June 11, 2007

America's Fitness Center: making fitness convenient

Kyle and Erin Kutz open new location in- LP

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The convenience factor is one of the keys to a successful fitness program.

It is also one of the reasons Kyle and Erin Kutz of Howard Lake decided to open a second America’s Fitness Center.

The Kutzes bought their first fitness center in Winsted in 2005. Since that time, they moved the business to a new location and made many improvements.

The success of the Winsted location prompted them to look at other cities for a second location.

Kyle said they considered several cities, but Lester Prairie seemed to be the best fit.

“We had a lot of awesome people from Lester Prairie who supported us in Winsted. It just felt right,” he commented.

Even though the new location at 518 Central Avenue in downtown Lester Prairie is only about five miles from their Winsted location, the Kutzes said the convenience factor was an important consideration in choosing this site.

They explained that they have members who live in one city and work in the other, and having locations in both Winsted and Lester Prairie provides more opportunities for people to find convenient workout times that fit their schedules.

“It just gives people another option,” Kyle said.

Erin said many people choose to work out during their lunch periods.

“It’s such a nice break. You don’t have the ‘afternoon snooze’ after lunch,” Erin commented, noting that working out can leave people feeling energized.

The Lester Prairie location is about the same size as the Winsted location, and another convenience factor is the fact that the equipment in both locations is identical.

Members have access to both locations, and having the same equipment means that people who are familiar with one location can easily adapt to the other.

Both centers are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week for the members’ convenience.

The Kutzes said they have members of all ages, from students in their teens to retired people in their 70s.

Fitness provides benefits

Insurance companies recognize the benefits of fitness, and America’s Fitness Centers have partnerships with Blue Cross, Medica, and Health Partners.

If AFC members who participate in these plans work out a minimum number of days each month, they receive a $20 discount off of their fitness center membership.

Kyle said the companies offer this benefit because they see it as good preventive care.

“They realize that people who exercise regularly have less sick days and less doctor visits,” he said.

Making workouts part of a routine is another key to success, according to the Kutzes.

Some people prefer to work out alone, while others exercise with friends or family members.

“Any time you have a workout partner, it increases your motivation to keep it up,” Kyle said.

The Kutzes goal is to provide opportunities for people at all fitness levels.

“We have something for everyone, whether they are brand new to fitness, or have been working out for 15 years,” Erin said.

New members receive free orientation on how to use all of the equipment, and the Kutzes offer a free “fast start” total body workout program.

Customized personal workout programs are also available.

Kyle’s manager’s hours at the Lester Prairie location are 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and Saturdays by appointment.

The Kutzes are offering a Prairie Days special. New members who sign up before June 18 can register to win a free MP3 player.

One of the benefits of America’s Fitness Center is that there are no long-term contracts. All memberships are on a month-to-month basis, according to the Kutzes. Individual and family memberships are available. Contact the center for pricing.

The Kutzes are optimistic about the new facility.

“The community is happy to have us here. This is a good location, because people can walk here,” Erin commented.

Lester Prairie and Winsted AFCs offer their members:

• Personal consulting and training provided by manager Kyle Kutz.

• Digital recorded on-site and off-site surveillance.

• 24-hour access to both facilities, including holidays.

• 24-hour tanning.

• Cardio workout equipment including treadmills, My Stride elliptical machines, Stair Master, computerized bikes, and broadcaster TVs.

• Circuit training with 13 stations for a 30-minute complete-body workout.

• A total of 750 pounds of free weights, with bench presses and dumbbells.

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