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What If There Were a Fitness Welcome Center?

March 31, 2004 02:33 PM

By Jim Brown, Ph.D., Executive Editor, Sports Performance Journal (athletesperformance.com)

Just for the sake of argument, let's say you are mildly interested in getting into an exercise and fitness program. You know you should have done it a long time ago, some of your wheels are beginning to fall off (or at least they're getting a little loose), and all you need is a little push to get into a program.

And still, just for the sake of argument, let's say that this beginning fitness program is located very close to where you live. Let's call it the FITNESS WELCOME CENTER. It's inexpensive and fun, good for you, and offers you the chance to meet other people who are in the same boat you are in. And better yet, it's not a one-shot deal!

Stay with it, get better at it, and there will be another program for you to advance into. And another. And still another. Not only that, but the people who run this program are waiting for you to show up. Today. They even have a sign out front. It's almost like they know you're coming.

We're still speaking theoretically here, but getting into this program has many benefits. It can make you stronger, more mobile, more agile, more flexible, richer, and better-looking… Okay, maybe I got a little carried away there. But seriously, as a bonus, participating in this program just three hours a week will cut your risk of heart disease by half**. More than three hours a week and there is no telling how long you'll be around. Just an hour into this exercise program and you'll have burned several hundred calories. I can see the lines forming now. Operators may be waiting.

In the spirit of semi-full disclosure, I must tell you that I haven't been telling the full truth. This is not just a fitness program, it's a TENNIS INTRODUCTION PROGRAM and it's playing at a TENNIS WELCOME CENTER near you. You know - rackets, balls, lessons, friends, tasty beverages, the whole package. You get every one of those benefits in that theoretical fitness program we just talked about, plus you learn new skills or improve old ones you can use as you play tennis for the rest of your life!

TENNIS WELCOME CENTERS are all around the country at parks, tennis clubs, health clubs, resorts, high schools, and colleges. Just go to www.TennisWelcomeCenter.com and enter your city and state or zip code to locate the Tennis Welcome Center nearest you. See you at the courts. No, I mean the TENNIS WELCOME CENTER.

** - According to Cleveland Clinic Heart Center exercise physiologist and avid tennis player Gordon Blackburn, Ph.D., research shows that three hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week can cut the risk of developing heart disease by 50 percent.

© 2004 HMS Publishing, Inc.
Jim Brown will be contributing new content to this site on a monthly basis. If you have a question for Dr. Brown please feel free to email him at




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