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Getting Active Is The Key

Getting Active Is The Key

Auckland, NZ (25/08/2005) - Auckland doctor Joseph Foote is taking a novel approach to New Zealand's growing obesity problem - he's launching his own health clubs in an effort to help people to become physically active.

'There's a huge amount of evidence that getting active helps to prevent a lot of serious health conditions. Physical inactivity is killing thousands of New Zealanders every year, and obesity alone is responsible for more deaths than the road toll. A big part of the problem is that we haven't made it easy for people to get active.'

Foote, who has used traditional gyms himself for many years and studied nutrition after qualifying as a doctor, realised several years ago that ordinary gyms don't cater to the 'average' person, and that he could do something to help.

'In my medical and nutrition work, I've spoken with a lot of people who struggle to include exercise in their daily routine. A standard gym might appeal if you're already in shape, but if you haven't exercised much before or you're not in great shape, they are very intimidating. The more I thought about it, the more passionate I got about creating something different, something that works for anyone.'

The result is ActiveMen and ActiveWomen: separate men's and women's clubs with 30 minute sessions, easy-to-understand equipment, no mirrors, and an emphasis on making it easy to get active in a supportive environment. The first clubs opened this week at 106 Carlton Gore Road in Newmarket, Auckland. The company's site is

Foote says the concept of separate men's and women's facilities has seen great success overseas, but that the focus on getting active is unique - the company slogan is 'Real people getting active', and the corporate mission is to help members get more out of life.

'Other gyms push the concept of getting slim or having a sexy body. I don't think that's a helpful approach. Getting active is the key thing, and that's our number one focus with ActiveMen and ActiveWomen.'

To launch the concept, Foote has put aside clinical work and partnered with an experienced industry professional, Grant Bradley. Foote says feedback has been extremely positive, and that he is already receiving franchise enquiries.

'Everybody I speak with loves what the company stands for, and how we're doing it. It's amazed me how many people have told me that they'd love to own a club like this. People really like the fact that it's a business with a conscience, and that we're going to have a really positive impact. It's an exciting time!'


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