Gyms and clubs aid local fitness goalsWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing the right fitness center is critical to achieving personal goals, according to industry experts.
The fitness centers and health clubs in the Toledo area offer a wide variety of facilities and programs for men and women.
Convenience is important, said Gregg Schwartz, a certified personal trainer who operates American Mobile Fitness. Make sure the facility is one that is close to home or work with hours and class times that fit your schedule, he said. Schwartz writes a health and fitness column for Toledo Free Press.
Urban Active Fitness is opening a new facility in Maumee on Feb. 7 with a grand opening sneak preview party for members and the community. The event begins at 9 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m., and ends at 7 p.m.
New members joining that day will avoid paying the regular $199 enrollment fee and save more than $300 on monthly dues with the special grand opening promotion.
The 46,000-square-foot facility includes an indoor swimming pool, elevated track, racquetball courts and cardiovascular areas with 110 pieces of the latest equipment with personalized flat-screen TVs, movie cinema, sauna, tanning equipment, locker rooms and a smoothie bar. It also provides a supervised children’s playroom with computers, movie viewing and an infant area.
“Urban Active’s mission is to create active communities by offering the latest in fitness and wellness programs that takes the concept of ‘health club’ to the next level,” said Sean Phillips, area manager for Urban Active.
The chain, owned by Global Fitness Holdings, has operated a full-service fitness center in Toledo since February 2008.
“We’re not experiencing any downturn but are seeing a positive increase in the Toledo market,” Phillips said. “We only planned to have one facility there but are adding the second location due to the local response.”
There are several franchises in the area with Bally Total Fitness, Power House Gym, Curves for Women and Lifestyles for Ladies Only, among others. Curves has numerous locations in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, all operating as individually owned franchises.
“We’re getting a lot of interest now as people are trying to get back in the groove with their health and weight,” said Miriam Jueckstock, owner of Curves on Laskey Road.
Curves began offering free weight-management classes in January at all Toledo area locations. It has annual and monthly membership plans with a current special for 50 percent off and a free month, Jueckstock said.
Two of the Curves centers in Toledo, one near Miracle Mile and another in Point Place, are now Curves Smart facilities that offer the latest electronic program. The program provides a precision-designed system of workouts with instant feedback and progress reports to help clients achieve their weight management goals, according to Jueckstock.
The 21st Century Fitness Centers have served the Toledo area since 1972. There are three locations at Alexis and Telegraph in the former North Towne Square mall, another on Monroe Street in Sylvania and the newest center at Reynolds Road and Dorr Street.
The grand opening of the new super fitness center was scheduled for January, according to Ron Hemelgarn, owner and president of 21st Century Fitness Centers in Toledo.
“We are the largest, most affordable fitness centers with the most equipment in the area,” Hemelgarn said. The monthly membership fee is $19.95.
For those thinking customization, personal training studios specialize in one-on-one instruction with a certified personal trainer. Trainers can customize an exercise program for individuals without membership fees or contracts. Clients pay for each training session based on their customized fitness programs, Schwartz said.
“We make in-home personal training affordable and available to the general public,” Schwartz said.
There are also private athletic and sports clubs that offer a wide range of programs and equipment with swimming pools and basketball, racquetball and tennis courts for their members. The St. James Club and Wildwood Athletic Club are local examples.
Wildwood Athletic Club offers its members a fitness, sports and social experience with degreed and certified personal trainers. It is owned and operated by ProMedica Health System.
The Toledo Club in Downtown offers its members a full-service fitness center, running track, swimming pool, indoor squash courts and locker rooms. Many members take advantage of those facilities on a regular basis, according to club officials.
Another privately owned business, Torio Health Club, has operated at the same location in West Toledo since 1957. Its founder, Dick Torio, continues to manage the business at age 79.
Torio doesn’t try to compete with the new clubs or offer special deals. More than 8,000 people have trained at his private club over the years.
“We’re the exception of health clubs. It’s for people who don’t like crowds and want a quiet place to work out,” Torio said. “I keep it open for many members who have been with us for 25 years or more.”