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Let’s Get Tropical

It’s no secret that Hicksville residents and most Americans love looking good. The healthy trends, which have gained popularity over the years such as eating organic, drinking purified water, and taking vitamins show no signs of letting up. Aside from eating healthy, staying physical fit is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. You just can’t beat exercising. Not only will you look better, but you will feel better too.

It was during the 70s and 80s that the fitness industry really started coming into its own. The 90s saw even more healthy growth, while within the recent decade there has been a tremendous upward surge in fitness center memberships.

Today millions of Americans belong to a health club. David Karibian, who owns and operates the Tropical Fitness Center in Hicksville, thinks that this number is still too low. He believes that “a gym membership is as necessary as brushing your teeth; it’s not a luxury like many people believe it is.”

“Cancer rates among people who exercise regularly are lower than that of the general population,” said Karibian. “With so many other health problems we are facing today, like obesity and heart disease, exercise should be a way of life.”

Karibian first fell in love with fitness when he was a teenager living in Flushing, Queens. As a regular gym-goer, he was disappointed in the way the gyms he attended treated their clientele.

“The gyms I went to growing up were stuffy and dirty, and the customers didn’t get much attention from the staff,” Karibian said. “The mindset I had, was that I wanted to create an environment that was friendly, fun, pristine, and results oriented.”

For many years Karibian did the nine-to-five thing, working at his family’s label-making business, but he always dreamt of one day being able to open his own gym. After scrimping and saving for 10 years, Karibian finally realized his dream, and successfully opened the Tropical Fitness Center on March 5, 2001.

Because Karibian studied architecture in college, he was able to plan the entire layout of the gym. Inspired by images of bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger pumping iron on the beaches of Malibu during the 70s, Karibian decided to give his health club a tropical theme. There are plastic palm trees all over the gym reinforcing Karibian’s idea that a gym should be a pleasant place to work out, and a place that enlightens all the senses.

Dennis from Hicksville has been going to the Tropical Fitness Center for many years and told the Hicksvillle Illustrated News, “One of the nicest things I like about this gym is that the people who come here are very courteous; there’s no cursing, there are no musclehead types that come here; it’s very family oriented.”

Husband and wife, Chan and Helen, also from Hicksville have been going to the Tropical Fitness Center for 10 years. Helen said, “My husband has been working out for 25 years, he knows quality equipment, and when he saw the equipment here, he really liked it.”

Tropical Fitness Center has the whole gamut for one’s exercise needs that any big name gym would have. Of course they have the usual array of treadmills and free weights that are without a doubt a must, but they also have the popular Zumba and spin-cycling classes. There are also personal trainers and nutritionists available.

“The great thing about being an independent gym is that we offer things that other big name gyms can’t,” Karibian said. “If a customer has a special request that’s not on the menu, we can accommodate them.”

Hicksville Illustrated News also met up with Vu Nguyen of Kusanku Karate, while he was teaching children the Okinawan form of karate at the back section of the gym. Nguyen said, “I like it here because the people are very nice, and the owner is very nice.”

Tropical Fitness is located at 49 Bethpage Road.