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Online Fitness Prescriptions May Be Wave of Future


February 14, 2006

MESA, Ariz. -The latest fitness trend is just a click and download away, literally. A team of Arizona State University students are developing a venture called FITTmaxx, a company that plans to offer physical fitness workouts or "prescriptions" downloadable for media players, computers, cell phones or PDAs.

FITTmaxx products will make it easier and enjoyable to get fit, says Biray Alsac, the team's director of programming and production and an ASU Exercise and Wellness graduate student at the Polytechnic campus.

With 75 percent of the population insufficiently meeting the recommended 30- minutes of physical activity a day, programs that promote increased activity are in high demand, according to Alsac.

"FITTmaxx products will provide individuals with assistance in adopting physical activity into their current lifestyles, and it's simple, convenient and affordable to use," said Alsac.

An individual interested in starting an exercise routine will eventually have several options to choose from, based on frequency, intensity, type of exercise preferred and the time they have to workout, hence FITT in the name.

For example, exercise prescriptions using a treadmill, a stationery bike or for yoga will be available online under product names like Treadmax or Yogamax. Individuals can either subscribe to the site for a fee to receive prescribed exercises or purchase one-time prescriptions.

FITTmaxx was recently recognized by ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, which provides seed money to select ASU students to explore their innovative ideas for business products, services or social good.

"Our team is into fitness and has been for a number of years," said Alsac. "After developing the idea and researching what fitness products already exist, we knew we could develop a more comprehensive product."

Alsac, along with Lyndsi Johnson, FITTmaxx director of public relations and marketing and a graduate student in Exercise and Wellness, and Laura Rooney, FITTmaxx director of finance and business operations and a Ph.D. student in Business Administration at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business, will use the seed money to make their product idea a reality.

Besides the funding, Edson recipients are provided office space and business help; access to other students and entrepreneurs; and coaching and mentoring offered by ASU's Technopolis, a training program for life science and technology entrepreneurs.

The team is in the process of developing the products and the Web site, testing the products and creating marketing plans, all of which is evolving simultaneously. But this is nothing compared to what needed to be done prior to this point.

"Developing a business plan is the hardest part of starting a business," says Alsac. "Everyone has ideas, but getting them down on paper, conducting the market research, and figuring out if everyone's ideas make sense for the business is challenging. It's also very exciting."

The team expects that the company and products will be online by fourth quarter 2006.

For more information about the Edson initiative, visit www.studentventures.asu.edu.