Part fitness center, part Short North hangout, Oxygen Health & Fitness helps its members have fun while exercising.

Part fitness center, part Short North hangout, Oxygen Health & Fitness helps its members have fun while exercising.

The gym has always been a place to meet people, and that's taken to another level at Oxygen, nutrition coach Rachael Pasini said.

"I know a lot of times, people join a gym and never come in," Pasini said. "We try to make it exciting and fun and try to be social with them so they feel like this is just a part of their day."

During special events like Gallery Hop, a house DJ makes the gym feel more like a party.

Oxygen catches the eyes of passersby on High Street. Free weights and lifting equipment line the walls of the first room. Adjacent rooms hold cardio workout machines and an aerobics space for classes such as spinning and boxing-slash-Pilates.

Gym owner Danny De Salvatore keeps his patrons happy by offering month-to-month memberships and periodically adding new exercise classes. A burlesque class started earlier this winter, Pasini said.

This time of year is Oxygen's busiest, and the staff puts on "biggest loser" and other contests to help keep weight-loss resolutions on track.

New members looking to fulfill their resolutions receive time with an in-house personal trainer, nutrition coach and massage therapist.

Eat right advice

Oxygen nutrition coach Rachael Pasini's advice for those trying to lose weight this year - and anyone else who wants to eat healthfully - is to skip fad diets and just use common sense.

"It's not about cutting out - not all fat is bad," she said. "Just because almond butter has 15 grams of fat doesn't mean it's bad for you. It has unsaturated fat that's actually really good for you."