While most people are cognizant of the physical and psychological advantages of working out, the social benefits of exercise are also important. This is indicated by the phrases that have popped into the English language in the past two decades. It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about their workout buddies, workout partners and gym friends. This signifies the importance of the social benefits of exercise.
The Fitness Center as a Social Venue
These days, it’s not uncommon to see one to four fitness centers within a two mile radius. While one would think that it would be impossible for gyms in such close proximity to stay in business, somehow they manage to survive. If you ask any gym member why they chose one fitness center over the other, chances are he or she will tell you that it’s the members, as opposed to the equipment and facilities that attracted them to a particular business.
In some cases, the fitness center also serves as a real-life, as opposed to an online social network venue. However, until recently, some business-oriented gyms discriminated in terms of race, religion, ethnicity and gender. For example, in the 1960s, clubs such as the New York Athletic Club, did not allow membership, to women, Jews and non-whites. Back then, for better or for worse, fitness centers served a social purpose, which was to create a meeting venue for certain elite members of society. Now, because of anti-discrimination laws, even elite gyms are open to anyone who could afford the membership fee and many a business deal has been sealed at some of the most upscale fitness centers.
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