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In an effort to strengthen the health of the nation, Gold's Gym has put together its own version of a stimulus package that is sure to generate bi-partisan support. The $22 billion "Fitness Stimulus" package is designed to empower Americans to not only improve their fitness levels, but to help improve the health of the economy as well.
The multi-pronged stimulus package focuses on three key areas: giving Americans an opportunity to work out for free, helping them assess their current fitness levels and providing them with a "how-to" guide on starting a successful exercise regimen. This approach includes $11 billion in free 7-day passes to Gold's Gym (one for every American over the age of 18), $11 billion in free health audits by a Gold's Gym personal trainer and a free exercise guide.
Every year, more than $1 trillion is spent on common diseases that could have been prevented through a healthy nutrition and exercise program. The Fitness Stimulus campaign is an effort to raise awareness for the fact that exercise can play a big part in reducing the nation's health care costs.
Ready to do your part? Here are five ways you can help make a difference:
Lead the way
Forward our free 7-day pass to friends and family to point them in a healthier direction. Then tag along when they hit the gym, and encourage them to stick with it. A Duke University study found that 77% of participants who worked out with support from a friend or counselor lost weight, while only 67% of the self-directed group slimmed down.
By the numbers
Dollars spent each year on obesity-related health-care costs. By 2030 researchers estimate this figure will exceed $957 billion.
Dollars spent each year on heart disease and stroke
Minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic activity needed to lessen the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels
Percent of adults in the U.S. who will be obese by 2030 if the current national trend toward weight-gain continues
Dollars per year an overweight person in the U.S. can save on health care by dropping 10% of their body weight
Number of Americans estimated to have diabetes who don't know it
Cost of a 7-day pass to any participating Gold's Gym location in America
Workout at work
Talk to your employer about sponsoring an exercise class at the office. Martial arts, yoga and self-defense are popular work-sponsored programs. Not only will you and your co-workers get tighter bottoms, but your employer will see a benefit too: Last year, a University of Bristol study found that employees who exercised before work or during a lunch break were happier and more productive during the day. If your company still won't pick up the tab, ask your co-workers if they'd be willing to split the price of an instructor. The more people who get involved, the lower the individual cost.
Make it a family affair
Get your kids off the couch with fun family sports, such as touch football, a Frisbee toss or a backyard sack race. On weekends, take trips to the park, pool or beach, or explore new trails on family hikes. Family exercise is a two-for-one: You get quality time together while you and your kids get your heart rates up. On rainy days, pop in a movement-based video game — and get the whole crew in on the action. The Nintendo Wii has games that mimic everything from swimming and tennis to extreme sports like snowboarding — even cheerleading. And be sure to check out Gold's Gym: Cardio Workout, our own virtual personal training game, in stores now.
Sweat in the city
Replace sit-down dinners and drinks with friends with exciting activity-based nights out on the town. Dancing, roller skating and bowling will burn way more calories than lifting an apple martini to your lips. If food can't be factored out of the equation, host a healthy potluck. Assign each friend a course featuring a low-fat, low-cal recipe from a health-focused cookbook, cooking show or magazine and serve healthier versions of your favorite cocktails. That way, you won't have to feel guilty if you don't skip dessert.
Spread the love
Each night, encourage your spouse to join you on a romantic 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood. It will give you a chance to unwind, reconnect — and walk off a bit of dinner — under the stars. On weekends, pack a picnic lunch (but skip the mayo) and walk to a park or other scenic location in your neighborhood where the sights are just as great as the company.