IDEA Health & Fitness Association (, reveals the latest industry research on fitness programs and equipment along with an update on childhood obesity in the latest issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.


Every year, the IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey provides valuable information and insight into how to best meet the ever-evolving needs of an increasingly diverse mix of people, including kids, older adults, pregnant women as well as people with post-rehabilitation needs. IDEA's 13th annual survey revealed a variety of emerging activities along with more familiar ones that are continuing to gain momentum.


Noteworthy observations from the 2008 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey include:


·         Outdoor boot camps were voted the exercise program with the most growth potential (cited by 72% of IDEA members who responded to the survey);

·         Personal training for youths (18 years old or younger) now is offered by 63% of respondents, kids' fitness programs are offered by 36% and classes for seniors rose from 39 to 51%;

·         Small-group personal training made a big jump to 58%, up from 44% in 2007;

·         Equipment topping the charts continues to be small and versatile; 94% of respondents said they offer resistance tubing or bands while 87% favor barbells and/or dumbbells.

·         Forty-three percent of the survey respondents said their facilities offer some kind of group-oriented social activity (including walking and/or running clubs, group trips and organized activities).


Preventing childhood obesity remains a front-and-center issue for our society and the fitness industry is responding with programs tailored to this demographic. IDEA's partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation continues to gain momentum. The Alliance was started in 2005 by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. So far, more than 1,000 IDEA members have pledged to contribute their time and expertise to improve physical activity opportunities in their communities. These efforts include group exercise at Alliance events or providing fitness services to schools, donating fitness equipment and offering discounted membership rates to staff and students enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program. These efforts are crucial steps in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic.


Other highlights from this latest issue of IFJ:


·         Men who have diabetes are significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer's based on a study published in the April 9th edition of Neurology magazine.

·         Rest may offer more benefits than massage for enhancing resistance exercise performance, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2008; 22 [2], 575-82).

·         Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a model of how states of mind, presence and interactionsalong with verbal and nonverbal communicationsshape capacities to succeed in business.

·         The steps for creating successful "StepTube" video on YouTube to showcase fitness ideas, refine techniques and reach an expanded community.

·         The American Institute for Cancer Research ( allows the public to call a toll-free hotline and leave a message for a registered dietician who will call back with an answer.

·         Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain all of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K).


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