Niles woman opening women’s-only gym in Mishawaka

By By Brenda Beadenkopf / Niles Daily Star
EDWARDSBURG -- For those women whose New Year's resolutions include the perennial vow to take off holiday pounds and become healthier, the new women's-only fitness craze may be just the thing they are looking for.
A workout that takes less than half an hour and costs almost half the price of a co-ed gym membership is ideal for a busy woman on a budget and perfect for working or stay-at-home Moms.
On Feb. 2, she will become an entrepreneur in women's fitness as she is opening the first of a brand new franchise in this area, Contours Express. The business is near the Town and Country Shopping Center on Hickory Street next to the old Target in Colonial Terrace strip mall.
Rao explained the gym at 419 Hickory is well situated across the street from Town and Country and in the same block as a Martin's grocery and K-Mart, where today's women with hectic schedules can combine shopping with a short 29-minute workout. She is pleased to be located near so many other women-related businesses including a tanning salon, karate academy, an art gallery, beauty supply and a beauty salon.
The 16-piece "Cardio Fit" training circuit alternates strength training with aerobic stations. Set to music, patrons move about the circuit in 45-second intervals. Rao said on average, women who do the workout three times a week can lose up to 6-8 inches in only six weeks.
Why did she decide to go into the fitness business? For one thing, she's seven months pregnant.
On average, Contours Express is opening two locations per week across the U.S., with projections calling for 500 units in operation by 2006. Gym hours are 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. during the week and a convenient 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Early sign-ups are greatly encouraged. Rao added that women who mention this article will receive a free workout. For a man who calls, a free workout will be offered to a special woman in his life. For more information, call 574-233-9919.

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