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Franchising Hot Spots

Fitness: Health and wellness have been a top concern ever since headlines warning of obesity took over the nation. But it's not the heavyweights, like Curves and Gold's Gym, that have captured our attention. Instead, we predict the more niche concepts like boxing and prenatal and postnatal fitness will experience the healthiest growth in 2009. Stephanie Ramirez started offering prenatal and postnatal fitness to her West Knoxville, Tennessee, community through her Stroller Strides franchise in July 2007. "I have not lost one client as a result of the economy," says Ramirez, 39. "I've had women tell me it's the best hour of their day." Ramirez's business is growing. She recently hired three additional instructors, just added a new program called Fit4Baby and plans to expand her territory this year.

Sara Wilson, Entrepreneur Magazine, January2009, entrepreneur.com