The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Members' Christmas wish-lists vary

When you are young you write your Christmas gift list on a clean sheet of paper, with your favorite pen and in your best handwriting. Then you give it to your parents who then mail it to the North Pole, attention Santa Claus.

As you get older you usually are in a relationship and thus the process is much different. There can be subtle hints like leaving a catalog (or, in this age, a website) open to the item you long for with hopes someone will stumble upon it. Or you can bring it up in conversation or point it out when you see it at a store. If you feel the person buying it for you isn’t getting the hint, say something like, “I am thinking of getting this” and hopefully they will be the one purchasing it for you.

Of course, it is the thought that counts if any of these scenarios don’t work. And, you can always take any cash gifts or things you return since you “already have it” and then get your desired gift yourself.

We asked IHRSA members what they wanted for the holiday, now less than one week away. I gave them the option to tell us what they hoped for a member of their club or a family member. The requests should have been health- and fitness-related.

Take a look at what they wished for, then put your’s in our comments section at the end.

“I would like to travel to a country with unfortunate kids and engage them to sports activities that they have not experienced. Seeing them discover their talents would really make a difference in their lives.”

Karen Ann P. Acosta
Front of House Manager
Fitness First
Oasis Center, Dubai

“One health and fitness-related item on my Christmas wish list this year is the Nike Free Run 2iD sneakers. I love how lightweight these shoes are, and because of the minimalist design it helps to work the muscles of the ankle and foot, providing more of a barefoot-like experience (something I have gradually been shifting towards in my own workouts). In addition, the fact that the sneakers are completely customizable from the colors selected for the shoes and laces to the option to put a favorite word or phrase on the tongue of each shoe is an added bonus! 

“Another item on my list is the Tote Mat Holder from prAna. Being both a teacher and student of yoga, my yoga mat and I are constantly on the go, and after receiving a beautiful new Manduka Pro yoga mat last year for Christmas, I’m in need of a new way to easily transport my yoga mat to and from the yoga studio and gym since the mat bag I previously had no longer works for my new mat (my Manduka mat is a bit thicker and longer than your average yoga mat). What I love about the Tote Mat Holder is that it easily wraps around any size yoga mat, and the strap provides shoulder cushioning making it comfortable for toting, as often times I ride my bike to practice. Plus it comes in some really great prints and it’s made out of partially recycled materials, which is something I’m personally a big fan of.”

Jessica Matthews
Exercise Physiologist
American Council on Exercise

“For Christmas, the best fitness related gift I can think of is for all the people who take my group exercise classes to continue to do so in 2013. That way we can enjoy another fun, active, energetic year together! I especially wish for all the older adults in my Seniors' classes to keep on keepin' on and retain their memberships as they make my life and theirs better with every class! 

“Other than wanting to win the Anytime Fitness photo contest, I'd also LOVE the gift of Pilates sessions at the club where I teach. The club has incredible Pliates Master Trainers, whom I'd love to have train me one-on-one. " 

Fun and Fit, online blog

“For the holidays, I am hoping that my sister will win the Running Man photo contest that Anytime Fitness is sponsoring. She has had an extremely exhausting year and would love to combine her two passions: travel and fitness. For myself, I wish that my dad would see the benefits of exercise and become stronger. He just moved into an active aging community, and I'm afraid he'll focus more on the aging than on the active. I am selfish and want my dad to live longer and stronger! I also hope my mother will start walking so that she'll be in shape for a trip we are planning for the Spring. She used to do a lot of yoga, but gave it up due to the difficulty she had with the poses after a wrist break. For her, I hope she'll find a local yoga class that doesn't require her to put weight on her wrist, as she loves yoga and dislikes walking! If pressed to choose something that is specifically about me, I'd hope that 2013 will bring even more paid speaking opportunities, as my sister and I love to share our humor and fitness knowledge, especially with boom-chicka-boomers!”

Fun And Fit, online blog

“As far as fitness related tangible "things" most of my folks are hoping for heart rate monitors. We use them in our classes to amplify our workouts and to make sure we are training in the right energy zone. In spinning, we have several energy zones and our instructors design their ride profiles according to those zones. Without monitors, it can be tough for our clients to figure out if they are in the zone or not. With a monitor, they can adjust their pace or resistance to make sure they are getting the maximum benefits out of a class. 

“Non-tangible, of course - weight loss or a stronger body. I also heard that they wanted to come off some of the prescription meds they were on due to a higher weight, such as blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc. I have heard great success stories in the 8 short months we have been open. Some clients have lost over 40 pounds already with us! They also mentioned that they are training for some races – 5Ks, half marathons, etc. and need the endurance training that we provide in the colder winter months.”

Angela Amedio
Saratoga Cycling Studio
Saratoga, N.Y.

"All I want for Christmas is to be able to successfully hold a handstand!"

Front Desk/Spin Instructor
Curl Fitness
Newport Beach, CA

"I want a 6-pack!"

(Owner Becky Hartman said she wasn’t sure if she meant of beer or abs)

Curl Bar employee
Curl Fitness
Newport Beach, CA

"I want for everyone in the local community and at Curl Fitness to make a commitment to improving their overall health and wellness in 2013 and remaining consistent throughout the year!"

Becky Hartman
Curl Fitness
Newport Beach, CA

"We are doing a 'get into the shape of you life' program with a local radio station. The program lasts for 4 months and we offer a free membership and personal training throughout the program to introduce a new, more active lifestyle into the participants’ lives. We looked for 6 participants between the ages of 45-65 years, that wanted to get back into shape or into a better shape for whatever reason. We got over 100 very touching applications from people that wanted someone to help them to get off the couch. Our goal with the program is to show through real, older people, that it is never too late to start to take a better care of your self and that physical challenges are part of life, so you shouldn't stop exercising because of them but find ways to stay active despite of them.  

So we selected six of the hundred. There is one participant who has cancer and seeks for a better mental state through a more active life. Another participant saved herself from a certain back operation thanks to weight loss and exercise. Another used to spend days in bed because of his back pains. Very inspirational stories and attitudes! The show has worked great and has brought us new type of customers, people that really see a change after they come to us and start exercising. 

My wish is I hope that our industry marketers and developers remember and see even more the power we have in changing people’s lives, instead of just being a recreational service. Of course it should also be fun, but we should remember to make our services and ads approachable to all of these out of shape people that need us. And I wish that these people have the courage to just step into our clubs (even when they feel its too late or that they don't think that they 'look the part') and that we do our best in helping them when they do.  

I wish this because I have now seen, clearer than before through this program, that helping that odd looking, out of shape newcomer might just be one of the best things we've done in the whole year. After all, it might have been just the push that person needed to change their lives to the better."

Anna Rounaja
Marketing Manager
Liikuntakeskus Hukka
Oulu, Finland





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