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Arts, Entertainment & Life

Section E

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

‘Idol’ changes will face nation’s scrutiny
Simon says bye-bye after this season
By DARLA ATLAS
Special Contributor

HEALTHY LIVING SPECIAL FOCUS | FITNESS

American Idol
7 tonight and Wednesday, Fox (Channel 4). 2 hrs. tonight, 90 mins. Wednesday.

In the classes, “I found support, care and camaraderie that have both encouraged me and challenged me.”
Natalie Dickey

As the ninth season of American Idol revs up, the nation has questions. Since Simon Cowell confirmed Monday he won’t be returning next year and will focus instead on a new talent search show, is this the beginning of the end? Will Paula Abdul’s absence make us wistful or joyful? How weird will it be to see Ellen DeGeneres at the judges’

table? And when will we fully accept Kara DioGuardi? Sure, the show has weathered cast shakeups in the past, but they’ve never been this dramatic. (It seems to have managed without Season 1 co-host Brian Dunkleman.) But in a conference call with reporters on Friday, Randy Jackson tried to steer the talk back to the basics. “Let’s focus on what we’re judging and what the real meat
See DALLAS Page 3E

Fox

KYE R. LEE/Staff Photographer

Host Ryan Seacrest welcomed auditioners in Boston.

Body Pump at Gold’s Gym in Arlington has helped Natalie Dickey (front) drop 85 pounds.

SOCIAL MEDIA | CANCER AWARENESS

Facebook posts colorful for cause
ras sure do come in lots of colors. This information is courtesy of Facebook, whose members in recent days have latched on to a viral statusupdating campaign. Its origins are unclear — some suspect it started overseas — but the intent is simple: Update your Facebook status each day with the hue of your bra to raise awareness for breast cancer. The result: status lines that simply say, “plaid.” Or “champagne.” Perhaps “canary yellow with pink trim.” Silly? Sure. But the Dallasbased Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation couldn’t be more pleased. Although the idea didn’t come from Komen, the group’s Facebook page has reaped the benefits. Komen spokeswoman Andrea Rader says the page had 134,000 fans on Friday morning. After people began posting their bra colors, the number jumped to 136,000. By Monday, the total was 142,784 and counting. “We’re so delighted,” Rader says. “We think this is just a phenomenal example of how powerful the Internet can be in getting this message out.” Although most of the posts

B

By DARLA ATLAS
Special Contributor

on the Komen Facebook page have been positive, Rader says the foundation has heard from a few who feel that telling everyone about your bra trivializes breast cancer. “And it’s completely understandable if you’re a survivor or you’re going through this,” she says. “But the way we look at it, this gets so many people engaged and involved that we see it as a positive thing.” On Monday, the Komen Facebook wall had a new color update every few seconds: “Pink! I’m a survivor!” “I lost my grandmother, mother and I’m a survivor. Get checked early … I’m wearing white.” Could bra-color revelations really lead to lives saved? Rader believes it’s possible. “The majority of people who read something we put out, they do something about it,” she says. “They schedule a mammogram or make a donation or talk to their family. Awareness is half the battle here.” The campaign may also be raising awareness on a purely fun front. “White,” one person wrote. “But after the first posting of this, I went and bought a pretty purple one!” Darla Atlas is a Fort Worth freelance writer.
darlajatlas@yahoo.com.

To get fit, find the right fit
Make sure your gym will work out for you
new year, a new you. You told yourself you were going to join a gym — and actually keep going this time. Just like last year. And 2008. And 1998. Fitness centers provide some of the best opportunities to shape up. What you need is a game plan for finding the right place, making fitness goals and sticking to them.
Just like buying a house, location is one of the most important considerations when choosing a gym — ideally, close to home or work. Some fitness chains let you have it both ways, allowing you to work out at more than one location. “The gym that’s most convenient for you is the one you’re more likely to go to,” said Kelli Houston, assistant fitness manager at 24 Hour Fitness Sport in

A

By CHRISTY ROBINSON
Special Contributor

INSIDE
Which gym is right for you? 12E Avoid being ripped off 12E Take your time 12E

Southlake. Many gyms will let you try before you buy. For example, 24 Hour Fitness will give you a seven-day pass to give it a spin, Houston said. While you’re trying out a

gym, pay attention to its cleanliness and whether there are enough cardio machines to meet demand during peak hours. Don’t forget to put your personal tastes and needs on the checklist: hours that accommodate your schedule; sign-up and membership fees that fit your budget; child care; and availability of amenities you would enjoy, such as a swimming pool, sauna or senior workout programs. Ann Orsinger of Dallas recently tried the Park Cities Family YMCA with free passes. “I tried the yoga class because a Y membership is less expensive than what I am currently spending … and I thought it would be great if I could get yoga, a pool and all the other benefits of the Y for less than I am paying now,” she
See WANT Page 12E

The future of medicine,today.
More than 2,000 of the best medical minds on one mission: to cure.
utsouthwestern.org 214-645-8300
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

GuideLive.com

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HEALTHY LIVING

dallasnews.com

The Dallas Morning News

Want to get fit? Find a good gym fit
Continued from Page 1E

said. But the gold standard for any gym’s worthiness is how responsive its employees are. “If the staff isn’t willing to help you, how are you going to reach your goals?” Houston says. Speaking of goals, it’s important to get a new member assessment or to hire a trainer to help clearly define what you want out of your gym membership experience, Houston says. “We have clients close their eyes and picture what they want — how they feel, what they look like, what they’re doing, who’s surrounding them when they meet this goal. It needs to be so clear they can taste it, they can see it,” she said. Help stay motivated by rewarding yourself. Houston suggests putting incentives at the end of your goals, such as a massage, a new workout outfit, tennis shoes or a pedicure. One of the strongest motivators of all is pure, sweaty fun. If you don’t enjoy working toward your goals, you’ll risk wanting to throw in the towel. A friend told Natalie Dickey, a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in Arlington, about how much fun she was having in the group fitness classes at Gold’s Gym in South Arlington. A year and a half later, those classes have helped Dickey lose 85

Finding the right gym
Not all gyms are created equal. Here’s a guide to finding one that matches your interests.

If you
Have kids

Then look into
A gym with on-site child care included in membership costs, which has become a standard benefit at many centers. A facility with athletic-focused programs, such as Velocity Sports Performance. A gym that actively discourages a hard-core, see-and-be-seen atmosphere, such as Planet Fitness, which touts its “Judgment Free Zone” philosophy. The Silver Sneakers fitness program at participating gyms. Dozens of Medicare health plans will cover your gym membership costs at these locations. Special programs designed for pregnancy, such as Power Play Fitness Training Studio’s Prenatal Boot Camp. A gym that offers supplemental techy tools, such as 24 Hour Fitness’ bodybugg, used by the contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and the chain’s new My24 iPhone app. A Curves for Women health club. A club that’s open around the clock, such as Anytime Fitness and some 24 Hour Fitness centers. Christy Robinson

Want to train for a specific sport

Are especially self-conscious

Are an older adult

FILE 2006/Staff photo

It’s important to check out the equipment at a gym, to be sure that there is plenty to accommodate the crowds during peak times.

Are pregnant

pounds. “I do still find myself very intimidated by all of the machines that I walk past on my way to group fitness,” she says. In the classes, “I found support, care and camaraderie that have both encouraged me and challenged me,” Dickey says. “I really have learned to love exercise and the feeling of accomplishment I have when I finish a class.” Christy Robinson is a freelance writer in Dallas.
healthyliving@dallasnews.com

Where to go
Here’s a list of popular Dallas-area fitness centers and their Web sites to help you find the best location. Like gadgets 24 Hour Fitness 24hourfitness.com YMCA ymca.net Gold’s Gym goldsgym.com LA Fitness lafitness.com Life Time Fitness lifetimefitness.com Dallas recreation centers dallasparks.org/facilities/ recreation.aspx Cooper Fitness Center cooperaerobics.com Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center baylortomlandryfitness center.com The Texas Club thetexasclubfitness.com Anytime Fitness anytimefitness.com Bally Total Fitness ballyfitness.com Larry North Fitness Club larrynorth.com

Are a woman and don’t want to exercise around men Keep a strange schedule

WALK, JOG, RUN

MEMBERSHIPS

Tortoise pace is OK to start, pro says
By DEBBIE FETTERMAN
Special Contributor

Study gym and contract before you sign
By CHRISTY ROBINSON
Special Contributor

FILE 2009/Staff photo

Diane Proud (right), with Joan Morris at the Cooper Aerobics Center, cautions beginners not to go all out from the get-go. “Getting injured won’t do you any favors.”

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Diane Proud, running pro at the Cooper Clinic, offers an easy, effective way for anyone to achieve an active lifestyle they can maintain and build upon. Her 12-week plan to walk, jog or run a 5K is for anyone who does not currently exercise, has low fitness or is resuming after a period of inactivity. Proud says beginners’ top priority should be to establish a solid foundation. She advises everyone to take it slow to give the body time to build Sticking aerobic and neurowith the plan muscular fitness, especially those who Diane Proud of the Cooper Clinic offers these pointers were once quite for beginning runners: athletic but haven’t been active for years. l Make sure you’re in “When January proper footwear. hits, most are raring l Have a buddy or join a group. “It’s easy to show up to go, eager to jump for a workout when you’re into running, and expected.” often, it’s too hard,” l Have your gear ready the she said. “People see night before. “Plan against themselves in better failure.” physical condition l Be patient. Your body and much fitter than needs time to adapt to new reality. They often joint and muscle stress to ramp up way too prevent injury. much too soon and l Take a long view. This is the start of what could be a end up injured and lifetime of fitness, assuming cannot stay consisyou exercise sensibly. tent, then lose motil Nothing is more vation.” important than your health. Initial workouts Treat exercise as should be low-exeruntouchable. Guess what? tion efforts. She The other stuff somehow recommends jogging manages to get done. more slowly than you think you need to and See Diane Proud’s complete 12-week plan, and read inserting walk breaks. previous stories about her, To get started, pace at dallasnews.com/ should be based on healthyliving. the talk test. You can be sweating and breathing hard, but if you can still talk, you’re doing fine. If you can’t, then slow down. She recommends increasing the duration of your workouts instead of the intensity. Work out regularly three to fives times a week. After about three months of consistent buildup, she says increasing the effort is appropriate. She cautions not to go all out. “Wiping yourself out and getting injured won’t do you any favors,” she said. She also recommends cross-training once or twice a week to supplement fitness. Debbie Fetterman is a Plano freelance writer.
fitinthecity@dfwrunning.com

In the 1990s, a gym membership was almost synonymous with high-pressure sales tactics, deception, confusing contracts and ruined credit reports. After lawsuits, bad publicity and complaints to the government, the industry cleaned up its act. But you still risk a strain on your fitness experience if you don’t understand what you’re getting into. Take these pointers from the Federal Trade Commission.

Know the gym
l Use the free trial period to find out how crowded it gets during peak hours. l If the salesperson says the gym is planning for new amenities, such as a day care center, a new track or a swimming pool, press for details. “Find out how long they’ve been promising that, and ask to see the contract” for the promised work, said Collot Guerard, an attorney in the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices. l Understand the gym’s hours of operation. For instance, only some 24 Hour Fitness clubs are actually open 24 hours a day.

Know the contract
l Find out how to cancel, if there is a cooling-off period if you change your mind, and how much notice is required to cancel. l Make sure everything the salesperson hawked as a member benefit is in the contract. Are there any gym amenities that are off-limits to someone with your membership level? What costs extra? l Ask whether you can transfer your membership to a different location if you move. “Read the fine print in the contract,” Guerard said. l Do the math to make sure you can afford the total cost of your membership. “Ask how often the membership costs increase, and ask what it’s been in the past,” Guerard said. Christy Robinson is a freelance writer in Dallas.

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