Finding motivation to go to the gym can be hard enough. Imagine if when you arrived, people stared or made rude comments. For many overweight people, this is reality. Enter “Downsize Fitness,” a gym whose membership requirement is that you must be at least 50 pounds overweight to join. Downsize, which started in Chicago, just opened its second location in Texas.
Kendall Schrantz used to be a chronic gym quitter. She’d sign up, go once, and never return. Now, she drives from her home in Flower Mound an hour away to Fort Worth three times a week to exercise.
“It’s worth every single penny I paid for gas, it’s worth the time I spend on the road, the miles,” she says.
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The Downsize Approach
Everything at Downsize is intended to make the gym a welcoming place. Even the equipment.
The stationary bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills all are specially designed for larger, heavier people. The thicker cushioning and wider seats, the classes on nutrition, the striking "before and after" photos on the wall. The idea is to make the gym a welcoming place. But can removing mirrors, tinting the windows and banning skinny people really help the overweight drop pounds?
Find out at KERA's Breakthroughs health blog.