Don’t Believe the Media

Let History Speak for Itself

Over the past year, there has been much talk about the recession. Making matters worse, the media keeps pounding on the recession, and until they find another story to cover, the public’s anxiety will continue to take its toll on the economy. With many so-called experts piping up and the news media on a rating frenzy, it is time to set the record straight.      

As you head into springtime, it is more important than ever to analyze where you have been and where you are heading. Ask yourself a few questions while reading this article and decide if you’ve been letting the negative information hitting the airways and print media influence your decisions as a business owner. In business, even in the fitness industry, there are always ups and downs, and, no matter what people say, that’s healthy.

So, what about the fitness industry; is it in the middle of a recession? No one really knows. If you’re overreacting to the information you read in the press or on the six o’clock news, then you’re probably in the middle of a recession. What I can tell you is that history indicates that the fitness industry has remained stable during prior economic downturns. In the past fifty years or so, there have been several recessions the fitness industry has weathered. Some say the fitness industry is a recession-proof business, and they might be right.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, job losses have totaled 5.1 million, 3.3 million of which occurred in just the past five months. As of March 2009, the unemployment rate increased from 8.1 to 8.5 percent. While this information is concerning, the good news is that, despite these statistics, the fitness industry is still on the rise. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the fitness industry is growing and job opportunities are abundant. Employment in the industry is expected to increase by 27% through 2016, a figure that's greater than the average for all professions. The U.S. Department of Labor attributes this projected expansion to public concern for health and physical fitness, as well as people's willingness to spend money and time on personal and family wellbeing.

Today, every university in the country, both public and private, provides its students with world-class fitness centers. This alone propels hundreds of thousands of graduates into fitness centers every year. In addition, the aging of that vast generation of Americans – the baby boomers – will increase the number of people who have a keen recognition of the benefits of exercise on postponing the effects of aging. These factors will have an enormous impact on the U.S. health club industry.

Furthermore, every physician, health educator, health journalist, health insurer, lifestyle columnist, school, university, and major medical institution, as well as the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, etc., are advising their readers, patients, students, and clients that regular exercise is vital to a healthy and productive life.

So if you’re one of the people overreacting to the negative news, you might want to reconsider. As safe as it might feel, unwarranted belt-tightening and layoffs are bad business moves, and they are actions that your customers will surely notice. Almost all great companies that have weathered the bad times have also learned how to run extremely efficiently without affecting their customer base. Learn how to take advantage of recessionary times and remember that everything is cheaper during a downturn, including the cost of labor, supplies, advertising, equipment, and office space. The strategies you learn and practice now, when the economy is suffering, will serve you now and in the future.

Brighter days are sure to return, but until then, be proactive and don’t believe everything you read in the press or on the six o’clock news.

So there you have it, the truth without a rating frenzy.

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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