Two decades’ survival in the fitness industry implies adaptability and dedication.

For Gayle Davies, who started teaching exercise classes before trainers’ certifications existed, the trade’s biggest shift has been toward a full-time attitude.

“Fitness is a lifestyle for people,” Davies said. “You have to truly be living it.”

Davies sits on a rubber exercise ball while pumping out office reps at Oro Valley’s Anytime Fitness location. The sales director’s gusto helped the 24-hour gym push their membership numbers into the 400s, in the few months they’ve been open.

She’s happy that Americans are starting to embrace healthier trends of better food and fewer mega-size portions — practices just warming up when she arrived in Tucson three years ago.

But there’s more to a healthy heart than eating well, she said.

“America as a whole is learning that it’s not just a diet,” Davies said. “You need the combination of diet and exercise.”

One might say Davies was fitness when fitness wasn’t cool, during a hobby-like infancy noted for “crazy 20 million jumping jack” routines.

“We’re talking the Jane Fonda years with leg warmers and belts,” Davies said. “That was me.”

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