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Deciding it's bad for our health, Life Time Fitness bans cable news from its gyms

The move was taken at the request of customers.
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Exercise is good for your health, but cable news is not.

That, at least, is the opinion of Minnesota-based chain Life Time Fitness, which has taken the step of banning cable news from the large-screen TVs in its gyms.

In a statement sent to GoMN, the Chanhassen company confirmed it's removing cable news channels from its cardio and fitness floor as of the start of this year.

The move was taken after "many member requests received over time across the country," at a time when the political divide has become increasingly polarized and at least some of the blame is apportioned to partisan news coverage.

Lifetime says it's "in keeping with our overall healthy way of life philosophy and commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically-charged content."

The networks being banned include FOX, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC, although local TV news affiliates will still be shown on large screens.

It will leave members with the choice of USA, A&E, HGTV and ESPN as well as the local channels, so you can still tune in to Chip and Joanna Gaines creating open-plan concepts with kitchen islands and shiplap.

If you really, really want to watch cable news, Lifetime says it'll restore access to them on cardio machines with TV screens over the coming weeks.

Is this a piece of marketing genius?

Working out is depressing enough (for most people) without the constant reminder that the world sucks right now, so Lifetime Fitness might be on to a winner here.

The Washington Post did some delving into American distrust of the media last month and found that a significant chunk of it stems from dislike of cable news rather than print and radio.

So taking a stand against cable news is something that the majority of Americans will probably get on board with, and it's going over well judging by the early reaction on social media.

"Ultimately, it always is our goal to meet the vast majority of members’ expressed requests and we believe this change is consistent with the desires of the overall membership as well as our desire to uphold a positive, family oriented, healthy way of life environment," Lifetime told GoMN.

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