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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Entries in healthy lifestyles (9)


5 Ways Health Clubs Are Fighting for a Healthier World 

The fitness industry is engaged in a few fights these days—namely the fight to end global physical inactivity and the fight against adult and child obesity. Luckily, we have backup—many government, public health, and medical organizations around the globe are battling right alongside us. 

In honor of National Public Health Week, which runs April 3 - 9 in the U.S., IHRSA recognizes all the great work health clubs are doing to improve the health and wellbeing of people all over the world.

Continue reading "5 Ways Health Clubs Are Fighting for a Healthier World."

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Ready to Start a Medical Wellness Program? Start Here. 

If you work in the fitness industry, you know physical activity is a key component of overall well-being and can be increased through lifestyle changes, such as joining and attending a health club.

(Photo courtesy of ACAC)

Your health club has the potential to be a critical resource for getting deconditioned, sick, and inactive individuals healthy. Health clubs provide a safe and supportive environment for pursuing healthy lifestyle change such as increasing physical activity. And medical wellness programs can be a great way to reach new members outside the 18-20% already exercising in health clubs.

However, it’s important to consider a few things before you start. In his session "Making Your Club the Pharmacy to Fill Exercise Prescriptions," Dr. Greg Degnan medical director at ACAC, highlighted a few questions you should ask yourself before starting a new program.

Continue reading "Ready to Start a Medical Wellness Program? Start Here."

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Rasmus Ingerslev Featured on Fitness Business Podcast

Rasmus Ingerslev Featured on Fitness Business Podcast
IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev was the featured guest on the latest Fitness Business Podcast in an episode called, “Club Landscape for The Future and Understanding Millennials.” Ingerslev, who also serves as the chair of REPEAT and the executive vice chairman of Wexer Virtual, spoke on a range of topics from hurdles on his road to success to three tips to strengthen your health club business. “The life of an entrepreneur and a pioneer is never an easy one, but for the true entrepreneur it’s the life you have to lead," Ingerslev said. “You simply can’t help exploring what you believe strongly in.” 

IHRSA Announces Fourth IHRSA 2017 Keynote Speaker
Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady, a clothing and consumer goods e-commerce company, will be joining three other dynamic keynote speakers at IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles. Darabi has her finger firmly on the pulse of today’s constantly-changing media landscape. As a leader in next-generation digital communications and e-commerce over the past decade, Darabi has helped numerous brands and companies of all sizes anticipate, understand, and maximize emerging digital trends. Read our full announcement about Soraya Darabi and her keynote presentation.

Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago Ranked Most Active Cities in U.S.
Boston—home of IHRSA headquarters—nabbed the top spot in a new report’s list of the most active cities in America, according to CNN. San Francisco and Chicago landed the second and third spots, respectively. The report, which is part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Series, assigned 48 medium and large cities an "Active Living" score based on factors such as walkability, bike-ability, the quality of the public transit system, and availability of well-maintained parks. According to CNN, “the residents of the top five cities have significantly lower rates, on average, of a handful of diseases (from diabetes to high cholesterol to depression) compared to people living in cities with low scores. They also have higher rates of exercise and eat more fresh produce.”

IHRSA European Congress Wraps Up in Seville

Hundreds of fitness industry professionals from dozens of countries attended the IHRSA European Congress in Seville, Spain, this week. The four-day event was packed with education sessions, networking events, leading equipment and service providers, and, of course, an A-list crowd. For those who couldn't join us, we compiled some photo highlights from the event.  Stay tuned for more information on the 2017 IHRSA European Congress in London!


Boston Named Healthiest City in U.S.

A Boston, Mass., road race.Boston, Mass., has a lot going for it: top-notch higher education, championships in each of the four major sports over the past 10 years, and a cauldron of technology and medical innovations and innovators.

You can now add being named the healthiest city in the U.S. for the third straight year, according to NerdWallet, which took fitness levels and health care accessibility into account.

NerdWallet is a personal finance website that analyzes numbers and metrics to aid in money decisions.

The West Coast fared extremely well with four areas coming in the top 10 - San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and San Jose.

Texas found Houston, Dallas and San Antonio finish in the bottom 10.

For more results, visit the NerdWallet website.


Fighting the Wellness Tax

IHRSA Advocacy staff is just as disappointed as all wellness consumers and businesses in Washington, DC regarding the implementation of the DC Wellness / Yoga Tax.

Below is a brief summary of the steps that IHRSA took and is still working on to stop the tax.

IHRSA's Position Statement on the Wellness Tax

It is IHRSA's position to support members in the area since we are an out of town entity. We supported our Washington, D.C. members by:

Read More.

Click to read more ...


Diabetes in the U.S. is Leveling Off

According to new data released by the CDC, diabetes in the U.S. is leveling off, possibly signaling progress against this very costly and life-threatening disease. The CDC's numbers show the rate of diabetes dropping from 9.3% of the population in 2008 to 7.1% in 2012.
Read more about the study's findings here...
While IHRSA applauds this progress, we know there is still more work to be done, especially by health clubs. Clubs play a vital role in helping Americans prevent, manage, and eliminate Type 2 diabetes by promoting regular exercise and healthy lifestyles. Let's keep up the good work. 


ACE named a 2014 Healthiest Company

In an announcement that didn't come to a surprise to many, the American Council on Exercise, based in San Diego, was named one of the healthiest companies by the San Diego Business Journal.

There were 75 winners named in a variety of categories in the 2014 Healthiest Company contest. ACE finished second to Scripps Health in the Healthcare, Insurance & Wellness Provider group. It is the second straight year ACE has made the list.

ACE says it "strives to provide a work environment that supports the mission of allowing everyone access to a healthier lifestyle." It has a Wellness Team that helps embody the mission.

For more, visit ACE's website.



North Carolina tops well-being index as healthiest state

The darker green states were the healthiest.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, North Dakota topped a list as the healthiest and happiest state in 2013, followed by South Dakota and Hawaii.

For the lowest-ranking states it was Kentucky at 49, and, for the fifth year in a row, West Virginia dead last.

The rankings were based on data culled from 178,000 interviews conducted last year with adults in all 50 states.

The index, which has been compiled since 2008, is based on the average score generated by six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing the ideal. The score for the nation, as a whole, was 66.2 in 2013, down from 66.7 in 2012, matching the previous low, measured in 2011.

Midwestern and Western states earned nine of the 10 highest well-being scores in 2013, while Southern states had eight of the 10 lowest. In addition to having the highest overall score, North Dakota was the top state in two of the sub-indexes: physical health and work environment. In terms of healthy behaviors, Vermont was No. 1 for the second straight year. At the opposite end of the spectrum was West Virginia, which was last on all but one of the sub-indexes. 

For the full report, log on to the Healthways website.


Missouri one step closer to repealing tax on health clubs

IHRSA has worked hard on a couple bills in Missouri that will help those who enjoy healthy lifestyles. Last week House Bills 1179 and 1765, which would remove health club services from those that are taxed as amusement, recreation or entertainment, were passed.

IHRSA believes that government should encourage regular exercise and healthy lifestyles, not discourage them by taxing health club memberships and services. According to bill sponsor State Representative Eric Burlison, "Children or adults who want to be in gymnastics or any individual who wants to join a gym, we should not be discouraging those people from doing healthy activities," he said on

The proposal will now make its way through the state senate where IHRSA is working to support the bill's continued progress. To make the final push to enactment, IHRSA will likely need the support of club operators across the state. Please be on the lookout for more Legislative Alerts in the coming weeks calling on clubs to get involved in ending Missouri's taxation of healthy lifestyles.

IHRSA members can receive Legislative Alerts by signing up at or check news on your state page at

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Sullivan, IHRSA's senior Legislative Analyst, at or (617) 316-6722. 

To support IHRSA's efforts in Missouri and all other states, please consider a contribution to the Industry Leadership Council.