Minnesota based fitness chain Life Time Fitness, with a national network of gyms in 128 locations has decided to block 24-hour cable news networks from being shown on their TV screens. Their claim is that when a customer comes into work out, they are coming in to maintain their health. Health starts in the head, in the brain and the body follows suit. The news is always negative, it portrays the bad in life and generates negative emotions that interfere with healthy living. Since we are all exposed to these negative media sources during the day, when a customer comes into our gym to work out, we want them to have an effective and beneficial experience that will add to the overall wellness of the individual. This means closing out negative thoughts.
Life Time Fitness tweeted “The decision to remove the national cable network news stations resulted from significant member feedback received over time and our commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically charged content.”
They went on to tweet “It always is our goal to meet the majority of members’ expressed requests, and we believe this change is consistent with the desires of overall membership as well as our healthy way of life philosophy.”
The gyms decision is a brave and necessary one since a lot of gym members tend to watch the TV screens on cardio workout machines and also discuss daily topics with other members. The moment tense subjects, politics, finance, and terrorism come up, tensions rise too. There is a direct impact on the cardiovascular system as well as the neuro-psychological system as well. Fitness centers are not just about physical improvement, their philosophy is around well being in general and must match all exposure points to maximize the beneficial impact of a workout.
Not all members agree with Life Time Fitness’s decision, one customer Peter Glessing, told Minnesota Star Tribune, “As someone who enjoys consuming news and politics, I’m disappointed that Life Time is limiting this option for members. I often time my workout to a particular news program I enjoy to serve as extra motivation for exercising.”
While another fitness enthusiast stated in lifetoliveit.com: “Exercise allows you to blow off your steam and to alleviate your stress and anxiety. From my personal experience, I can tell that regular cardio exercises have positive mental and attitude effects as they increase my positive thinking and optimistic feeling and they even make me see my daily tasks and obligations in a more relaxing and peaceful way.”
As in any situation involving people, there will always be more than one opinion; it will be interesting to see how Life Time Fitness proves its decision in a before and after a survey of satisfaction.