Club Insider

About Eric Durak, MSc

Eric Durak, MScEric Durak, MSc

Eric Durak is President of Medical Health and Fitness and is a long-time industry educator and consultant. He is the 1999 IHRSA Institute Award Winner (with SBAC) for the Cancer Well-fit Program and has spoken at industry conferences for over 30 years.

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Previous Articles

Showing 1 - 11 of 11 Articles


"Insider Speaks"
With All Due Respect...

October 2023 - Three years ago, I wrote the first in a series of articles for the health and fitness profession relating to being a non-essential business. That article was in response to the 2020 COVID response by State and National Government officials to close what they felt were businesses that were non-essential to stop the spread of a virus. At that time, the concept of health clubs having to close their doors was a foreign concept to most club managers and owners. Over a two-year period, many health clubs struggled to keep payroll to keep workers and to keep their doors from closing permanently while members of the public stopped paying dues, stopped coming to health clubs and started doing exercise programs on their own. Read Article...

"Non-Essential" Never Again
September 2020 - Many in the health club industry are reeling as to the temporary and some permanent closings of health clubs and studios across the United States. They are blaming a virus or city/state officials who have imposed a quarantine on their livelihoods and forced some out of business. The mantra of this dystopian situation is because health clubs were classified as "non-essential" service providers by those in public health, city government and state bureaucrats early on during the national shutdown. According to those in the business, it's because government doesn't understand the power of exercise in promoting health and reducing the burden of disease. This, of course, is true, but how has it been conveyed by the profession to medicine, public health and government? Read Article...

"Non-Essential" Never Again
Part II

November 2020 - In the first part of this article series on the essential nature of the fitness industry, I discussed some of the issues that have affected the industry and those that need to be addressed regarding the concept of the importance of health clubs in the landscape of our current culture and where we could find ourselves in the very near future within healthcare. Read Article...

"Non-Essential" Never Again
Part III

January 2021 - Recent events around coronavirus will have a lingering effect on the health club industry; however, there are questions that people are asking now that need to be addressed, as the COVID-19 pandemic is, at its core, as much political as it is epidemiological. Read Article...

Cancer Wellness Programming In The Health Club
July 1996 - Read Article...

Certifications and the Future of the Fitness Industry
September 1998 - Read Article...

Health Clubs as "Experience" Centers
April 2024 - In most businesses (it should be all businesses), relationships are key to enhancing business models. The old adage that, "doing business with people you like," goes a long way to moving forward. In the health club sector, having a good "experience" is about as key to the business as any new equipment or clean bathrooms or plenty of parking. The fact that they are part of the great experience is paramount to clubs. But, it is important to understand what the current experience is and what other types of experiences may be used that will enhance the experience above that of just "renting equipment." Read Article...

The Best Way to Predict the Future of Fitness is to Understand the Future of Medicine
April 2023 - The forecasters in the fitness profession like to look into their crystal ball and detail what will be happening in the industry in the coming years. They point to technological advancements and growth in specific sectors of clubs to state where trends may be headed. They look to specific programs for seniors and new developments in strength equipment, aerobic programs and mind-body classes. All of these are integral parts of the growth and maturation of the industry. However, in order to get a sense of what the HEALTH elements of fitness may be, I want to take you where medicine is looking regarding its profession and how it will impact many industries (for good or bad), including fitness. Read Article...

The Power of Accreditation to Transform the Health Club Industry Into a Branch of the Health Care Industry
July 1998 - Read Article...

The Use of Blood Labs and their Relevance to Health Club Clinical Exercise Programs
June 2024 - The use of blood labs within the health club profession is not a new concept. In the 1980s, as the interest in high levels of cholesterol was becoming more common, health clubs used the Cholestech machine to take a finger stick of blood, and in three minutes, obtain a total cholesterol value. Read Article...

The Use or Non-Use of Masks Within the Health Club Industry
Suggestions for Best Practices in the Acute and Long-term Situation

July 2020 - A recent white paper by Minnesota exercise physiologist, Dan Zeman, piqued my interest regarding wearing masks in the health club setting. With many clubs opening, his report was interesting in that the thrust of his report stated that, when clubs open, they should be willing to let the coronavirus in as well. In discussing the coronavirus, the topic of wearing or not wearing masks became one of the seminal topics for public health vs. personal liberty. For our discussion here, I want to look at the use (or non-use) of masks within the health club setting in several areas. Read Article...

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Showing 1 - 11 of 11 Articles


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