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Avoid the 'fitness tourist' status by keeping active

Sweat and laughter? You'll find both within the True Fitness facility in Mitchell, where staffers make an effort to develop a relationship with clientele -- not only to boost business but also to keep the community healthy. Josh Moody and Steve V...

Five people participate in a spin/row/plus class recently at True Fitness in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Five people participate in a spin/row/plus class recently at True Fitness in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Sweat and laughter?

You'll find both within the True Fitness facility in Mitchell, where staffers make an effort to develop a relationship with clientele - not only to boost business but also to keep the community healthy.

Josh Moody and Steve Van Genderen opened True Fitness in Mitchell in 2014, and since have made it their goal to be the best.

"When you look at our services from top to bottom, we feel like we stack up against anybody and probably have more to offer than anybody," Moody said, adding the facility has 24-hour access, several fitness class options and certified personal trainers on site. " ... We have something for the younger athletes to adults with families, all the way through the generations."

Classes change throughout the year, Moody said, and for the start of the new year there are seven classes. Of the seven, two - spinning and bootcamp - are the most popular.

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But 2018 has also brought in a new few habits of Mitchell residents. Van Genderen said despite the below-freezing temperatures, he's noticed more people coming to the facility than in recent years.

"To be honest, what we've noticed with all the cold weather, it hasn't kept people at home as much as you'd expect. Sometimes with those negative-degree temperatures, people don't want to travel. We've got a pretty good base of people who are pretty committed," he said.

But there's always those "fitness tourists."

Van Genderen describes these tourists as people who make resolutions at the beginning of the year to live healthier, and then quit a few months later.

"People will start, but then they sometimes fade away," Van Genderen said. "One of the things we want is for our people to be residents, not tourists. We want them to keep going beyond that initial resolution phase."

And Moody agreed, adding that committing to a healthier life is a "lifestyle change," not a once-per-year regiment that begins in January and ends in March.

It comes back to the group's motto of developing relationships. To help those "fitness tourists" become frequent visitors, the True Fitness staff, which includes several personal trainers, work to develop those relationships.

"Everybody is unique and different," Moody said. "It's through the personal connections we create here that we can best can provide for them. We try to build relationships with these folks, not just offer them a membership."

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