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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Gyms are going gray

In the fitness world, which so often seems dominated by young, hard bodies in Spandex, an unlikely group is rapidly increasing its presence: seniors.

Industry experts say people in their golden years now represent the fastest growing segment of the health club population.

Statistics from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) show that people over age 55 account for about 17 percent of gym-goers. In 2004, there were 10.2 million health club members over 55, up from 4.9 million in 1998 and 1.8 million in 1993.

"It's a huge change," says Brooke MacInnis Correia, a spokesperson for IHRSA, based in Boston.

She says baby boomers are one of the major driving factors. As they age, they're hoping to hang onto their health — and their looks — for as long as possible.

Read more: Gyms are going gray

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