depth than ever before, thanks to the reams of statistics published on the internet…

IBM’s Slam Tracker provides point-by-point real time analytics of tennis championships, integrated with social media “sentiment” metrics, designed to allow fans to compare how a player’s performance on court is affected by their support off court..

Commentators have reams of statistics with which to entertain the audiences during slow moment, and complementing their professional patter with crowd-sourced opinion from armchair experts on Twitter is becoming standard practice…

At this point, practically no sport remains untouched by the game-changing hand of analytics and big data, and teams or athletes who ignore the advantages it brings are in danger of dropping the ball…

As always, please let me know your views….Do you think Analytics & Big-data are good for Sports ?? OR do you think they take the heart and soul out of it … ?? Please share your thoughts….!! 

“Inside the Club” : The “Importance of Core-Competency” | by: Tyler Montgomery | Club Solutions

At Club Solutions, we’ve been reading the book titled “ Traction : Get a Grip on Your Business ”….!!

In the first four-chapters. it examines #CoreValues, #OperatingSystems and How you EvaluatePeople…What chapter FOUR, teaches is that not everyone is suited for every role in your club….!!

This brings me back to an article I read not too long ago that suggested that Everyone in the Club “should be able to sell” — from Front-desk Attendants to Group X directors..

I believe the Actual point of the article was to say that “everyone should Sell the Club in their Attitude & Position”, but it took more of a literal sales tone…Traction is quick to explain that people have skills, companies have needs and certain roles must be filled….!!

Not everyone will be suited to be a CFO. For example, if I was to be promoted to the CFO of Club Solutions, there is no telling what might happen to the company…Not that I’m extremely horrible at math, but it’s not in my core-competency…!!

Additionally, “we don’t utilize our editorial team to create sales”…..They haven’t been trained to sell, and they don’t spend hours perfecting the ability. Nor do we ask our salespeople to write articles for the magazine — it’s not their Core-competency either…!!

For your company to grow and thrive, it’s vital that you have the right people in the proper seats….Don’t expect your Group X director to sell memberships…

He or she is ” Great at designing Group-X programs” that “make members want to stay and enjoy the club”…Don’t waste time teaching them to #Sell-Memberships and take away from their #CoreCompetency…!!

Additionally, with #FrontDeskStaff, they typically possess an entry-level role in the company…However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have desires or skill-sets…. At the Front-desk they should present the club with the best Foot-forward… But, they shouldn’t be asked to literally sell the club…!!

If you want front-desk staff to grow and excel at your facility, discover what they may want out of the job…Do they want to sell ? That’s a possibility….But, do they want to be a #PersonalTrainer ??  That is also a possibility…In addition, if they transition to the role of personal training, then you can help walk them through the Steps of selling Personal Training, but not typical memberships — that’s a role all in itself…!!

By designing certain roles & expectations from people in those roles, you will build a core group that can help the company succeed…

Remember, you need a Team to Grow — not just a bunch of people scrambling to do a lot of different jobs…!! 

“How Sports & Fitness, Health-Club operators” can “Maximize” their “Equipment Investment” | Resourcebeat

“One of the biggest-expenses for a Sports / #Health-club / #FitnessFacility is “Equipment”...!! Maximizing the value of that investment is key to making sure it is money well spent—for the facility operators, for the members and for the facility’s overall image”….

With just a Few Simple-steps and a few minutes spent each day, #FacilityOwners & Operators can make sure that they are getting the most out of every piece of equipment in their Sports/Health-club/Fitness-center…!! When a New piece of equipment is installed in a fitness-facility, “it is bound to generate some excitement and buzz”

But do you take the time to properly introduce everyone to the new equipment ??

“Everyone” includes the members, club staff, personal trainers, maintenance team and anyone that walks through the club’s doors…Most manufacturers will send someone from their organization, either a sales representative, service technician or master trainer, to introduce club staff to the ins and outs of the product….They should be excited to show you all of the great features of the product. Some even offer product training videos on YouTube or their own website. Make sure to ask what resources are available to you…

Plus, the more in tune your staff is with the features of a product, the better they can engage members and get them excited about the new workout options. This offers personal trainers a chance to meet more members, and it shows your members that their well-being and fitness achievements matter to you…

Safety also is a consideration….To be inviting, equipment should not be too complex. But do you really want everyone hitting “quick start” on the innovative new product you just purchased ? Teach them how to use it properly and show them the vast options available to them…Members will get better workouts, try the different programs and see better results…

Daily Check-list :

You have a daily checklist of tasks to complete when you close for the night and open in the morning, right? Does that list include simple steps such as wiping down equipment, vacuuming underneath treadmills, testing Cardio-console buttons, or checking Strength-equipment cables & upholstery ? It should.

Just a few extra seconds spent at each piece of equipment might save you money in the long run with better maintenance, improved equipment function and limited liability because you will be ahead of any issues that might arise..

Regular Check-ups:

You take your car in for service. And I hope you schedule an annual physical for yourself…So why not do the same with your fitness equipment ?

Although all manufacturers require minimum maintenance to be done to qualify for their warranties, sometimes embarking on a comprehensive preventive maintenance program can seem daunting, especially if you have a large facility or multiple facilities to maintain..

If you are not sure where to start, check the equipment owner’s manual. And if you can’t find that, check the manufacturer’s website because most manuals are housed on their service pages. You can always check with your service technician, as most offer preventive maintenance programs so that operators can focus on the business side of their club. And, of course, you can check with the sales rep who sold you the equipment.

When daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks are completed, you maintain the integrity of the club and the equipment. You limit club liability because you are ahead of issues. And the overall cost of ownership decreases because equipment repairs are done under warranty and parts are replaced before they do damage to the overall product.

Take a few extra minutes each day to inspect your equipment. It is well worth the time to protect your financial investment….

Repair vs. Replace :

Even if you are diligent about your preventive maintenance, even if your staff is keeping an eye on the equipment performance and you are up-to-date on your warranty work, all fitness equipment still has a finite lifetime. Although it varies by facility—depending on the amount of use, the condition of the equipment at the start and the overall quality of the equipment—group cycles last five to seven years, cardio equipment lasts seven to 10 years and strength equipment lasts 10 years or more…

But how do club operators know when they must stop with the preventive maintenance and repair and instead replace equipment ? It is a judgment call. Clearly, when it becomes a safety concern, it is time to replace. If you spend more time placing an out-of-order sign on equipment and more money fixing it than actually using it, it is time. If you have the money in your budget to replace it, then it is time…

A good preventive-maintenance program will provide the numbers that will tell you how much it costs to repair each piece of equipment, how often a piece needs attention and how often it takes to fix the product….!!

Keeping an eye on equipment means you can replace pieces as they need to be replaced, ensuring the club is current and members are happy. If you do a full replacement of all products at one time, keep your members in mind. Offer them an alternate club to work out in during the installation process or schedule new equipment to arrive after hours when it will not affect members…

In short, if it makes sense for your facility—for safety, member needs and your budget—replace your equipment. Then, follow the steps above to make sure that members and staff know how to get the most out of the investment…

A little knowledge will go a long way in making sure that “each equipment purchase” is “maximized to its fullest potential” for every Sports OR Health-club operator(s), providing them the best ROI…!!

“24 Hour Fitness Acquired” by “AEA Investors,Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan & Fitness Capital Partners” | Business Wire

24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. announced that AEA Investors, a leader in the #PrivateEquity industry ; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan – and one of the world’s largest ; and Fitness Capital Partners, a fund organized by Dean Bradley Osborne and Global Leisure Partners have completed their #Acquisition of the Company from Forstmann Little & Co…!!

24 Hour Fitness also announced that Mark Smith will join as Chief Executive Officer, and Frank Napolitano has been named President…!!

“ I’m honored and delighted to lead #24HourFitness – which has pioneered so many breakthroughs in the fitness industry – into the Next chapter of the Company’s success,” said Mark Smith. “I’d like to thank former owner Forstmann Little for its strategic guidance of 24 Hour Fitness through a period of solid growth, and former CEO Elizabeth Blair for her execution through the acquisition…

Our new owners are firmly committed to supporting a strong, sustainable future, and I look forward to working with “24 Hour Fitness” executives and team members whom I have come to know as a talented and intensely motivated team”….

Smith and his family will relocate from Australia, and he will take office in July. Until then, the Office of the CEO has been established and will report to the Board of Directors for 24 Hour Fitness….!!

How ever the Terms of the transaction were not disclosed….!!

“Founder of UK Retailer, Sports Direct” in talks to “buy LA Fitness Gyms in UK” | by: Graham Ruddick | Telegraph,UK

“Sports Direct, UK ” could expand into the ” Gym / Fitness Club-chain industry” after opening talks to buy up to 33 gyms from LA Fitness, UK “….The talks represent another surprise move from the founder of the retailer, which has already bought stakes this year in “House of Fraser” and “Debenhams”..

Mr Ashley is in talks to acquire the leases on the LA Fitness gyms after the troubled company was forced to dispose of sites through a company voluntary agreement. It is unclear how Mr Ashley will brand the gyms but it is understood they will be operated by Sports Direct..

It is not unusual for a sports retailer to move into the Gym / Fitness Club-chain industry. Sports Direct’s rival JD Sports opened a gym in Hull earlier this year while Dave Whelan, the founder of JJB Sports, created DW Sports Fitness Clubs.

Sports Direct is likely to use its own sports-wear brands – such as Dunlop, boxing range Everlast, and fitness brand LA Gear – extensively throughout the new gyms.

 

LA Fitness runs 80 fitness clubs, including the 33 earmarked for sale…The company is owned by banks and its management team after being forced to restructure its finances in the face of fierce competition from traditional rivals such as Fitness First and up-and-coming budget chains such as The Gym Group..

Fitness First was rescued through a £550 mil debt-for-equity swap, which saw US hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Marathon Asset Management take control from BC Partners..

Fitness First is understood to have examined the LA Fitness leases that are up for sale but wants to focus on expanding in London. The majority of the 33 sites are outside the M25. They include clubs in Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester..

If Sports Direct secures the deal then it is likely to look for more gyms to acquire. Mr Ashley has offered landlords a guarantee on the lease from Sports Direct, offering security for property companies. Sports Direct declined to comment.

The move into gyms could open a new avenue of growth for Sports Direct. Revenues and profits have been increasingly rapidly in its high street stores following the demise of main rival JJB…Shares in Sports Direct stand at 768p, more than double its float price in 2007.

However, Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, has a tempestuous relationship with the City….Shares in the company have fallen from a record high of 922p, in April after Mr Ashley sold more than £200 mil, of his stake in the retailer..

The share sale came just days after Sports Direct was forced to shelve a £70 mil, bonus for its founder due to opposition from shareholders.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said the company was “extremely disappointed by investors blocking the share award and warned that it could lead to “further uncertainty in the future ”…The company is yet to make public its intentions for the minority interests in “Debenhams” and “House of Fraser”.

Michael Sharp, the chief executive of “Debenhams”, said last month that he is talking to “Sports Direct” about placing its sports brands in “Debenhams” department stores.

“Sport Direct” owns 11 % of “House of Fraser”, with Chinese conglomerate “Sanpower” holding the remaining 89% …!!