Every year, at least half of all Americans tend to make a New Year’s resolution. In 2015, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, the number one popular resolution was “lose weight,” while the fifth most popular resolution was to “stay fit and healthy.”
Both of these resolutions can be met in Rushford by utilizing one of the fitness options available in town.
Mill Street Fitness, located in Mill Street Mall, was founded in January of 2006 by Marshall Hoiness, as well as his father, Jim. Hoiness, who works as a golf professional in the Cities, utilized the contact with Jim and his brother, Brad, who own Mill Street Mall, to bring a new fitness center to Rushford.
“It came on fairly quickly,” said Hoiness, who was looking into a business venture to supplement his income in the off-season, where cold weather makes golf lessons slightly more difficult.
Hoiness looked into several options, including pursuing some sort of real-estate venture, using the open space in the Mall as an office. “We just kind of settled in on this fitness center,” explained Hoiness. “We figured we could make it work in that space. It’s kind of a perfect fit.”
In the last decade, Hoiness has attracted nearly 85 members. On a daily basis, Mill Street Fitness tends to see 15 to 20 regulars. Many come in early in the day before work, while a few frequent the facility once their workday is over.
Hoiness believes the strength of Mill Street Fitness is in the price point. “We keep costs down (by not) having any staff,” said Hoiness. “(The gym) is open 24 hours and members can access it by the key card they get when they apply for membership.”
The gym has cardio machines and free weights, but not much more than that in the way of amenities, again, to grant a lower price point. Hoiness did note that members are able to listen to music or watch television during their workouts.
Just down the street from Mill Street Fitness is Abundant Life Fitness and Massage. Abundant Life was founded in 2000 by Faye Narloch. At the time, the business was limited to massage and located on the north side of town, near the water tower. Narloch then added Fitness to the business in 2003 when she expanded her facility to the current downtown location.
“I’ve always had an interest in working out and sharing that opportunity,” shared Narloch. “It was something new to introduce to the Rushford area.” Shortly after Narloch became certified as a massage therapist, she opened the location with the intent to grow. Now, she currently has nearly 90 members, about a quarter of which she sees on a daily basis.
While Narloch doesn’t have any members who request 24 hour access, she did note that this is available, provided a member contacts Narloch about using the facility during off-hours.
Abundant Life boasts two floors of equipment. On the main level, there are several cardio machines as well as circuit training. The downstairs has weight training, as well as areas for stretching and floor exercise.
Abundant Life also distinguishes itself by offering massage therapy and infrared saunas. Narloch noted that massages and saunas support detoxification by releasing positive endorphins and hormones, increasing circulation, and decreasing pain, insomnia and stress. These amenities are offered to all, but are discounted for members.
Both businesses are currently in the middle of their busy season, which Hoiness and Narloch believe to be November through April. With the typical weight gain that comes with winter holidays, many gym-goers get a jumpstart on the holidays with a strong exercise plan. Some add to the membership around New Year’s as they decide to use the first of the year as a landmark to start living healthier.
While 25 percent of all resolutions fail within the first week, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, Narloch and Hoiness have not noticed a decrease in business.
“I still have new members calling and signing up,” said Narloch. “That happens off and on throughout the whole year. You’ll always see that.”
“People are still thinking about (New Year’s),” stated Hoiness’ father and business partner, Jim. “They’re still coming in.” According to Jim, Mill Street Fitness sees a slowdown when the weather warms up, as those who are active tend to spend their time outdoors getting exercise in.
As for the future, Narloch and Hoiness each have different plans as they continue their work. Narloch is looking into bringing on a personal trainer as an added benefit for members.
Hoiness stated there is not the space to add new features, but he will continue to replace old equipment with new, while upgrading some other features, though he did not go into specifics. “We’ll try and keep it fresh and keep up with the trends in fitness,” noted Hoiness.