The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

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Resolving to exercise, lose weight, eat healthier or all of the above in the New Year? Well, you're not alone. Health clubs, specialty exercise studios and other fitness facilities can offer extra motivation. But different things motivate different types of people. The following are some tips to help you figure out which type of fitness facility is right for you, depending on your unique personality and needs.

Specialty Studios

Small, privately owned facilities are nice for those who are not interested in the big facility. At a place like Fusion Studio in Ft. Thomas, Ky., there is no intimidation, no contracts and no corporate B.S. It’s clean, friendly, easy to get to and has easy access to communicate – often in person – with the owners.

A place like Fusion is a great place for the beginning exerciser with its individualized attention. Each class is designed to accommodate all levels of fitness, so that you feel comfortable and confident. This is the kind of place where “everybody knows your name,” so you’re not just a number. You’re a person with a goal, and they truly want to help you get there. And, as for the pocketbook, the pricing is quite fair in relation to what you get.

Big Box Gyms

Fitworks and Golds – or "big box gyms" – are great for the seasoned gym rat. But, keep in mind that you won’t get much personal attention from staff.

Big box gyms are great for people watching, there is generally a good energy, you will see all kinds on the fitness floor and there is a lot of good equipment. Here, you will see plenty of cardio pieces, a wide range of weight machines –usually good quality – plenty of free weights and a group exercise schedule that offers a wide range of classes.

Fitworks and Golds are affordable gyms, best suited for the person who is comfortable walking into a crowded facility, having a lot of choices, not much direction from staff and not always the cleanest atmosphere. Fitworks and Golds is a good place to learn from body builders, fitness competitors and experienced gym rats.

Big, Helpful Gyms

A Mercy Healthplex, Tri Health Pavilion, Five Seasons, Cinti Sports Mall, and the like, don't fall into the category of "big box gyms." They are expensive, but they have excellent, knowledgeable staff with personal trainers that are college-educated and nationally certified. The facilities have many nice perks such as massage, sauna, whirlpool, locker room attendants, towel service, shampoo, etc.

At these locations, you will find a wide variety of group exercise classes with experienced, certified instructors. The equipment in these facilities is typically well maintained, clean and state-of-the-art. The members tend to be in the middle to upper middle class. It is of my opinion that because the membership fee is so steep, the staff really does their best with customer service.

I know this is the case at the Healthplex in Anderson from personal experience. There, the fitness floor is quiet, with people plugged into their iPods or wired to the TVs that are mounted from the ceilings. There is no loud, obnoxious music. The members at the Healthplex get excellent service for their membership. The Healthplex offers tennis, racquetball, indoor pools, indoor track, the presence of the hospital-located across the street, well maintained facility with a full time cleaning crew. At the Healthplex, and many other big box gyms, have an in-house childcare program with age appropriate activities and spaces that are safe for infants, small children, toddlers, preschool-age and older children. There are also kid’s programs such as tennis, athletic development training, swim lessons and swim team, gymnastics and karate. The Healthplex in Anderson is geared for families.

Web Sites:


Special Deals:

  • Fitworks: 14 day free trial membership
  • Golds Gym: Free one day VIP pass
  • Tri Health Pavilion: Free guest pass
  • Five Seasons: Free trial membership
  • Fusion Studio: First visit free
  • Revolution Spinning & Fitness: Five day trial membership and sign up for a year membership and get the first three months at half price.
  • Better Bodies Fitness Center: Free two week pass


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Q: “What’s a good well-rounded diet?”

— Jasmine Niernberger, Miss DC Teen USA

A: For the record, I don’t believe in the word “diet.” I think it’s the worst four-letter word anyone could speak, especially young women. The so called “diet” gurus have made a mockery of the wellness world with their utterly ridiculous claims and outright lies to sell what they call a “diet.”

I’m not a registered dietician or licensed nutritionist, so it’s completely beyond my scope of practice to prescribe, or even recommend, an eating plan to you. It would be actually negligent, and I wish it would be criminal for any personal trainer or fitness expert to recommend an eating plan without having the proper credentials like RD after their name.

I can only speak for what I consider a sensible eating plan for myself. My sensible eating constitutes deriving a meal of high water content food. High water content food is any food that has a water base of more than 75 percent of its structural content. In other words, if you were to run the food through a “Juicer,” juice would come out of it. Some examples are carrots, romaine lettuce, peppers, apples, etc. Two thirds of my sensible eating plan is high water content food with every meal, and one portion of concentrated food, which means there is little or no water in the food. Some examples would be beef, turkey, chicken, pasta, cooked potato and cheese. When I plan out my meals, I keep my portions the size of the top of my hand when I make a fist. I try to have at least six moderate meals throughout the day to teach my body to burn food as fuel.

Remember, if a trainer is prescribing or recommending an eating plan, please ask for their degree or credentials. This also goes for the recommending of supplemental vitamins or weight loss products. We are taking your life in our hands and that’s a big responsibility.