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About Mike Alpert

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"Insider Speaks"
Augie's Quest For A Cure

August 2015 - I have known Augie Nieto for over 25 years as the Founder and Owner of Life Fitness, one of the world's largest manufacturers of Cardio and Strength equipment. When we first met, Augie was driving around in a Slugo Motor Home trying to sell his LifeCycles to Nautilus clubs. In nine months, he sold a total of eleven LifeCycles. Through years of tireless work and brilliant marketing, Life Fitness became a must-have in every good health club. Augie was on a roll, and in 1999, he sold his company to Brunswick for $325 million dollars. Read Article...

"Little Things We Take For Granted."
May 2018 - Last Saturday evening, I was privileged to attend the 8th Annual Be Perfect Foundation fundraiser in La Verne, California. The event is held to raise awareness and funds to assist people with Spinal Cord injuries and other forms of paralysis. Over 1,000 people came together for an evening of entertainment, food and dancing, and over $500,000 was raised. During the evening, several people were able to share their story and journey from active everyday lifestyle to paralysis to recovery. Read Article...

Exercise is Medicine
A Letter From Mike Alpert

September 2017 - Can you think back to a time when something dramatic changed for you? Something that defined what you really wanted to become or what you wanted to truly do that was meaningful with your life. Something so powerful that it really consumed a lot of what you focused on. For me, that happened in 1992, one year after we opened The Athletic Club of Bend in Bend, Oregon. I was watching a 5-year-old boy, Gabe West, having a great time in our indoor pool, splashing and floating with my help, so happy that he was hugging and kissing me. I saw just a little boy having fun, but others saw the impact that exercise had on him. Gabe had Spina Bifida and was confined to a wheelchair. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine During the Holiday Season
December 2017 - The Christmas Holiday Season is my very favorite time of the year. It is a time that I find myself reflecting on all the things that I have to be thankful for. One thing is for being able to be in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America and the freedom that we are so lucky to have. I also realize how lucky I am to work in the health and wellness industry and what it has meant to me over the past 27 years. What other industry allows you to have such an impact on people and their quality of life on a daily basis? Read Article...

Exercise is Medicine!
November 2017 - President John F. Kennedy famously said, "Those who look only at the past or present are certain to miss the future." The future is indeed here! The compelling importance continues to grow as to the role of active and healthy lifestyles in the prevention, treatment and management of chronic conditions that are often the result of sedentary behaviors. The science of exercise has long demonstrated the benefits of physical activity for health, cognitive function, productivity in the workplace and much more. The medical benefits of adequate activity can allow people to shape their own health destiny, and for those with chronic conditions, it can help manage, reduce or even resolve those challenges. Exercise is clearly a preventive medicine, holding the key to health, quality of life and work productivity. The current transition of medicine in recognizing the importance of exercise and lifestyle for chronic conditions and injuries is as important as other phases of major change in healthcare. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
January 2018 - If you have been reading this column, you know that we are very passionate about making all IHRSA Clubs inclusive and available to everyone. This means being welcoming and accessible to people who have physical and mental challenges. You should be in compliance with the 2010 ADA (American Disability Act) requirements that make it easy for those members to navigate through your club and to use your products and services. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will also speak volumes of your culture and character. And, guess what? It will also prove to be a very good business model. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
February 2018 - Over the years, it seems that the number of people who are affected by chronic illness has grown exponentially from when I was a kid. Back then, we never heard of Alzheimer's or Dementia. Obesity rates were so much lower, and so were the offshoots from it. Although people did die from cancer and heart disease, it certainly did not seem like it affected so many people in any community as it does today. And, back then, we ate meat and potatoes; drank whole grade D milk, had eggs several times a week and drank Coca-Cola. And, let's not forget the candy bars that every kid devoured: Baby Ruth, Snickers, Almond Joy, Butterfingers and the list goes on and on. What changed? Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
April 2018 - We all know that exercise has a powerful effect on health. Also, we all agree that we are in this industry to help people lead an independent, healthy lifestyle. And, we say that we care about our staff, the people who run our clubs and are 100% responsible for the success that we have as a business. We say that we want them to be healthy and be active. We encourage them to workout. But, do we really mean it? Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
June 2018 - When you write a monthly article for any publication, you must constantly be thinking about what your next topic will be and what you can write that will hopefully motivate and encourage people to think about how they might incorporate some of it into their own business/life. The intent is to build a following of people who are inspired to really make a difference for others. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
August 2018 - Late last year, I was able to watch a short segment that NBC News in Cleveland did on a program that was having extraordinary results with people who were struggling with Parkinson's disease. The study involved a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic by the name of Jay Alberts that he began in 2003. Jay was participating in a Ride Across America with a patient and friend of his who had moderate Parkinson's. They were riding a tandem bike, and after the first day, and in all the subsequent days, he noticed a significant improvement in his friends' Parkinson's symptoms. This led him to begin his study, which involved having patients with Parkinson's at the clinic begin riding stationary bicycles three times a week for one hour at 85 - 90 RPM. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
September 2018 - Those of you who have read these articles over the past year know that I am passionate about exercise and the profound effect that it has on overall health. You know I believe that it is the most powerful medicine we have today and that we should be moving together, as an industry, to bridge the gap that exists between fitness and health care. We not only have a societal obligation but have the precise venues and abilities to help build and nurture entire healthy communities. And, not just with the already fit members who join our clubs but also with the people who are disabled and those who struggle with chronic injuries and chronic illnesses. What if by redefining the vital role of the health and fitness professional through Exercise IS Medicine, I could show you a pathway to more members, new healthcare connections and greater success and both lower member and staff attrition? If you answered, "Yes," or even, "Maybe," please read on. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
October 2018 - Studies have shown that obesity, diabetes and lack of access to good nutrition are critical issues in need of intervention. It has also been proven that access to wellness and prevention tools in the home, school, workplace, neighborhood and community are highly effective intervention strategies. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
March 2019 - We know the powerful effect that exercise has on a variety of diseases. Typically, we focus on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but research is coming out almost weekly about the positive effect exercise has on not only the prevention but also the treatment of cancer. The best evidence we have is on breast and colon cancer, but medical research is showing drastic improvements on many different types of cancer, including prostate, stomach and pancreatic cancer. We now know that women who have breast cancer cut their chances of dying from it in half if they do moderate exercise, like a 45-minute brisk walk daily, and the recurrence of the cancer drops by more than half. And, people who have colon cancer and do moderate exercise are 50% less likely to die from it. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
April 2019 - Each year, we provide scholarships to 150 financially disadvantaged children for our summer camp programs. For my article this month, I want to share a letter that was written to my Childcare Director, Cathleen Garner, from a PE teacher at Alta Loma Junior High School... Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
May 2019 - Exercise is a very powerful tool for both the treatment and prevention of chronic disease, for mitigating the harmful effects of obesity and for lowering mortality rates. In fact, there is a linear relationship between activity level and health status. People who maintain an active and fit way of life live longer, happier lives. In contrast, physical inactivity has an astonishing array of harmful health effects. People who are sedentary and unfit very predictably begin to suffer prematurely from chronic disease and die at a younger age. This association between disease and an inactive and unfit way of life exists in every age group: children, adults and the elderly. The results of studies consistently show that those who are active and fit are healthier. For this reason, many have suggested that physical inactivity is the major public health problem of our time. Read Article...

Exercise IS Medicine!
June 2019 - For my article this month, I want to write about our Living Well After Cancer Program, and specifically, the medical research study being conducted by the City of Hope. As you will see, the results are pretty phenomenal and certainly support the title: Exercise IS Medicine. Cancer treatment is becoming more effective, and the number of cancer survivors is increasing exponentially each and every year. There are currently 16.9 million cancer survivors currently living in the United States, which constitutes 5% of our total population. This number is expected to increase to 21.7 million people by 2029 and to 26.1 million by 2040. Read Article...

How We Can Expand Our Learning By Giving
Part I

November 2018 - The Holiday Season is right around the corner, and I must say that it's my favorite time of the year. You might think it's because of gifts, parties and food and beverages, but it's really because of the giving spirit that seems to especially come out this time of year. I have been honored to be part of the REX Roundtables since 2002, and it has meant more to me both professionally and personally than anything I can think of. Our Roundtable is made up of some of the finest club operators and people I know. So, I want to let you know about the extraordinary giving that these clubs are doing in their communities to make life better for others in need... Read Article...

Inactivity, Sedentary Lifestyles and Overeating...
July 2018 - Inactivity, sedentary lifestyles and overeating, which are major causes of chronic illness, pose a very challenging and scary future for our country. I was recently at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and could not help but notice the huge number of adults and children who were overweight or obese. It was truly shocking. At the hotel pool, and at the parks, over two-thirds of the people I saw fit into this category. Whether we were eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, seeing the amount and types of food that was being consumed literally turned my stomach. Read Article...

Launch Your Own Augie's Quest Fundraising Effort!
February 2019 - As the month of March approaches, I look forward to two things: MLB Spring Training and our annual IHRSA convention, especially when it is in San Diego, one of my favorite cities in the United States. Like many of you, the opportunity to meet old friends and make new friends, as well, as to soak in all the education I can makes IHRSA a can't miss event. Importantly, it also allows me to attend and support Augie's Quest on the Friday evening of the convention. That is why I want to dedicate this article to my dear friend and industry icon, Augie Nieto. Read Article...

Nadia
January 2019 - The story I want to share with you this month is about a beautiful young girl by the name of Nadia. I met her two years ago after my Facility Director shared a link to her story that was on NBC News Los Angeles. I was absolutely mesmerized as I watched the segment unfold, and I could not stop thinking about how lucky I was to be living a healthy and independent life in the United States. Read Article...

About Our Authors