The meaning of Prana Fitness
“life force”, “vital energy which permeates the body and drives life”, “life sustaining energy governing inspiration and the conscious intellect”
“health”, “the state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition”, “a state of general mental and physical well-being”, “the state of an organism in balance with and being suitably adapted to its environment”
Americans want to be healthy and fit. It’s become a cultural norm, if not a cultural phenomenon. Images of health, beauty, professional success, and sexuality emphasize athleticism and muscle tone. We buy the clothes, eat the food, drive the cars modeled by those who we think represent the cultural ideal of fitness and health. Fitness centers have exploded in popularity in the United States during the last several decades. In 1978, the US Dept. of Commerce reported that there were 3,000 private fitness clubs in the US. Today, fitness has become an $11 billion industry with over 30,000 clubs. More than 42 million Americans are members of fitness clubs. And the industry has bifurcated with ‘high-end’ clubs opening that cater to their members’ desire for a one-stop shop of fitness options from mechanized high-end cardio and resistance training equipment, to indoor tennis and racquet sports, to swimming, to cycling, to rock-climbing, to aerobics classes, to massage and spa treatment facilities, to physical therapy…the offerings are endless.
Yet in this age of growing fitness obsession, the rate of obesity in the general American population is steadily growing. The CDC reports that over 72 million Americans, or one third of the population of the United States, are considered clinically obese. Americans, despite the cultural emphasis on fitness and health and increasing education promoting healthy dietary habits and preventative health care, are arguably growing less healthy and becoming less fit.
The American Psychological Association reports that Americans’ stress levels reached all-time highs after the 2008 financial crisis. As Americans, we work harder and steadily longer hours just to maintain our incomes and standard of living. We struggle to balance the competing demands of family, work and play. Time is precious.
During what little time we do have remaining in our day, we try to take care of ourselves by going to the gym. We hit the treadmill. We lift weights. We diet to shed that excess weight and body fat. We hit the gym 2, 3, 4 times a week. We do it to manage stress, to reduce pain, to stay healthy, to enhance the quality of our lives, to extend our life spans. It becomes our routine… year after year. , decade after decade, as we grow older. It’s what we do!, it’s how we organize our lives! Yet our stress levels continue and even build. Our diets fail. Our weight inexorably increases as we grow older. Our bodies become de-sensitized to our exercise routines. Our muscle tone steadily decreases and rather than losing weight, our body weight merely shifts from our muscles into fat. It’s a treadmill of despair…the harder we work out, the harder we try, the more time we spend at the gym, the less effective and more tedious our workouts become. We resign ourselves to the fact that we’re growing older! And while our gym facilities each year get bigger and look prettier and our gym membership fees increase, our frustration grows as we reap only ineffectual results from our ever larger fitness investments of time and money.
“Prana is a culmination of my life work. Granted, it’s a work in progress like all things. I feel I’m heading in the right direction. I wanted to create a place that ties in health, wellness, and fitness. Most gyms, training centers or programs are very narrowly focused Health, longevity, mental well-being, physical fitness are smaller areas have to be in check to achieve success.”
-Daniel Calabrese, Owner | Founder