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Entries in Generation X (2)


U.S. Health Club Membership Reached High of 55.3 Million in 2015

Membership in U.S. health clubs reached an all-time high of 55.3 million in 2015, representing an annual growth rate of 3.3% over the past three years, according to the newly released IHRSA 2016 Health Club Consumer Report

The annual publication, which is based on a nationwide sample of more than 32,000 interviews, also found that another 9.1 million non-members exercised at clubs in 2015, bringing the total number of Americans utilizing health clubs to 64.4 million—also a record high. 

Exercise Habits of Millennials, Generation X and Boomers 

Health club usage and activity preferences vary widely across generational groups, a finding which club operators can consider in strategic positioning and program development.

Generation X is more likely to utilize resistance machines and treadmills, while Millennials are more likely to participate in yoga and cross-training programs. Boomers are more inclined to engage in Tai Chi and aquatic exercise. 

“As the Consumer Report bears out, distinctions in activity participation impact club preferences among consumers,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “While Millennials opt for studios to engage in specific training formats, Generation X’ers are more likely to use fitness-only and multipurpose clubs for access to various training equipment.” 

About the 2016 Health Club Consumer Report 

Through several club applications, the 2016 Health Club Consumer Report guides club operators in leveraging such demographic trends in efforts to stand out from the competition. 

Owners of full-service health clubs may consider cultivating an offer that emphasizes group training and building a strong online presence in order to engage Millennials. Club operators who aim to target Boomers may not only offer relevant exercise programs, but also provide stellar in-person customer service and foster ongoing interactions with club staff.


The Birthday Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Jennifer H. McInerney

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a birthday lurking just around the corner. The older I get, the more I’m bothered by these pesky annual reminders that—despite our best efforts—there’s just no way to stop or reverse the advancement of age.

It’s kind of like the weather: you just have to deal with it. But if it’s going to rain, it’d be nice to know ahead of time so you can bring along an umbrella.

Similarly, my concern is not so much aging, as it is aging well.

For example: My paternal grandparents, who passed away within the last few years, were fit, healthy, and vibrant until their final days. They lived well into their mid-90s. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my grandfather, who was 88 at my wedding, literally swung me around the dance floor! That’s the kind of vitality I’m aiming for.

So far, I think I’m on the right track. I maintain a fitness regimen consisting of cardio, strength-training, and yoga, and a healthy diet that includes only a small daily allowance of chocolate.

But I’ve always wondered: is that enough? Is there something more I could be doing to follow in my grandparents’ healthy footsteps? As far as I’m concerned, it’s never too early to invest in one’s long-term quality of life.

You can imagine my excitement when, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to investigate the topic of “Active Aging” and interview several key authorities and baby boomer role models.

Among them was Nicholas A. DiNubile, M.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Nick,” a renowned orthopedic surgeon based in Havertown, Pennsylvania. At age 57, he’s a baby boomer himself and is credited with coining the term “Boomeritis” to encompass the inevitable wear-and-tear of our bodies’ musculature and joints over time. He’s also the author of FrameWork: Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones, and Joints.

Now, even though I fall into Generation X, I listened very carefully to everything Dr. Nick had to say about what happens to our “aging frames” as we get older, and how we can live younger than we (chronologically) are. Actually, I felt like I had a front-row seat at a VIP screening of a special sneak preview of What Happens Next.

What I came away with was this: aging well is not just about keeping up with a workout routine, consuming nutritious foods, and getting plenty of sleep. It’s about prevention, and building a strong foundation on which to grow to a thriving 100 years old. Dr. Nick recommends a balanced, comprehensive strength-training regimen that includes all of the muscles and tendons that surround and support our joints (knees, shoulders, hips, etc.) to prevent overuse, repetitive strain, and the formation of “weak links.” He suggests consulting a trainer to develop a workout that’s equal parts strength-training, flexibility, cardiovascular, and core work. And, as we age, we may have to readjust and modify our workouts to prevent minor strains and major damage—after all, a 50-year-old’s frame is not the same as a 20-year-old’s.

The more attention we pay to our bodies, and the sooner we address those niggling aches and pains before they escalate into sidelining injuries—the happier each birthday will be.

To read the original CBI feature, “Rx for Boomeritis: How to help baby boomers walk the fine line between exercise and injury,” click here.