Health clubs can be traced back as far as the middle of the 20th century. As the health industry has grown through the 20th and 21st centuries people have become more concerned about their own general health. Greater education about the benefits of a healthy life style plus people earning higher salaries has resulted in a higher demand for clubs that will provide a service that will result in an increased level of health for the member. The first types of health clubs that were on offer were gym type facilities with only the basic facilities. A visit to a health club nowadays will provide a greater all round experience that will result with members feeling they have been pampered.
More and more health clubs are combining the visit with spa type facilities. There does not appear to be an end to how far the health clubs will go to attract visitors as this is now big business. Some health club’s belong as separate entities, some as parts of major health chains and some are part of Country clubs. The number one feature of all health clubs is the gym. This is often divided between Cardio-vascular machines and loose weights areas. The cardio-vascular area is home to machines that will maintain high heart rates for an extended period of time.
One of the largest in the United Kingdom is based at the Edinburgh University Gym. The area is home to 45 tread mills, 28 cross trainers, 19 upright bikes, 7 Adaptive Motion Trainers and 3 recumbent bikes. Each machine has personalized tv screens, internet connectivity and personalized member recognition. The area is air conditioned to give the members ideal climatic conditions. The other areas of the gym tend to be divided between loose weights and machine controlled weights. Loose weights asre more efficient for defining muscles while the machine weight are safer. Beginners tend to start on the machines before progressing onto the free weights.
The Gyms are run by the staff who are trained in these areas. Members are often not allowed to use the facilities until they have been inducted by a member of staff. They will then be given a program to follow. Some of the keener members will even hire out the instructors for personal training sessions. Other popular areas of the gyms are the “free weights” areas. This rooms can have equipment brought in so that various different classes can take place. These can include spinning classes, weights circuits or even yoga classes. Many health clubs now have their own swimming pools. These may be even indoors or outdoors, but are heated. The area around the swimming pools often includes saunas and Jacuzzis.
Massage and therapy are often another service offered by the health clubs. Sports massages have increased in popularity in the last decade and these have gone hand in hand with sports injury clinics. These areas are often hired out to self-employed masseuse and therapists who come in and provide the services for the health club members. As the Health clubs start to spread into the developing regions of the world the health clubs are adapted for those climates and different nation’s interests. For example the fitness 7 gym in Pattaya, Thailand has a full size boxing ring in a separate area, surrounded by punch bags. This is necessary because of the popularity of Muay Thai boxing throughout the nation and is a great cardiovascular workout.
The gym area is also separated between an air conditioned area and a non-air conditioned area. Both are equally superbly fitted out but the member can choose the climatic condition in which they wish to train.