BOSTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced today its call to action for anyone looking to live a happier, healthier, longer life – invest in yourself; join a health club.

"Exercise is one of the best medicines we have to help keep us healthy and living longer," says Joe Moore, President and CEO of IHRSA. "During times of stress and financial uncertainty, staying healthy is of the utmost importance. In our current economy, everyone desires a high return on his or her carefully planned investment. Such a return is achievable if you invest in yourself and your health this year, and exercise at a health club. You will reap the rewards of good health, happiness both year-long, and throughout your life."

     IHRSA offers the following Ten Reasons To Join A Health Club In 2009:      1. Heal Your Mind and Body:         -- Exercise can aid in the rehabilitation of illnesses and chronic            disease, and improve your muscle strength, cardiovascular health,            reduce stress, and help ease the effects of depression and other            diseases.      2. Practice Prevention:         -- Exercise is a form of preventative medicine that research has            proven can lower the risk of many chronic diseases, improve            overall health and help stave off the effects of aging, arthritis,            cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.      3. Improve Your Work Life:         -- Studies have shown that exercise can boost employee morale,            increase productivity, minimize stress, and lead to decreased            absenteeism.         -- On average, frequent exercisers among health-club patrons were            absent from work only 2.11 days per year, compared to 3.06 days            for inactive individuals.      4. Save Money:         -- Membership is an incredible value for the cost, especially when            you consider the health benefits of exercise.         -- Exercise is a preventive medicine and is part of the answer to            health care reform. Sedentary lifestyles and their effects have            driven up the cost of health care to all time highs. In 2000,            obesity-related health care costs totaled an estimated $117            billion.         -- In a 2008 study, participants who averaged at least two health            club visits per week over 2 years incurred at least $1,252 less            in health care costs in year 2 than did those who visited on            average less than once per week.         -- Exercise may help you save on medical costs in the long run.            Obese adults who are 30 or more pounds overweight incur medical            costs that are $5,000 to $21,000 higher than those of healthy            weight individuals. Adults who are overweight by 70 pounds or            more have lifetime medical costs that are $15,000 to $29,000            more.      5. You Can Make a Difference:         -- Rates of overweight and obesity in America have never been            higher. Today, roughly 34% of adults and 16% of children are            obese. So play your part in reversing the nation's overweight            and obesity trend, and exercise.      6. Spread the Health:         -- Take the lead and be the example of healthy living and            wellness for family, friends and your community.      7. Weather the Storm:         -- Health clubs provide a safe and protective environment for            working out, no matter what the weather.      8. Better Together:         -- Health clubs are a supportive environment to meet new people,            build friendships, network, and find a workout buddy. Enlisting            the support of others can increase motivation, help develop a            sense of camaraderie and better help you achieve your health            and fitness goals.         -- Under the support and guidance of a professionally trained staff,            including certified personal trainers, you can get the most out            of your workout at a club.      9. Variety is the Spice of Life:         -- Health clubs offer more workout options in one space, than any            other facility. From machines, classes and basketball, to yoga,            personal training and racquetball, you will never run out of ways            to spice up your fitness routine at a club.      10. You Deserve It:         -- A health club membership is not a luxury; it is an investment in            your health.  

Once you make the decision to join, finding the right health club is easy, simply go to www.healthclubs.com. There, you can search IHRSA member health clubs in the United States, Canada and internationally by location or even by specific club amenities.

For more information about the studies and sources used in this press release, go to www.ihrsa.org/healthresources. For questions or comments, contact IHRSA Public Relations at pr@ihrsa.org, or call + 1-617-951-0055.

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. The association's membership includes over 9,100 clubs in 78 countries, along with over 730 industry suppliers. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports effective national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles for all Americans and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America.

SOURCE International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association

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