The fitness industry undoubtedly has much more room to grow, but in what directions will that growth lie? Major forces driving expansion and shaping our efforts to inspire the world to wellness through body, mind and spirit include the aging Baby Boomers, industry diversification, a growing awareness of the link between fitness and health, and the desire to control healthcare costs.
We’ve written about wellness often in this space over the past year, and with good reason. We truly believe that—in partnership with fitness—wellness, wholeness, transformation and community are essential components of healing the sickness and pain that people of all ages are experiencing in today’s world. The plight of obese and deconditioned children is of special concern. To put it mildly, it’s disconcerting to know that young kids account for some of the most dire statistics that continue to emerge from the bottomless soup of bad news boiling over the pot with each passing day. We suppose that this is a growth opportunity for us all, but who really wants this kind of opportunity? The crux of the matter is, How do we get this apparently runaway train back on track?
With these questions and concerns in mind, our editors rolled up their sleeves to bring you an issue packed with inspiration, human-connection and healing stories, business and economic realities, and tools you can use to slow things down (or speed them up, as the need may be).
An article that lays clear groundwork for the blending of fitness and wellness philosophies and practices is “Fitness and Wellness Intertwine: A Major Industry Rises” (page 36) by Shirley Archer, JD, MA. It’s the foundation piece for this issue and gives you a lucid perspective on where this diverse, multifaceted, prevention-oriented industry is headed. The article also serves as a guidepost to help you appreciate the deeper meaning of several related features planned by our editors. For instance, delve into Jeff Bensky’s article, “Making Promises We Can Keep” (page 76), to discover how the experience economy we’re all part of can steer your connections and interactions with customers. You’ll learn how simple tweaks to the experiences you deliver can forge the types of lasting relationships that will help both your business and your customers to thrive. Look to “Transforming Lives,” Kaye Kittrell’s photo essay about the awesome work that 2002 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, MS, is doing with special populations (page 71). You’ll get goose bumps (and may be moved to tears) reading how several of his clients have reclaimed their lives and independence. “My life is my work, and my work is my life,” says Isaacs, who regularly trains clients so physically damaged that, in some cases, their own doctors doubted they’d walk or even stand again. But Isaacs’ clients have repeatedly overcome such adversity. Human interaction! Inspiring each customer by creating a bond and a sense of caring . . . what meaningful, yet simple action! We all have the power within us to inspire and help others heal themselves. What a worthy, beautiful gift to share with the world.
Finally, check out our silver-anniversary timeline, “Spanning 25 Years: IDEA and Fitness Industry Milestones 1982–2007,” beginning on page 24. It’s been an amazing ride these last 25 years, and we are grateful you’ve been with us through it all. We believe we’re in for another spectacular 25! Please join us in celebrating the fantastic new voyage of wellness we’re already on and help us continue to make a difference.
Yours in good health,
Kathie and Peter Davis