Teenage Fitness on the Rise: Know Where to Go to Meet Fitness Goals


Photo by: Zach Kramp

The ability to increase strength allows students’ growth physically and mentally.

Zach Kramp, Student of Journalism

Whether someone is looking to start their first fitness routine or looking to enhance their current fitness goals, finding the best gym to meet their needs is the ultimate challenge.  High school students are growing in their fitness awareness, whether it is to become more physically fit or to gain the attention of their peers. According to Zippia, between now and 2028 the fitness industry is projected to grow 171.75 percent and reach almost $434.74 billion, both in person and online fitness.

Focusing on physical fitness can help teenagers increase their cardiovascular fitness, develop strong muscles and bones, manage weight, decrease anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of serious health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Creating healthy exercise and weight training habits will stay with a person throughout their lifetime, and allow teens to grow in their self-confidence and mental health. Access to gyms is no longer an obstacle for teens. Many gyms are available to meet specific fitness goals. Gyms also provide teens with a place to belong and be part of the gym community.

The best gym will fit an individual’s budget, interests, needs and preferences. It will support a person’s overall fitness and health goals. Also, many gyms will offer a sampling of fitness classes to meet all athletic levels, as well as personal trainers who are willing to create a personalized fitness and health routine. Gyms can vary with the hours they are open, the strength and cardio equipment they provide, and the amenities they offer.

Amenities and extra perks can include swimming pools, spas, saunas, athletic courts (tennis, basketball or racquetball), as well as indoor tracks for running and walking. Membership cost and gym hours are huge deciding factors when choosing the gym a person will call their home. Here is an overview of the local gyms and fitness centers available for teens in the Neenah area.

If students are looking for opportunities to join classes that are of high interest to them, gyms welcome new members. Within the area, options include:  Fox City Fire Fitness Camp, Orange Theory Fitness, 9round Appleton and  TNT Fitness Menasha. These gyms provide cardiovascular and strength-focused classes, as well as kickboxing, cycling and more. It is important to make sure class schedules are convenient for individual schedules, as well as not conflicting with any additional commitments that a high school student might have to balance.

Oftentimes the convenience of 24/7 access to a gym is highly appreciated by teenagers, with busy classes, sports and work schedules.  These gyms included many amenities, from cardio equipment to strength training options. The appeal of a 24/7 gym is that teens start to build a gym community and hang out with friends when they are working out. Local gyms with this 24/7 option include Evolve Fitness Club, Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness and Limitless Elite Gym.

Lastly, a gym membership can come down to cost. Many gyms charge their members in different ways — from paying for individual classes to monthly fees and yearly costs. As a teenager, it is important to find a gym that offers everything needed that will allow individuals to access and obtain their fitness goal, as well as not draining a wallet. Throughout the area, the most cost-effective gyms are typically the local YMCAs. Neenah features two YMCAs and both offer student discounts. The Ogden YMCA offers free weights, cardio equipment and classes. The student cost for the Ogden YMCA is $18 per month. Also, the Neenah-Menasha YMCA offers a student cost of $25 per month, and equipment includes cardio, gym access, pulley weights, swimming and classes. If cost is a driving factor of a gym, these two offer a great option.

Cost, 24/7 access, or specific classes, whatever is the deciding factor for a gym membership opportunities are endless. According to Livestrong, the endorphins that working out produces are so important to feeling good and having positive mental health. If a gym membership can help someone feel good and look good, why would an individual not make this lifelong investment? It is guaranteed to be the best money a teen has ever spent.