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24/7 Fitness clubs offer obesity solution
The annual cost of obesity to the Australian economy was $25 billion in 2005, a that figure has almost certainly risen in the past three years, according to a diabetes prevention group. As Diabetes Australia spokesman, Ian White, says, it will take generations to control the problem of obesity in Australia.
As White explains "you are looking at time spans of 10, 15, perhaps 20 years (to control the problem)."
Jacinta McDonell-Jimenez of Anytime Fitness Australia/New Zealand believe even that timeframe may be optimistic. Pointing to a recent survey conducted by NSW Schools that found that 25% of boys and 23.3% of girls aged between five and 16 are clinically overweight or obese,
Aware that the two most common excuses for adults not exercising frequently are cost and lack of time, she believes that the exponential growth of a new type of health club (smaller gyms which cost less but are open 24 hours a day to meet the busy schedules of their members), Jacinta believes that Anytime Fitness can help combat the trend.
As Jacinta explains, "our goal is to open 350 clubs in Australia and New Zealand within the next five years."
The largest 'co-ed' fitness club franchise in the world with nearly 1,000 clubs now open, including two already open in Australia and 20 more scheduled to open in 2009, Jacinta, along with her brother Justin McDonell, are the master franchisee`s for Anytime Fitness in Australia and New Zealand.
She adds "we recognised that this business model was fulfilling an important need in the United States. We want to do the same thing here."
The need being met is clean, safe and relatively inexpensive fitness clubs, featuring top-of-the-line equipment, located in medium and small-sized communities that donât have a lot of other fitness options.
Justin McDonell concludes "our clubs are friendly and non-intimidating ... we cater to people who are looking for a nice, neighborhood fitness club, but who don't necessarily want to hang around the gym because they simply don't have the time."
The popularity of smaller, community-based fitness clubs is undeniable. The Anytime Fitness club in Gunnedah (population 7,000) signed up over 200 members within two weeks of opening. And franchisees have purchased the rights to open 20 additional Anytime Fitness clubs in Australia since July 2008.
More clubs are opening in the coming months in Sydney City, Muswellbrook (NSW), Belmont (NSW), Braybrook (VIC), Mandurah (WA) Campbelltown (NSW) and at an Adelaide site yet to be determined .
For additional information contact Anytime Fitness Australia/New Zealand on 1300 766 202, www.anytimefitness.com.au
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