The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Exercise is Prevention. Prevention is the Cure for Chronic Conditions

You’ve heard this statement before: prevention is the best cure for any type of chronic disease.

But what is prevention, really? What does it consist of and how can its components work together to create a healthier world for all of us? 

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) has answers to these questions. Over the course of the past 10 years, PFCD has been a leader in discussing effective ways to prevent and manage chronic disease—many of which involve making small lifestyle changes that eventually lead to larger, long-term health benefits.

For some people taking preventative action could mean making the decision to incorporate exercise into their daily routine, for some it could mean choosing to eat a salad instead of that personal pizza they were craving, and for others, maybe it means they want to better all of their lifestyle choices. These people are the ones driving the movement for change, these unofficial leaders are the ones who need to see how much their voice, opinion, and stories can help reverse the trends that have physically and mentally crippled this nation. 

Earlier this month, the PFCD, of which IHRSA is a founding member, hosted an event to discuss this issue. The “Turning the Tide in Health Care” event was created as a way to drive the conversation around healthcare reform by reviewing what we have accomplished so far and determining which problem areas still need to be addressed. 

IHRSA’s Washington D.C. representative, Tom Scanlon, takes advantage of every opportunity to participate in PFCD events and attended the anniversary session. According to Scanlon, “no organization has done more at the policy level than PFCD to make the prevention and management of chronic disease a national priority and to encourage innovation in the way health care services are delivered.” 

At the event, there were conversations surrounding the role that policy makers play in making important and lasting decisions regarding access to affordable healthcare, the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry, and the way this information is reported to the general public so they can become more knowledgeable about how this issue is directly and indirectly affecting them.

But, when everything's said and done, the real changes come from within. Every individual that is willing to make changes to their routine is also helping to change the perspective of others and how we currently perceive the healthcare landscape.

“People have a large role to play in their own healthcareespecially people that have type 2 diabetes for example. Exercise helps,” said Dan Crippen, former Congressional Budget Office director, White House and Senate advisor, and one of PFCD’s panelists for the event.

Exercise does help—and, in particular—encouraging children to see and understand the value in daily exercise helps. In today's society, we often see more and more kids engrossed in the digital world, with over-active thumbs and under-active bodies. Establishing healthy habits from a young age lays the groundwork for a well-rounded life filled with holistic wellness choices.

This is where health clubs and IHRSA enter the equation. The fitness industry works for the betterment of people every single day. Its goal is to make sure that every person that sets foot in a gym, ultimately leaves feeling refreshed—both physically and mentally—and wanting to come back for more.

IHRSA attended this meeting because we recognize that the issue of inactivity is a larger problem and we wanted to be actively involved in conversations that could lead to real solutions. We are working for club operators, club members—and more generally—people every single day.