NO PAIN, NO GAIN

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Forget the Zoloft and flush the Prozac; join a health club instead! The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) reports that the number of health clubs in the U.S. has swelled 5.1 percent to a record 17,807 facilities as of January 2002, up from 16,938 in January 2001. Even as the economy slowed during the second half of last year, 275 clubs opened their doors nationwide, suggesting the industry's ability to resist an economic recession. And why shouldn't it? A good workout seems to be just what an ailing public needs.

According to Simmons Market Research Bureau, health club members are happier and feel more empowered. Fully 71 percent of Americans with gym memberships say they are happy with their lives, compared with only 63 percent of those without a health club membership.

But those health-clubbers who do decide a life change is in order believe it's in their power to make it happen: 72 percent of gym-goers disagree with the statement, “there is little I can do to change my life,� compared with only 55 percent of nonmembers.

STOP THE INSANITY!

Gym-goers are more active members of society and more adamant about speaking their mind than those who forgo working out.

ACTIVITIES DONE IN THE PAST YEAR: HEALTH CLUB MEMBERS NON-MEMBERS
Voted 55% 43%
Volunteered for a non-political organization 31% 18%
Actively participated in a public meeting 12% 6%
Written to a company about a product 15% 9%
Written to a magazine, newspaper, TV or radio station 19% 11%
Source: Simmons Market Research Bureau
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