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IHRSA Sponsors Congressional Policy Fair to Get More Americans Moving

Congressmen, women, and staffers lead busy lives. They are constantly running from meeting to meeting, speaking with constituents, and making key decisions on important policy issues. Because they are so busy, it’s up to us (IHRSA, IHRSA member clubs, and our industry partners) to educate and remind them how important fitness isfor themselves and for their constituents.

On October 11, our policy team joined with coalitions, partners, and members to educate D.C. lawmakers and staff members about the work health clubs are doing to make Americans (including policymakers!) healthier and more active.

The Get Active Policy Fair provided policymakers with an opportunity to talk, test their body composition, speak with health club operators and employees about their programs, discuss initiatives to get kids and adults more physically active, and learn more about how PHIT will help make physical activity more affordable for their constituents. Attendees also wrote their personal reasons for being active on whiteboards, took photos, and shared these photos with their peers on social media via IHRSA’s #WhyGetActive campaign.

Health club operators attended the fair to personally talk to representatives about the reasons they should incorporate exercise into their daily lives and encourage all every citizen to do the same.

"We were delighted to participate in the IHRSA Get Active Policy Fair,” said Linda Mitchell, director of public and government relations at Newtown Athletic Club (NAC). “This initiative was well coordinated and attracted a number of staffers on Capitol Hill to learn about the PHIT bill and the critical role that our industry plays in the lives of the American people to support a healthier lifestyle which in the end will save billions of healthcare dollars. It is critical for us, as health club owners and operators, to reach out today to our own congressmen and ask them to support their constituents by supporting the PHIT bill. This cannot be done without our own grassroots efforts.”

Mitchell met with several congressional offices to gather support for the PHIT Act. The meetings focused on recruiting members of the House of Representatives that are part of the Fitness Caucus but are not signed on as co-sponsors of PHIT.

Additionally, Jim Worthington, also of NAC, met with Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) the lead sponsor of the PHIT Act, to discuss the strategy for advancing the bill.

Please help your members of Congress realize how exercise adds value to their daily routine and encourage them to support measures that increase opportunities to get others moving. If you have not already done so, ask them to support the PHIT Act. Every sponsor that signs on in support of this bill, adds one more voice to our fight to bring physical activity to the forefront during discussions on the nation’s health.

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