Health Clubs Seeing Increase In Memberships

by Greg Funderburg - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new year brings new faces and some old back to the gym. Despite the tough economy, many people are still dishing out as much as $50 for health club memberships, while others have thought about giving it up.

"I can't give up my membership. I would be more stressed out if I didn't work out. Working out makes me feel good about myself," said Gym Member Tabitha Rhodes.

"I am a school student and sometimes it gets hard.  I have thought about giving up my gym membership, but I am cutting corners elsewhere," said Gym Member Mynoviah Sales.

Gold's Gym Elite owners didn't expect numbers to go up as much, but they had the reverse affect.  Membership doubled back in December 2008 from the year before and January is already near record numbers.  "I think ultimately when the gas prices came down more people came back to the gym.   I think the stressful times are encouraging people to workout and relieve stress," said Gold's Gym Elite Manager Jason West.

Another local gym, Snap Fitness has seen some people leave the gym, but the numbers aren't going down.   "We have had some people call and cancel because of the money.   Despite those situations we are still seeing people signing up to join the gym.  We are still picking up new members," said Snap Fitness President Joy Solomon.

Some people say they're basically cutting back on eating out, trips to snack machines, and shopping.   They hope this will help them stay healthy.  "I can't stop exercising because it helps control my cholesterol, heartbeat, and blood pressure.  I just want to stay in shape and live a stress free life," said Gym Member Jeff Britt.