IDEA Health & Fitness Association Offers Tips for Staying Strong in a Weak Economy

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The Growing Popularity of Group Training and Outdoor Boot Camps Deliver Health Benefits and Strengthen Community While Maximizing Fitness Budgets in Tough Economic Times

The economy is in a foul mood these days, but if history is any indicator, the fitness and wellness industry will weather the storm by turning this challenge into an opportunity to get streamlined and step into the sunlight as a smarter, better positioned and more meaningful entity for its customers.

IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the leading membership organization of health, wellness and fitness professionals worldwide with more than 23,000 members in over 80 countries, offers tips to help fitness professionals and consumers alike stay strong during this time of economic downturn. Data gathered from the 2008 IDEA Personal Training Programs & Equipment Survey provides valuable information on how to make constrained budget dollars stretch further as evidenced by the growth in cost-effective group and partner training, outdoor boot camps and social activity clubs.

News Facts:

  •     While one-on-one training remains a staple in the fitness community, 84 percent of fitness professionals responding to this year's IDEA survey said they offer partner training in which two clients share a session. Respondents also indicated that the average cost of a personal training session is $58, so splitting this cost helps maximize investments in personal fitness.
  •     Personal training in groups of three to five clients also is on the rise, now being offered by 49 percent of respondents. Fitness professionals working at personal training gyms are leading the way in this category, as 53 percent already offer small-group classes.
  •     Many fitness clubs offer discounted or complimentary services to entice new members to join and keep beginners motivated. Respondents reported offering discounted or free fitness assessments (53 percent), goal setting (49 percent) and personal training (36 percent).
  •     Topping the charts of fitness programs with the most growth potential is outdoor boot camps as 69 percent of those surveyed felt this category will grow over the next year. On average, boot camps can cost $10 to $20 per session, providing budget-conscious consumers with an affordable and highly effective way to increase cardiovascular and functional training.
  •     The survey also revealed that activity is no longer confined to the gym as the rise in social activity groups, such as walking and running clubs, indicated. These cost-effective activities, along with group outings that help foster a fun fitness environment are expected to grow by 64 percent of those surveyed.

Supporting Resources:

  •     This year's survey gathered data from a cross-section of 926 IDEA personal trainer members. These professionals offer a variety of personal training methods, from working in personal training facilities and multipurpose health clubs to training in their and clients' homes.
  •     The respondents consist of personal trainers (80 percent), owners (12 percent), fitness directors (three percent), personal training directors (two percent), general managers (one percent) and other fitness professionals (one percent).
  •     Fitness Industry leaders will offer insights and tips at the 2009 IDEA Personal Trainer Instituteā„¢ conference in Alexandria, Virginia (February 19-22).

Supporting Quotes:
Kathie Davis, co-founder and executive director of IDEA Health & Fitness Association:

  •     "It's no coincidence that IDEA is reporting a rise in group and partner training at a time when the economy is in a downturn. Consumers are looking for ways to stretch their available dollars and working out with a partner or in a group not only makes monetary sense but provides the camaraderie and that extra motivational push that delivers better results. "

Peter Davis, co-founder and CEO of IDEA Health & Fitness Association:

  •     "The economy is in a foul mood these days, but if history is any indicator, the fitness and wellness industry will weather the storm by turning this challenge into an opportunity to get streamlined and step into the sunlight as a smarter, better positioned and more meaningful entity for its customers."
  •     "Throughout IDEA's 26 years, we've lived through enough recessions and rebounds to know that it is extremely productive to look with fresh eyes at the way you operate. What many may see as a time to hunker down may indeed be the best time for fitness professionals to engage new strategies to move their careers and businesses forward."

About IDEA Health & Fitness Association
IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world's leading membership organization of fitness and wellness professionals with more than 23,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness program directors, mind-body teachers, health club owners and fitness center managers with pertinent information, health and fitness educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership while helping them enhance the quality of life worldwide through safe, effective lifestyle and fitness programs. IDEA members interact with consumers more than 25 million times a year in the fitness marketplace. For more information on IDEA fitness and wellness conferences, publications, professional fitness education and products, member services and other activities, visit IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

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