RECENT ARTICLES
  • Functional Fitness Modular Structures Provide Variety

    by Laura Godlewski October 2015

    There's no doubt functional fitness is here to stay. From CrossFit to TRX to high- intensity interval training, more exercise programs are taking their cues from functional training, leading to an increased demand for space inside health clubs to accommodate such programming with a range of equipment that can include dumbbells, resistance bands, suspension trainers and squat racks.

  • Curves Testing New Fitness Technology Tool

    by July 2015

    Women at a Curves fitness club in North Carolina have a new personal trainer in the form of what looks like a giant cell phone.

  • Fitness Apps No Substitute for Sound Judgment

    by Angela Gosnell April 2015

    iClubs.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

    Copyright 2015 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
    All Rights Reserved
    Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

    Fitbit CEO James Park stated in an interview last month that Fitbit users with friends take an average of 27 percent more steps than users without friends.

    "There's a peer pressure and there's also a competitive aspect," he said.

    The concept is simple: Connect with friends and challenge each other.

    A little healthy competition is good for everyone, right?

    Maybe with limitations.

    In 2008, Strava emerged. The app works by tracking users' bike rides, runs and swims using GPS and then pitting them against other "Stravites" on pre-programmed segments. No need for friendships; Strava users can compete with strangers.

    The competitive urge of Strava was thrilling. I found myself seeking out specific routes to beat other athletes' times, and when someone would beat my time, I made a point to ride the segment until I was champion.

    RELATED: Trending: Fitness Technology Grows Your Bottom Line

    Then Strava came under fire in 2010 when a cyclist named Kim Flint was killed, possibly by trying to beat his time.

    Flint's family filed a lawsuit against Strava, seeking to hold the company accountable for negligence. They argued that the app encouraged dangerous behavior, failed to ensure challenges were on safe courses and failed to warn about dangerous roads.

    "The death of Kim Flint was a tragic accident and we expressed our sincere condolences," Mark Riedly, a spokesman for Strava, said in a statement.

    "But we will defend the company vigorously through the legal process ahead."

    The Flint v. Strava Inc. lawsuit addressed the dangers of unregulated online competition among users. Strava prevailed in court in 2013.

    Writer Joe Lindsey argued on Wired, "Strava didn't invent competitive urges; it merely came up with an innovative way to recognize our human imperative to improve, to win."

    In March 2012 Strava was under fire once again when a cyclist killed a pedestrian by plowing through a busy intersection, presumably in an effort to chase an online record. Then in September 2014, a similar accident took place in New York's Central Park.

    A #nostrava campaign followed on Twitter in response, but that seems like a blame-shifting campaign. Shouldn't the user bear more responsibility than the app?

    Strava and Fitbit are just two among many popular fitness apps, and more continually develop to keep us fit and healthy. Other apps such as Runkeeper, Nike Plus, Garmin Fit and Runtastic have similar concepts.

    They all have one main goal in mind - to change your behavior.

    We can track how many calories we burn and how many steps we take, but smart decisions about safety have to come from within.

    There's no app for that.


    RELATED: Does Wearable Fitness Have Legs?

     

    April 12, 2015

     

     
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  • Golf Fitness, Barre Among Offerings of New Fitness Center

    by Scott Kirk April 2015

    LexisNexis(R) logoiClubs.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

    Copyright 2015 The E.W. Scripps Company
    All Rights Reserved
    Abilene Reporter-News (Texas)
    Scott Kirk Special to the Reporter-News

    Imagine a gym where a professional golfer could see a video of his swing broken down in real time and a ballet dancer could practice on the barre.

  • Video: IHRSA 2015 Trade Show Action

    by March 2015

    Walk the IHRSA 2015 trade show floor in less than three minutes. If you were there, you might see yourself or your company’s booth (look closely). Weren't there? Hopefully this video will be just as good. 

  • Fitbit Confirms Acquisition of FitStar

    by March 2015

    Fitbit, a San Francisco-based maker of activity trackers and wearable devices, has acquired FitStar, the company announced Thursday.

  • Precor Sales Increase in Fourth Quarter, 2014

    by March 2015

    Sales for Precor, Woodinville, Wash., increased in both fourth quarter 2014 and in full-year 2014.

  • Life Fitness Adds Brunswick Billiards

    by March 2015

    Life Fitness, Rosemont, Ill., formally announced the addition of Brunswick Billiards as part of a reorganization under the umbrella of Life Fitness parent company Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, Ill.

  • AntiGravity Unites Yoga and Pilates with Aerial Acrobatics

    by Maria Howard, Special Correspondent February 2015

    AthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

    Copyright 2015 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved
    Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

    Audrey Bonafé made some big promises as she went over the basics to an entry-level AntiGravity Fitness class.

    “You are going to come out of here happier, healthier and taller,” she said.

    I haven’t been to many fitnessclasses over the years with those promises, especially the taller part.

    Bonafé explained later that those guarantees come from the creator of AntiGravity Fitness, Christopher Harrison, whose niche in aerial movement has led him to create more than 400 entertainment productions spanning Broadway, the Olympics, Disney films and the Academy Awards.

    Now he’s taking this exercise and art form and making it accessible to the average person through fitnessclasses using silk hammocks.

    Bonafé, who started her fitness career teaching Zumba dance classes and later branched into yoga, discovered AntiGravity a couple of years ago and decided to train with Harrison in New York.

    Last June, she opened Fighting Gravity Fitness on West Cary Street near Virginia Commonwealth University. It’s the first AntiGravity fitness studio in Virginia, she said. There have been facilities in the past that offered different classes using aerial silks and hammocks.

    The moves in the Anti-Gravity classes mimic those in yoga, Pilates and gymnastics.

    Bonafé loosened up the participants in the Sunday morning class that I visited by encouraging them to picture the singer P!nk at the 2010 Grammy Awards, flying in the air on a white silk hammock while singing “Glitter in the Air.”

    “Put that image in your head,” she said with a big smile.

    She also reassured participants that the hammocks hung from the ceiling would hold them, stating that the 9-by-12-foot piece of fabric would hold up to 1,000 pounds and the rigging would hold up to 2,000.

    “Trust in the fabric and trust in yourselves,” she said calmly.

    The stretching of the spine during the AntiGravity poses (some of them inverted) has proved to make people slightly taller, Bonafé said.

    For her, the attraction to this new trend was personal.

    “I had back issues,” she said. “It was only a couple of weeks (of doing AntiGravity) before my back started feeling better.”

    Sarah Anderson, a special-education teacher at Robious Middle School who attended the Sunday class, said she also suffers from back pain. Hers is related to tight hamstrings, she said.

    Anderson has been doing AntiGravity regularly for a month or so.

    “Every time I leave here, I feel relaxed and stretched,” she said, adding that she plans to buy a one-year membership.

    Bonafé gave lots of options to the class, particularly when it came to the inversions. Participants don’t have to go upside down.

    “If that bothers you, just come back into the chillax position,” Bonafé said, showing the class how to lean back into the hammock with the feet firmly on the ground.

    The entry-level class that I visited at Fighting Gravity is called AntiGravity FUNdamentals. Bonafé recommends three to four sessions of this class before attempting the more advanced class in Aerial Yoga.

    I can see why.

    The Aerial Yoga folks came in after our class was finished. Madison Williams, a VCU student who takes classes at Fighting Gravity a couple of times a week, flipped quickly into an impressive “dew drop” pose, in which she was hanging toward the floor.

    Bonafé said there are hundreds of poses, from simple stretching moves to complicated hanging positions that require a great deal of strength and flexibility.

    Beginners are apt to take pictures and laugh a lot while attempting to get into the positions, Bonafé said. “When we have private parties, people have so much fun.”

    The latest craze in the AntiGravity arena is AirBarre, an aerial dance conditioning class, which Bonafé plans to start offering this spring.

     

    February 8, 2015

     

     
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  • 2015: Year of the Virtual Race

    by David Quick January 2015

    AthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

    Copyright 2015 The Post and Courier
    All Rights Reserved
    Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

    Like it or not not, we increasingly live in a virtual world.

    First, there was virtual reality. Then virtual money and even virtual girlfriends. And now, for better or worse, virtual races, as in 5Ks and half marathons.

    Virtual races can be run (or walked, skipped or crawled) at any location, outdoors or even on a dreaded treadmill, within a certain time frame. You don t even have to drag yourself out of bed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to make the 8 a.m. start.

    OK, so maybe the idea isn t so horrible.

    Why go virtual?

    Virtual races are not new. In their present form, they started about eight years ago. Still, many are just now starting to hear about them, including yours truly.

    I think 2015 will be a year that virtual races will gain traction because of confluence of several forces and trends.

    Increasingly more people, typically sedentary people, are heeding the call of disease prevention and are getting and using fitness trackers and other wearable technology. Also, real races not only are intimidating but getting more expensive and/or more crowded. Registration for this year s Cooper River Bridge Run goes up to a whopping $55 on Jan. 15.

    Like the Bridge Run or an out-of-town half marathon, virtual races give people, such as busy moms, an opportunity to have a fitness goal for more reasonable fees, such as $25. No travel expenses. No crowds and corrals. No using a smelly portable toilet in the dark.

    In return, participants can print out a race bib, receive a T-shirt and usually a finisher s medal, and even submit their times, though that is often optional, for race results (no cheating, OK?). Many virtual races also say they support national charities.

    It is a way for people who cannot afford to travel to races to participate in something that is meaningful, says Kristy Nichols Cooper of Charleston. Most of the races have medals and many have shirts It allows runners from all over the world to connect, either for a good cause or just for the love of the sport.

    As expected, entrepreneurs have seized the opportunity and created web sites for virtual racing: Fit, Fab & Lean, Fit 4 Life and Will Run for Bling.

    Virtual running also is going beyond the virtual race. Run the Edge has a year-long virtual running challenge for people to sign up to run 2,015 miles in 2015, either solo or as teams of two or three.

    Charities draw locals

    Jennifer Hartig of Johns Island did a virtual race, the Hug a Runner 10K, on the treadmill last fall because it supported the nonprofit Girls On The Run and fit into her training schedule for the Kiawah Island Half Marathon.

    Some people ordered shirts and medals. I thought that was a bit much, says Hartig. Everyone was encouraged to post pics of themselves running. It was neat to feel part of something bigger, and for such a good cause.

    Friends Kristy Nichols Cooper and Heather Collins Varner of Charleston rallied about 50 locals to participate in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training s Run With Your Heart virtual 5K, held July 17-31, 2014.

    They created a Facebook page for the virtual run where people posted photographs of doing the race. Two posted pics doing the 5K on a stair climber. Two used the Cooper River bridge. One young man incorporated the virtual run into a real run, the Isle of Palms Beach Run 5K.

    Jennifer Tyson, a Charleston-based coach with Gaia Fit, ran a virtual race with her Walt Disney World Radio Run Team in November and is about to do another one based in Arizona.

    I loved the first and already signed up for the second. It s an easy way to connect with running friends across the country, raise money for a good cause, and earn some bling, says Tyson.

    Facebook really makes this possible. Everyone posted pics out on their run and we tallied how many total miles were run, says Tyson.

    Like it or not, the world is expanding to offer more people more choices in finding their way to a healthier life.

    Reach David Quick at 937-5516.

     

    January 6, 2015

     

     
     

     

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