Getting off the fence and to the gym

At its core, physical fitness is as elementary as physics: A body in motion will stay in motion. A body at rest stays at rest.

For an overwhelming majority of Americans, the notion of motion is strong, but rest remains reality.

Studies by the Boston-based International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association show that 90 percent of respondents believe exercising at a health club would improve their overall health, but less than 20 percent actually belong.

“There are more people that know they need to exercise and be fit than ever before,” said Meredith Poppler, IHRSA’s vice president of industry growth. “But, as a percentage, there are just as many who put up a million excuses.”

Denice Ferko-Adams, president of Wellness Press, LLC, in Allentown, Pa. — which seeks to improve health and fitness in the workplace — says the key to pushing these “fence-sitters” into motion is a three-step process.

“Making a commitment, a fitness appointment,” Ferko-Adams said. “Just get into a new routine they are committed to. Joining a fitness club, because they’re paying for it, will increase their likelihood to stick with it. And expanding their network of active friends.”

Ferko-Adams said the group which can least afford fence-sitting are Baby Boomers.

“The bottom line is, there’s a lot of Baby Boomers out there that think they’re still young,” Ferko-Adams said. “When you get into your 50s, you really need to take some action; otherwise, your options are going to be medication or surgery. You really need to take action on your lifestyle now.”



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