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At Curves for Women in Leschi, Donna Wong spends 30 seconds on this strength-training machine before moving on to the next station.
More Curves
Readers give it to us straight on this popular chain of clubs

After I wrote about Curves for Women, a fast-growing chain of fitness centers, readers quickly weighed in with their impressions. Each wrote with such passion that it seems only fair to share some excerpts from their experiences.

I was disappointed in your article about Curves for Women. It sounds like you didn't do very much research.

I have been a regular at Curves in Seward Park since June 2002. Since then, I have lost 27 pounds and 31-1/4 inches! (That's four sizes in layman's terms.) I don't need to go to physical therapy for frozen shoulder, and I am no longer suffering from sciatica. I have muscles. I have reduced my body-fat percentage by 10 percent. I have reduced my blood pressure by 20 points. I owe a lot of it to Curves. I am not the only one to see results.
Fitness Notebook
Fitness news you can use
Free online program
The Stanford School of Medicine is inviting people to take part in a free, six-week online program and study for people with heart disease, lung disease or type II diabetes. It will be a six-week, small-group, interactive workshop on the Internet. You must be a resident of the United States to participate. Go to for information.
Checklist for finding a club
The Vancouver, B.C.-based International Council on Active Aging has created a checklist to help mature adults rate and compare their local fitness facilities and choose one that meets their needs. It's available for download at or by calling 866-335-9777.
Some of the best things about Curves is that it's for women only, it's an all-around workout using all muscles, it's fun, you don't have to follow an instructor, no Spandex, no mirrors, etc.

I made a choice to get healthy and Curves helped me do it. Maybe it's not for everybody, but I think it should have received a better review than you gave.

— Sharon Babani, Seattle

I am 72 years old and had a stroke five years ago. I started going to Curves Nov. 21, 2002. Even with the holidays I have lost eight pounds and 6-1/2 inches. I am very pleased with the progress I've made. Since starting the exercise program I sleep better, feel better, have more energy. My balance and coordination have improved, and I am not embarrassed to struggle to get up from floor exercises and have improved tremendously in that area. Curves for Women is a non-threatening environment for less-than-perfect bodies. Please note that most of the women at the location I go to range from mid-40s to the 80s. Also, to a woman, they all love the fun they have there and look forward to coming back. And isn't that all it's about?

— Merna Denmark, Placentia, Calif.

I enjoyed your article, "A Few Curves." A couple of reasons I think the article missed on what's good about the Curves for Women fitness centers:

1. They are small enough to be anywhere — so most likely they are very conveniently located for women to use without spending a lot of time coming and going.

2. Since they are everywhere, even when a woman travels, she can usually find one to go to. Reciprocity is part of the deal. I traveled to Boca Raton, Fla., and was able to find one 10 miles in either direction of where I was staying. How convenient! I loved it.

I think they are great whether or not I burn ALL the calories they advertise or lose weight as fast as someone else might. I know I feel better (and I already exercise by jogging and using a non-resistance exercise machine, in addition to going to Curves).

— Jannelle Noller, Black Diamond

I thought your ending sentence summed it up in a nutshell. I started going to Curves at the end of October and love it. I can go there while my husband does his jogging routine and we both leave and come back about the same time. After three months, I'm down 8-1-2 pounds and 13-1/2 inches overall, and my clothes fit better, I feel stronger — especially my legs — and one co-worker noticed the loss through my trunk area. I've tried regular gyms but feel intimidated by the equipment, routines and "cute" outfits. (For the record, I'm 52.) At Curves I find all kinds of shapes, sizes, ages and outfits. There are no repetitions to keep track of, and it's easy to learn. The bottom line is that I go, and that's so much better than sitting at home thinking about it!

— Jean Mohrweis, Seattle


Molly Martin is assistant editor of Pacific Northwest magazine. She can be reached at 206-464-8243, or P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111.

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