Fitness Franchises, Future of Health

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With the recent recognition of the obesity and health issues gripping the nation and the consequent explosion of interest in fitness, the fitness franchise industry experienced significant growth in 2005. The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is providing a free resource for entrepreneurial personal trainers in the Fitness Franchise Information Center (FFIC), featuring detailed information about over 40 health and fitness franchises.

With the recent recognition of the obesity and health issues gripping the nation and the consequent explosion of interest in fitness, the fitness franchise industry experienced significant growth in 2005. Since these factors continue to be widespread and people are unlikely to accept heart failure as an alternative to exercise, all signs indicate that fitness and weight-loss franchises will continue to succeed as long as Americans continue to combat their excess weight.

Accordingly, as the need for weight-loss and fitness services increases, there has been a surge in the number of personal trainers in this country. This figure can only be expected to grow as long people maintain their sedentary lifestyles and continue to put on more and more weight. Indeed, in its November 2005 Monthly Labor Review, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that overall employment for personal trainers is expected to increase 27.1% from 2004 to 2014.

Whether newly certified or with years of training experience under their belts, many of these personal trainers dream of owning their own health and fitness business. “With opportunity so ripe in a world where more and more people are gaining weight, a few fitness enthusiasts sometimes open their own gym only to fail once they face the problems associated with a new business,” says Sam Hirschberg, Director of Business Development for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). “One potentially effective way of owning your own fitness business is through a franchise. More and more people today are taking advantage of franchise opportunities as a workable way of turning their dream business into a tangible reality.” In fact, according to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 (2005), there was a 60 percent growth in the number of operating fitness franchise units in the United States and Canada from 2002 to 2004.

A study conducted by the Small Business Administration found that nearly 2 out of 3 non-franchised businesses close within the first 6 years of their existence due to failure, bankruptcy, etc. In contrast, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that fewer than 5% of franchised businesses closed on a yearly basis. Because of the risk involved in a new, independent business venture, and because franchising includes such factors as: a proven business model, brand awareness, an advertising co-op, and ongoing training and support, among others, purchasing a franchise can be an excellent investment.

Thanks to the media and the efforts of various government and health organizations, the nation is now painfully aware that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an overwhelming 30 percent of American adults age 20 and over are obese, with another 33 percent falling into the category of overweight. Seeing as two-thirds of the nation’s adult population is overweight or obese, it’s probably no surprise to discover that the diet industry is booming with its crash diets, weight-loss pills, and various other fad weight-loss programs and products. In fact, according to market research publisher Marketdata Enterprises Inc., Americans spent more than $46 billion in 2005 on diet products and programs.

In addition to the success of the diet industry, health club attendance is also on the rise. As Americans become more aware of the health problems and diseases they risk encountering as a result of being obese or overweight, healthy living, or at least an honest attempt at healthy living, is becoming a trend. According to the IHRSA/American Sports Data Health Club Trend Report, not only did the population of frequent health club attendees (100+ days of attendance) increase by 228% from 1987 to 17.4 million in 2004, but the average annual attendance per member climbed from 72 to 91 days per year. Plus, there was a nearly 5 percent increase in the health club membership, with the number of U.S. health club members rising from 39.4 million 2004 to 41.3 million in January of 2005. Increasingly, people are turning to health clubs and gyms in search of weight-loss and fitness not just to get thin, but to get healthy.

About the Fitness Franchise Information Center

The Fitness Franchise Information Center (FFIC) features detailed information about many health and fitness franchises, including franchises that specialize in women’s-only fitness, youth fitness, older adult fitness, sports fitness and more, and teaches you the fitness franchise business. We invite you to start your journey by reviewing over 40 fitness franchise at the Fitness Franchise Information Center: http://www.fitnessfranchiseinfo.com

About ISSA

Since 1988 the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) has provided certification and continuing education to over 75,000 satisfied fitness professionals. ISSA certifications are recognized worldwide. From Youth Fitness to Senior Fitness, ISSA offers 10 certification programs and dozens of continuing education courses. For more information on the ISSA, please visit: http://www.issaonline.com

To schedule an interview with a representative of ISSA, please contact:

Sabeen Sadiq

Director of Public Relations for the ISSA

Toll-free: 1-800-892-4772

International: (805) 884-8111

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