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Sep 1

Planet Fitness opens Houston area locations for Harvey victims – WABC-TV

Planet Fitness has opened its Houston Area gyms to all guests until next Friday, September 8, in an effort to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

No membership is needed and all facilities are available to guests, including showers, fitness equipment, massage chairs and other amenities. Non-members will need to show ID and sign-in to register as a guest.

The 16 locations participating and their hours of operation are listed below:

Planet Fitness Houston - Langham CreekHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm6960 Barker Cypress RoadHouston, TX 77084

Planet Fitness Houston - WestfieldHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm310 Cypress Creek Parkway (FM 1960)Houston, TX 77090

Planet Fitness Houston - CypressHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm13140 Louetta RoadHouston, TX 77429

Planet Fitness Houston - Fondren SouthwestHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm11187 Fondren RoadHouston, TX 77096

Planet Fitness Houston - Spring BranchHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm10116 Hammerly BlvdHouston, TX 77080

Planet Fitness Houston - SharpstownHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm8150 Southwest FreewayHouston, TX 77074

Planet Fitness Houston - SteeplechaseHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm10701 Jones Road Suite AHouston, TX 77065

Planet Fitness Houston - WebsterHours: 7:00am - 9:00pm560 El Dorado BlvdWebster, TX 77598

Planet Fitness Deer ParkHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm3601 Center StreetDeer Park, TX 77536

Planet Fitness ConroeHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm1906 N. Frazier StreetConroe, TX 77301

Planet Fitness RosenbergHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm5101 Avenue H, Suite 12Rosenberg, TX 77471

Planet Fitness KatyHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm24547 Katy FreewayKaty, TX 77494

Planet Fitness TomballHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm27830 Tomball ParkwayTomball, TX 77375

Planet Fitness HumbleHours: 6:00am - 10:00pm256 FM 1960 Bypass Road East Suite 256Humble, TX 77338

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Planet Fitness opens Houston area locations for Harvey victims - WABC-TV

Sep 1

Shawano fitness trail honors late four-star general – WBAY

SHAWANO, Wis. (WBAY) - A first-of-its-kind fitness trail in Northeast Wisconsin was dedicated Friday in Shawano in memory of a four-star general.

It's a testament of how General Robert Cone's distinguished military career inspired so many people.

Reflecting back, those who knew Bob Cone the best aren't surprised how far he climbed the ranks in the U.S. Army.

"He was a strategic thinker; he could see things far, far out into the future. And the other thing about him was he had a personality that was calm and he was not a toxic leader, so he was beloved, everyone who worked for him wanted to work for him again," says Jill Cone, General Cone's widow.

"Beyond successful. From a kid from a mill town in New Hampshire to be a four-star general, I can't tell you how the people back home are proud of him, and I know the people from Shawano are proud of him as well," adds Brad Cone, General Cone's younger brother.

In 2011, General Cone became the 201st four-star general in U.S. Army history.

"Four months after he got his fourth star and he was told they were grooming him to be in charge of the entire army, he got his diagnosis, and when they showed him his X-rays his bones were full of cancer, they said, 'You can never run again,' and that's another reason I guess this trail means so much because that was taken from him but now I can give that back to the community," says Jill Cone.

In 2014, the Cones retired in Shawano to be closer to his wife's family.

Last September, General Cone passed away at the age of 59 after a five-year battle with cancer.

After his burial at Arlington National Cemetery, donations in his honor started pouring in -- and kept coming.

"When you're in the Army, the soldiers, most of them are under 25, he worked with kids his whole life, and so I wanted to make a difference for the youth in the community," says Jill Cone.

The result is a one-mile paved fitness trail, similar to those found on army bases, thanks to $200,000 raised in General Cone's honor.

"I'm feeling more emotional than I thought I would, thinking of all the people from our past that contributed to make this possible," says Jill Cone.

The General Cone Memorial Fitness Trail is located next to Hope Community Church in Shawano. It's open to everyone, and trail users can park in the church parking lot.

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Shawano fitness trail honors late four-star general - WBAY

Sep 1

I took a stab at sword fitness and lived to tell the painful tale –




Living in New York City today, there are a lot of weird ways to work out. You can do yoga in a pool, throw a few hatchets or pretend to be a drummer for an hour. You can also pick up a sword and instantly be transported to a Game of Thrones-like era.

As soon as I stepped foot into Sword Class NYC, I had a flashback to one of the best days of my middle school years: my first-ever trip to Medieval Times. Burly men in fancy costumes, gleaming swords brandished with exquisite brutality and the best ribs a chubby middle schooler could ever want.

But today, instead of gorging on ribs I was preparing to suit up for "battle" in nearly 80 pounds of armor.

My opponent? A 6-foot 5-inch human sequoia, a Navy vet and police officer. George was a gentle giant on the sidelines, but once the flag had been lowered, he was a beast.

Luckily, in this arena, it's not a fight to the death. The first person to lay a knee or palm on the ground loses. But oddly, my saving grace was that my helmet slightly blocked my vision.

I couldn't really see my opponent charging at me. I couldn't really see him winding up his arm. I couldn't really see his thorny mace swinging through the air.

That's me, making my descent to the ground.

But I could definitely feel its brute force, and certainly hear its arrival as it landed on my head. Or maybe that was the sound of the air being knocked out of my body.

I tried to stay on my feet, but with a helmet that stifled my breathing and footwear that seemed like concrete blocks, it was hard to stay up. In other words, Sword Class NYC is a great workout. You're lifting, pulling, squatting, pushing, running, jumping and in my case, falling.

The helmet was difficult to see out of ... which helped to subdue my fears.

I thought my Beyonc spin classes were grueling, but they don't compare to George and his mace.

I got knocked down and went back for round two. I got knocked down and went back for round three. After withstanding several hits, I leapt to my feet and swung my axe over George's head, behind his neck. This forced his whole body forward, and I fell back, bringing us both the ground.

"Is it over yet?"

So I didn't win the round, but neither did he. A draw? I'll take it!

After what I went through, I think I've more than earned some ribs.

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I took a stab at sword fitness and lived to tell the painful tale -

Sep 1

Deciding the President’s Mental Fitness – New York Times

Those of us who are concerned about the effects of his unpresidential and sometimes frightening behavior must turn to other branches of government, such as Congress and the courts, to curb his influence.


The writer is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

To the Editor:

I vehemently object to the opinion of Peter D. Kramer and Sally L. Satel, built on the flawed assumption that authoritative, well-documented opinions by psychologists and psychiatrists could be distorted by the temptation to misuse diagnosis for partisan purposes.

They refer only to President Trumps narcissism. After studying him intently the past two years, I am not alone in concluding that his problems extend far beyond mere narcissism. I know far more about Mr. Trumps observable words and actions than those of patients I have seen for hundreds of hours.

Many do not understand that the president quite literally can launch nuclear missiles in under five minutes, with not one person or group having the power to intervene. Rather than being gagged by the Goldwater Rule, for psychiatrists the ethical violation is in remaining silent, not in speaking out.


The writer is a clinical psychologist.

To the Editor:

Peter D. Kramer and Sally L. Satel marshal potent arguments against a bill introduced by Democratic members of Congress that would create a commission, filled with psychiatrists and other physicians, to determine the presidents fitness for office. Such a bill would be dangerous and divisive for the Democratic Party. Dangerous, because such a blunt instrument could easily be turned against its originators at a later time and for lesser reason. Divisive, because, as the writers point out, it is easy for a presidents supporters to view its use as elitist and anti-democratic.

Indeed, it is just such overreach on the part of some Democrats that alienates me, a lifelong Democrat.


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Deciding the President's Mental Fitness - New York Times

Aug 31

Samsung Gear Sport Takes on Fitbit and Apple in One Device – WIRED

You have to credit Samsung for its chutzpah. The company's tried every way it can think of to make its smartwatches happen, refining its line of Gear products year after year. Still, not even the latest Gear S3one of the best smartwatches on the marketwas enough to put Samsung in the conversation with Apple on the smartwatch side, or Fitbit on the fitness side.

Now, Samsung's hoping to take on both Fitbit and Apple by introducing the only device you ever need on your wrist. Ahead of the IFA trade show, the company announced the Gear Sport, a durable smartwatch that's just as powerful as your average fitness tracker and way better looking. Samsung also announced a new version of its ugly Gear Fit fitness band, and an upgraded pair of its Gear IconX wireless earbuds. The buds might be worth a look, since they can track your workouts, store music, and chart your workout progress without the aid of your phone. Still, of the three, the Gear Sport has the best chance to really matter.

For starters, the Gear Sport looks a whole lot better than the other options on the market, including the hideous new Fitbit Ionic. Samsung gave it a round display and a slightly squared-off bezel, creating a rugged, Casio G-Shock kind of vibe. It's compatible with any 20mm watch band, so you can dress it up or down as you pleaseand it'll go four days between charges. You can tap on the 1.2-inch display to take calls, chat with Bixby, or control your smart-home devices. It also tracks workouts, plays music, and lets you go to Starbucks without your phone. At 11.6mm thick, it's still a hefty watch, but not unreasonably soa Rolex Daytona measures 11.2mm. It's lighter, smaller, and slicker than the Gear S3, which was already among the best-looking smartwatches you could buy.

It's not just a watch, though. The Gear Sport is a supercharged fitness device with improved heart-rate monitoring, automated activity tracking, and a family of apps to seamlessly store all your data and serve up recommendations, thanks to a partnership with Under Armour. It can go into the pool without breaking, and track your swimming in the process with the Speedo app. Samsung also worked with Spotify to allow you to download playlists to the watch (at least until you fill the 4 gig capacity), which gives it a big edge over the Apple Watch. It's not nearly the fitness beast Fitbit launched, which tracks your breathing and oxygen consumption and all sorts of other crazy things, but Samsung's offering a lot of the same features in a much more attractive package.

If we're talking Gear Sport versus Apple Watch, the divide is simple: The Apple Watch works on Apple devices, and the Gear Sport works on Android. Sure, the Gear Sport technically supports iOS, just like the Gear S3. But you can't do much of anything with a Gear Sport and an iPhone. (Which is fine! Buy an Apple Watch, ya goober.) For Androiders, the Gear Sport fills in nicely.

The Gear Sport's wildcard, as always, lies within its Tizen operating system. It doesn't have as many apps as Android Wear or Apple's WatchOS, and using a Gear Sport means swapping Google Assistant for Bixby, which definitely qualifies as a downgrade. Still, Tizen has become dramatically more usable over the years, and at least holds its own when it comes to fitness and notifications. It's even better if you use other Samsung devices, but works fine across the Android universe.

As of now, three different smartwatches line the top of the market. The Apple Watch is winning, and the Fitbit Ionic hopes it can win over people who care more about fitness than style. Samsung's betting that a lot of Android users are looking for something that looks like a watch and works like a Fitbit. That's what it made.

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Samsung Gear Sport Takes on Fitbit and Apple in One Device - WIRED

Aug 31

Tom Cruise is heading back into the ‘Danger Zone’: ‘Top Gun 2’ is on track for 2019 – Men’s Fitness

It's finally time to return to the Danger Zone.

The sequel to the 1980s classic Top Gun, known as the film that rocketed Tom Cruise to superstardom (not to mention some highly suggestive volleyball), is currently on track for a 2019 release with the title Top Gun: Maverick, reports Screen Rant.

While there were rumors that production would have to be delayed due to Cruise's broken ankle suffered on the set of Mission: Impossible 6, so far there haven't been any changes. The movie is slated to film next year, as previously scheduled.

Maverickhas been in development in some shape or form for years, but this time it looks like the gears are finally turning. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the film, and Paramount recently hired writer Eric Warren Singer to rewrite the script, with Joseph Kosinksi (Oblivion) directing, per IMDB.

Unfortunately, further details about the film are scarce. We can only hope it features more Kenny Loggins.

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Tom Cruise is heading back into the 'Danger Zone': 'Top Gun 2' is on track for 2019 - Men's Fitness

Aug 31

Hy-Vee to partner with Wahlburgers Restaurants, Orangetheory Fitness – Quad City Times

As the retail landscape changes, Hy-Vee plans to partner with Wahlburgers restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness, in a move the grocery chain says reinforces its "longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer service."

Hy-Vee Chairman, President and CEO Randy Edeker announced the strategic partnerships Wednesday.

The grocery store chain plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburger restaurants, nearly doubling that brand's locations. It also plans to put Orangetheory Fitness outlets in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores.

These unprecedented collaborations reinforce our companys longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer experience, said Edeker, in a news release. However, they also represent a bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers lifestyles and spending habits. These partnerships keep us on the leading edge as the retail grocery industry evolves.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery spending trends began to shift in 2014, and last year, more meals were eaten outside the home than were consumed at home. Millennials spend 44 percent of their food dollars annually on eating out, according to the Food Institutes analysis of the USDA food expenditure data from 2014. Income spent in restaurants and on take-out meals has risen from 34 percent in 1974 to 50 percent in 2014.

There is a changing landscape in the retail industry, Edeker said. Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company. With this type of progressive action, Hy-Vee is well positioned for future growth.

Wahlburgers is a family-friendly burger chain that operates 17 locations in nine states and Canada. Its owners include Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. Mark Wahlberg already has a partnership with Hy-Vee, which sells its his Performance Inspired Nutrition line.

Hy-Vee plans to franchise the 26 Wahlburger units in seven Midwestern states, with its first franchise opening in West Des Moines in mid-2018.

Orangetheory Fitness, an intensive group training workout center, operates 750 studios nationwide, and plans to open an additional 1,500 in the next two years. The first Hy-Vee partnered center will open this year in the Twin Cities.

In addition to placing the studios in or near its stores, Hy-Vee dietitians will offer fitness center members dietetic services, along with samples of nutritional products and store tours that showcase products that meet Orangetheory Fitness customers' needs. The partnership bolsters Hy-Vees focus on health and wellness, company officials said, which currently includes in-store dietitians, HealthMarkets, chefs, fresh and organic produce and pharmacies.

Like our members, we know that many Hy-Vee customers are looking for more convenient ways to access fitness and healthy eating options in one location this partnership solves that need," said Orangetheory Fitness Chief Brand Officer Kevin Keith, in a news release.

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Hy-Vee to partner with Wahlburgers Restaurants, Orangetheory Fitness - Quad City Times

Aug 31

Hyatt’s Wellness Program Is Going to the Next Level With Fitness Brand Exhale Spa – Fortune

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts acquired Exhale Spa, a boutique fitness and spa brand, for an undisclosed amount. Exhale has grown from one studio in 2003 to 29 boutiques in 11 markets across the U.S. today.

This is Hyatts second acquisition in the wellness space. In January, it acquired Miraval Group, a wellness resort and spa company, for $215 million. Both deals are part of a larger strategy to invest in what Hyatt CEO refers to as adjacent spaces.

If youre not familiar with the wellness industry, the appetite for workout studios and fitness classes has exploded in the last few years. And a lot of the interest has come from private equity firms. Remember when Great Hill Partners acquired YogaWorks for about $45 million? Or when L Catterton bought stakes in fitness chain Pure Barre and rival FlyWheel/FlyBarre Sports?

I spoke with Exhale CEO Annbeth Eschbach back in January, and even she called the boutique fitness space saturated and confusing.

Fitness boutiques like Exhale have erupted in popularity. The boutique fitness industry industry was valued between $6 billion and $7 billion in 2015 and expected to more than double by 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Let me illustrate this by naming a few fitness brands just in the super-niche world of barre (a ballet-inspired workout): Pure Barre, Bar Method, FlyBarre, Physique 57, Barre3, The Barre Code, Cardio Barre, Pop Physique, and Xtend Barre. And these are not just one-off random little studios. These have multiple locations in the U.S. or abroad. Theres 74% more barre inventory than there was a year ago in our market, Eschbach said.

And then came the tech disruptors, which vowed to sort the clutter. Classpass, which has raised approximately $154 million in venture funding from investors including GV and General Catalyst, created a universal gym membership model by partnering with studios across the country to offer a significantly lower price for consumers. Fort Fitness developed an on-demand video platform that live-streams workout classes from across the globe.

And Exhale was one of the first fitness companies to partner with both ClassPass and Fort even though they threatened to cannibalize Eschbachs business. Eschbach said earlier this year:

Im currently studying the hotel industry and the way it got disrupted. Today, we sit here, and we are watching these forces at work. You cannot deny them, you cant just sit around and wait for them to blow up. You need to embrace them, understand them, and figure out how to leverage them in a way that doesnt hurt and take over your brand. [Read the full story here.]

I followed up with Eschbach yesterday following the acquisition to get a better understanding of why she decided to sell the company and what this means for the future of Exhale. It will operate as a standalone entity within Hyatts wellness category, and Eschbach will continue in her role as CEO and president.

The Exhale experience is not bound by bricks and mortar and defined set space requirements, she said. Similarly, Hyatt's novel vision is to engage with travelers beyond traditional hotel stays and that means we are part of a revolutionary path forward.

Its not just Hyatt. Other hotel companies, including giants like Marriott, are investing heavily in lifestyle brands in order retain old customers and attract new ones (read: millennials) who have flocked to Airbnb. But will these acquisitions be enough?

Hyatt's Wellness Program Is Going to the Next Level With Fitness Brand Exhale Spa - Fortune

Aug 31

Moody’s Gets Pumped About Planet Fitness, Upgrades Outlook – Benzinga

Related PLNT A Peek Into The Markets: U.S. Stock Futures Drop Ahead Of Macy's, Kohl's Earnings 10 Stocks To Watch For August 10, 2017 Avis Budget Scores Relative Strength Rating Upgrade; Hits Key Threshold (Investor's Business Daily)

Moody's Investors Services, the notable credit rating agency, boosted their ratings outlook on Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE: PLNT)'s debt due to the company's strong operating performance and an improving financial profile.

Moody's upgraded Planet Fitness' debt rating from Stable to Positive while simultaneously boosting their Probability of Default Rating (PDR) for the company from B2-PD to B1-PD. In addition, the company's Speculative Grade Liquidity rating was boosted from SGL-2 to SGL-1.

Planet Fitness' B1 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and B1 rating on its Secured Bank Credit Facilities remain unchanged.

Moody's justified its outlook based on expectations for Planet Fitness to see strong EBITDA and cash flow from operations growth. Of particular note, the company's free cash flow-to-debt rose above 8 percent. Moreover, Moody's analysis suggests that Planet Fitness will generate about $85 million in free cash flow for the full year 2017, which will grow to $100 million in 2018.

"Planet Fitness is poised to experience another year of strong earnings growth as its franchise based business model allows it to have new club openings that outpace the market which we believe will drive further market share gains and strengthen credit metrics and cash flow," stated Maggie Taylor, a senior vice president with Moody's.

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Why The Selloff In Planet Fitness Is Disconnected From Strong Fundamentals_______Image Credit: By Anthony92931 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Moody's Gets Pumped About Planet Fitness, Upgrades Outlook - Benzinga

Aug 29

Westminster offering yoga, fitness classes – New Castle News

Community members can get fit this fall by participating in yoga and cardio fitness classes offered by Westminster College.

The Fall Fitness Classes will be held in three four-week sessions between Aug. 29 and Nov. 16 in the Old 77 Dance Studio and cost $25 for four classes or $7 per individual class.

Hatha Yoga classes, taught by instructor Lori Allen, will be held Tuesdays from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. The first four-week session class will be held Aug. 29 to Sept. 19. The second session will run from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17, and the third session will be held from Oct. 24 to Nov. 14.

Instructor Michael Gordon will teach Cardio Strength Blast classes on Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. The first four-week session class will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 21. The second session will run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 19, and the third session will be held from Oct. 26 to Nov. 16.

Story continues below video

Gordon, who also works as the Health and Fitness Coordinator at Challenges, Options in Aging in New Castle, said he looks forward to returning to Westminster each fall to teach the Cardio Strength Blast class.

Its a combination of cardio and strength training workouts that allows the participants to try something new and get a variety of exercises in, Gordon said. Im excited to get classes started.

No pre-registration is required. Participants can pay for the classes by cash or check.

For more information, contact Jessica Shelenberger at (724) 946-7353 or

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Westminster offering yoga, fitness classes - New Castle News

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