In Brief

  • New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) launched an election-themed exercise campaign in August called Voterobics 2008, designed to draw attention to the connections between the presidency, exercise and the overall health of the U.S. population. The exercises in Voterobics 2008 include Balance the Budget (balancing on a wobble board), GOP — Grand Old Push-Ups (push-ups off of a step), Voter TKO (practicing boxing techniques on punching mitts with Obama and McCain masks attached to them) and Right Wing-Left Wing (performing an ab plank on a ball or mat while tapping your feet out to the left and right). Voterobics 2008 will be offered through the presidential election on Nov. 4.

  • Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto, along with his wife, Lynne, presented two checks, one for $2 million and one for $2.4 million, during the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon on behalf of Augie's Quest, a research initiative to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Augie's Quest has raised $15.8 million since its inception.

  • Two Lubbock, TX, fitness club owners have been charged with fraud by the Texas state attorney general's office for selling more than 800 memberships to Extreme Fitness and never opening the gym, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Shon and Desiree Perez collected more than $40,000 in pre-sale membership fees and dues, according to court documents, and used the money for purchases at liquor stores, bars and restaurants, as well as payments on personal loans and to buy a membership at a local country club.

  • Senior Housing Properties Trust recently acquired four health and wellness centers operated by Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, for $100 million. Life Time entered into a long-term lease agreement to continue operating the fitness centers and will pay $9.1 million in rent annually, plus fixed increases during the 20-year lease term. The four centers, totaling 458,146 square feet, are located in Romeoville, IL; Allen, TX; Alpharetta, GA; and Omaha, NE.

  • Anytime Fitness, Hastings, MN, has secured a franchising deal that could result in up to 350 new clubs in Australia and New Zealand within the next five years. Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez, a brother and sister franchisee team, plan to open their first club in Sydney later this year.

  • Curves, Waco, TX, recently announced a partnership with four-time Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John to launch a campaign to distribute one million units of the Liv Aid, a breast self-exam aid that assists women to perform breast self-exams correctly.

  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recently recognized Ben Greenfield as its Personal Trainer of the Year at the NSCA's 31st annual national conference in July. Greenfield is director of sports performance and oversees the physiology and biomechanics laboratory at Champions Sports Medicine in Spokane, WA, which offers metabolic-based weight loss, bicycle fitting, running gait analysis, swim-stroke analysis, VO2 max testing, blood lactate testing, resting metabolic rate analysis, and other procedures for weight loss and performance.

  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE) was recently invited to be a member of the NSF Joint Committee on Health Fitness Facility Standards. NSF International is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that develops standards, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety. The joint committee will be comprised of a diverse group of individuals representing stakeholders in the user, regulatory/public health, industry and medicine/health sectors. The new facility accreditation standards are being developed and will include recommendations on various components on facility design, from cleaning guidelines to court-design specifications. ACE Vice President of Operations Graham Melstrand will serve as a representative for the regulatory/public health sector.

  • Pilates on Fifth, a Pilates studio in New York, offers Pink Ribbon Pilates, a program for breast cancer survivors to help regain strength and mobility during breast cancer recovery. Katherine and Kimberly Corp, owners of the studio, developed the program after receiving their certifications as cancer exercise specialists and volunteering at Mount Sinai's Breast Health Resource Center in New York. Pilates on Fifth is an upscale, personalized fitness studio featuring mind/body fitness instruction.

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