Magazine article Herizons

Main Street Cardio a Perfect Fit for Women

Magazine article Herizons

Main Street Cardio a Perfect Fit for Women

Article excerpt

FLIP THROUGH most magazines targeted to women and you'll find ad after ad imploring you to make yourself over and defy your age with unnatural hair colour, skin pigments, body-firming gels, teeth whiteners, food replacements and weight-loss products. Then you'll be perfect.

It's no wonder women have complexes. Charlene Sullivan, founder of Main Street Cardio in Toronto, sees a similar trend in the fitness industry. "The usual way to guilt people into buying a gym membership is with fat-caliber instruments, scales and poorly designed fitness tests. This normally leaves a woman feeling inadequate, instead of motivated," she observes.

According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, the Canadian fitness industry earned $1.6 billion last year. The figure is no surprise to Sullivan, who's been teaching fitness for over 20 years. "In general, women will pay anything to look good. My goal is to help people enjoy movement, whether they're good at it or not."

Sullivan's journey began at Ryerson University, where she studied food technology, and then, after becoming discouraged by that industry, started teaching fitness. She founded Main Street Cardio in 1999, primarily to keep a group of her Toronto Parks and Recreation class devotees together. Then, in 2004, she teamed up with fitness instructor Gudrun Hardes and moved Main Street Cardio to Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood.

The gym has some 300 members and another 100 pay-as-you-go clients-90 percent of whom are women. Loyalty comes from affordable fees in a facility that is safe and uses an innovative approach to fitness. …

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