Nicki Anderson: Eco Gym powered by its members
By Nicki Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org July 23, 2012 2:50PM
Eco Gym’s general manager Sonny Bensos stands by one of the eco-friendly treadmills, with the power source box in the back, which sends power back to the city of Naperville. | Submitted
Updated: August 26, 2012 6:06AM
Who ever would have thought that exercising at a local gym would be a great way to give back to the community? Eco Gym in Naperville offers that opportunity to all its members. This unique setup makes it the only health club in the world powered by human and solar energy.
In fact, the more members workout, the more energy they give back to the community. Given that lack of motivation is a common issue for not exercising, Eco Gym is doing its part to kick up motivation for its members, while conserving energy — a powerful partnership.
This new 9,000-square-foot facility opened June 7 in the Market Meadows Shopping Center, 1249 S. Naper Blvd.
“It’s the world’s first 24-hour human- and solar-powered gym,” according to general manager Sonny Benso.
Exercise equipment in this exclusive health club concept pushes energy back into a power grid, all while maximizing members’ health. Bottom line, while most large health clubs usurp loads of power, Eco Gym has found a way to give it back to the city.
“Though the concept is actually pretty simple, it’s one-of-a-kind. While members are on the equipment, such as a treadmill or bike, each piece of equipment is linked up to a patented machine that harnesses kinetic energy and inverts it back to the power source,” Benso said.
So, Eco Gym, along with the help of its members, actually produces energy for the community.
Eco Gym does its part to give back to members, too.
“We like putting our members in charge of their monthly dues,” Benso said. “We offer a reward system that is designed to keep our members consistent, successful and empowered. How it works is the more they come to the gym to work out, the cheaper their membership becomes. This means our members are more motivated to work out regularly, because they save money. Saving money while getting healthy is a great incentive for consistency.”
The gym holds tight to their environmental focus as is obvious in the décor of the gym. The facility is solar powered, and all the materials that make up counter tops and other hardware come from natural sources.
When I visited the facility, I definitely felt it was more like a spa versus a crowded, noisy health club. The main goal of the facility is to empower members while being eco friendly. It appears they’re meeting that goal.
Though Eco Gym offers many services, one in particular gets them really excited: their children’s classes.
“We will be offering children’s fitness classes to help with the paradigm shift of getting kids active and instilling good health and fitness values at an early age,” Benso said. “Our classes are available for kids 5 to 12 years old. Each class will be set up for functional training and encouraging kids to move as they should move versus sitting in front of a computer game or TV.”
The idea of regular exercise continues to be a tough sell in our country. So, perhaps the idea of giving back to the community, helping the environment and saving money will be the motivation that people need to get moving!
“When you think about it,” Benso says, “the opportunity to help members commit to a healthy lifestyle change while making a positive impact on the environment, that’s pretty powerful stuff.”
Do you have an inspiring story about your journey to fitness? Share it with columnist Nicki Anderson at email@example.com.