Health: From Workouts To Wellness

Exercise clubs now offer much more than sweat

When health clubs became a rage in the 1980s, everybody loved to sweat. Squadrons of would-be Schwarzeneggers and Fondas pumped iron, tightened tummies, aerobicized -- and often found attractive new friends. But after years of pulling in clients almost effortlessly, clubs are facing new challenges. For one, the proliferation of health spas, which have doubled in number, to 20,000, since 1980, has created fierce competition. And as members grow older, they are becoming pickier, more prone to injury and, often, just plain bored.

The result is a new buzz word for health clubs: wellness. Many are evolving into comprehensive health centers,...