This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
TALKBACK katie barnes • assistant editor • health club management
everyone’s talking about . . .
Exercise is good for us, but overdoing things in the gym can be harmful. Should clubs intervene when
a member is doing too much, or should the individual take responsibility for their own health?
sually the problem is exercisers will have eating disorders rules really the answer, or is this just
getting people into the such as bulimia or anorexia. When taking us one step closer to becoming
gym. However, getting combined, under-eating and over- a nanny-state industry?
carried away with fi tness exercising can be potentially dangerous: Not only that, but spotting someone
can be detrimental to our health. bones, heart muscle and kidney function who’s obsessed with fi tness might not
Short periods of intense exercising, can all be seriously damaged, and the be easy – especially if they hide their
particularly after months of inactivity, harm can be long-term or even fatal. addiction, only going to a gym for part
can cause injuries, while excessive That’s why the UK eating disorder of the time and exercising in secret
exercising can also weaken the immune charity, Beat, recently called for elsewhere. So what warning signs
system as the body is using all of its fi tness centres to “acknowledge their should operators look out for?
energy to work out, leaving little responsibility for the health of their Then there’s the diffi culty of
power to fi ght off disease. customers” and help people who do a approaching someone about such
There’s nothing wrong with dangerous amount of exercise. a sensitive subject. How should an
exercising a few hours a day to keep At present there are no industry operator go about tackling this? Do
fi t, yet over-exercising is also linked to guidelines dealing with compulsive staff have the right to intervene and,
people with eating disorders. Doctors exercisers, although Beat has been more importantly, should health clubs
say that 75 per cent of compulsive in talks with the FIA. But are written even be accountable in the fi rst place?
susan ringwood mario pederzolli
chief executive • beat managing director • fitrooms
here are clear behaviours to
look out for, including someone “T
he fitness industry already
has policies and safe working
who continues to exercise even when practices to deal with this issue. This
injured or ill, signs up for every session includes giving members advice on the
or several gyms, has dropped out of frequency, intensity, duration and type
team sports to exercise alone, or of exercise most appropriate to their
becomes agitated or panicky if they can’t current level of physical health.
work out. Gyms should also realise that That said, a client has the responsibility
it’s not just about being underweight: to follow that advice. In extreme cases
anorexia nervosa only makes up 10 per cent of eating disorders. of overtraining, I agree we have a duty to highlight associated
Other sufferers are likely to be of normal weight. risks and intervene where appropriate. However, the fitness
While females aged 12–25 are most at risk, eating disorders industry cannot be held ultimately responsible for an individual’s
can affect anyone at any age. Men are more likely to use exercise actions, particularly if they’ve chosen not to follow advice. It’s
to control their body shape and size than to diet excessively. also incorrect to assume that compulsive exercisers train in one
Gym members already complete health questionnaires. We’d place. They may exercise alone or in more than one gym to avoid
like to see extra questions such as: Do you continue to exercise attracting the attention of others, including trainers and gym staff.
when you know you’re ill? Do you exercise to compensate Specific questions on compulsive exercise are not necessary:
for eating too much? Do you feel very anxious if you don’t well-written pre-screening questionnaires and inductions
exercise when planned? If people answer yes to two or more, it already enable members to highlight all relevant aspects of
would be good practice to ask for a GP’s approval to exercise, their lifestyle and physical condition. Terms and conditions
as is the case with other medical conditions. We’d also like of membership should also ensure that the member has a
to see training for fitness staff in identifying the early signs of responsibility to inform the club of any condition that may be
compulsive exercising and in giving appropriate support.

detrimental to his/her health.

28 Read Health Club Management online july 2009 © cybertrek 2009
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
Produced with Yudu -