Home Gesundheit Medikamente zur Gewichtsreduktion mit Ihrer Mitgliedschaft im Fitnessstudio? Was Sie wissen sollten

Medikamente zur Gewichtsreduktion mit Ihrer Mitgliedschaft im Fitnessstudio? Was Sie wissen sollten

von NFI Redaktion

On April 24, 2024, weights, aerobic exercise, and … Wegovy? Some in the fitness industry are transitioning to providing popular GLP-1 medications to club members, combining the new, simpler weight loss method with the old, more demanding method.

Take Life Time Fitness for example. At the end of last year, Jeff Zwiefel, Chief Operating Officer, announced that the fitness chain would launch a pilot program to prescribe weight loss medications to its members. They plan to bring medical professionals into the gyms to administer the medications and work with their members, primary care physicians, trainers, and nutritionists to create a „comprehensive plan“ that includes medication as well as exercise, diet, counseling, and social support.

With around 170 locations nationwide, Life Time hopes to introduce the offering nationally. „It is about providing a long-term solution for people struggling with obesity who do not want to rely solely on medications,“ said nutrition scientist Jim LaValle, a licensed pharmacist working with Life Time Fitness centers on the pilot program.

„Many people struggle with their weight, and they go to the gym and try to eat right, but they do not lose weight,“ he said about why he hopes that offering GLP-1 will make a difference.

Following Life Time’s announcement, Equinox made similar headlines in 2010 in People magazine.

„We are seeing an increase in members using or interested in using GLP-1 medications for weight loss, including Ozempic and Wegovy,“ said Equinox club trainer Michael Crandall, who is leading the new program, to the publication. „We are implementing an internal training program at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute and adding the GLP-1 protocol to coach the many members using it.

„The medications work so well, but we felt that something really important was missing for our customers. Weight loss measures should always be accompanied by a training program to achieve the best results.“

But if losing weight is as easy as taking a medication, what does that mean for the fitness industry? Industry leaders hope that the medications will open a gateway to fitness and long-term lifestyle changes.

„Many people feel embarrassed (before entering a gym) because they are overweight,“ said LaValle. „That changes their whole attitude,“ because they can lose weight before going to the gym, then find support and learn to exercise and eat properly, rather than just taking the medications and staying at home.

Some people may lose muscle tissue along with fat, others may regain weight after stopping the medications. Life Time and Equinox say they can help people for the rest of their lives by fostering healthier habits.

LaValle says that smaller fitness businesses can engage by building relationships with local healthcare providers. This could be a way to increase their membership while also bridging the gap between the fitness and health worlds.

Eric Durak from Medical Health and Fitness, a clinical exercise physiologist and health educator, said this could be a good thing for users. Gyms and trainers could help educate their members on body composition (body fat versus muscle) when taking Wegovy or similar medications.

But there are still questions. Can fitness clubs, for example, help people adopt healthy lifestyle habits that prevent them from needing to take these medications forever or risking regain weight?

„The industry needs to get involved in this area and say, ‚Okay, if we have this, what’s next?'“ Durak said, adding that if Life Time and Equinox start offering these programs soon, „so will everyone else.“

„But instead of burdening someone with this medication for 40 years, we should let them take it for 6 months, develop a really solid strength and conditioning program that allows them to build muscle mass, increase bone density, change their diet, and then… wean off it, because we still don’t know the long-term effects it has,“ he said. „We know how effective it is, we just need to bring it into the mainstream health club arena.“

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