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Health clubs expect to stay healthy

Young adults at a health club

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: So what's your resolution this New Year's? To lose all the weight you've gained since the holidays started? That's usually music to the ears of the health club industry. But will the recession mean lean times for the fighters of flab? Andrea Gardner reports.


ANDREA GARDNER: Health clubs are an $18 billion industry in the U.S. More than 40 million of us belong to a gym. January is usually a banner month for new memberships. And despite the economy, this January is likely to be no exception.

Joe Moore is with the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

JOE MOORE: We see the health club industry being very similar to the movie theater industry for instance, where movie ticket sales may pick up during an economic downturn. Because health clubs are also very recreational, and they are a form of entertainment.

Moore says historically, recessions haven't hurt the industry much. But health clubs are still being proactive, cutting costs and offering more competitive rates.

In Los Angeles, I'm Andrea Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Andrea Gardner is a journalism professor and writer in Pasadena, Calif.
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