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Health clubs a great way to get in shape

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0610_summerfun_waterdmbLooking for exercise this summer? Wake up at 5 a.m., throw your running shoes on, stretch and pound the pavement around your neighborhood. Yes, that’s right. Five o’clock in the morning.

It’s still dark out. The sound of nighttime bugs can still be heard in the dew-drenched shards of grass. Everyone is still asleep.  Doesn’t sound so appealing, does it?

But if you want to work out, you can’t afford a tread mill, and an exercise DVD with a muscle-bound trainer shouting at you from your TV screen isn’t your thing, early-morning runs are among the safest routines during the sizzling summer months in the South.
Or fight the heat and the exposure to harmful UV rays by joining a health club, said Kara Thompson Shemin, public relations coordinator with the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

“Health clubs continue to understand the need to not only provide a place to lose weight, but help you engage in the community,” Thompson said. “ … Health clubs are essentially weatherproof — whether it’s raining and sleeting or the sun is beating down on you in South Carolina.”

Health clubs also have become a one-stop shop for people looking to change their lifestyles. Thompson said many health clubs offer a 
variety of equipment, classes and professional staffers, including personal trainers, physical therapists and nutritionists.

“There is a club in Massachusetts not too far from Boston. … They’ve done a great job working with hospitals and referral programs getting doctors to prescribe exercise as part of healing process as people continue to realize good health is achievable through lifestyle and exercise programs,” Thompson said.