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Entries in PHIT (36)


Help the Fitness Industry Lead the Movement to #PassPHIT

To say that the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act has been top of mind lately is an understatement.

In light of all the changes happening on Capitol Hill and the questions that have yet to be answered surrounding healthcare reform, fitness industry leaders have been vocal about their support of PHIT. Industry leaders—and IHRSA—believe that the federal incentive designed to increase access toand the affordability ofphysical activity is necessary in order to reduce rates of inactivity and guarantee a healthy future for our nation.

Jim Worthington, IHRSA board member and owner of the Newtown Athletic Club in PA, recently spoke to the importance of passing this piece of bipartisan legislation as a featured guest on the Fit-C podcast.

Newtown Athletic Club's cardio area

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Big Data Suggests Running is Socially Contagious

Big Data Suggests Running is Socially Contagious
Running may be contagious, according to a study published in Nature Communications, The New York Times reports. The study is one of the first of its kind to use big data from a global social network. Researchers gathered five years worth of data from about 1.1 million runners worldwide, as well as five years’ worth of data from global weather station, which they cross-correlated with information about runners’ daily workouts. Ultimately, they found that runners do influence one another. “Over all, if one person ran for about 10 minutes more than usual on any given day, that runner’s friends would lengthen their workout by approximately three minutes, even if the weather was discouraging,” The Times states. “Similarly, if a friend ran faster than usual, his or her friends would tend to pick up their pace in their runs that same day.”

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Everything You Need to Know About Our Thunderclap Campaign to #PassPHIT

With just the click of a button, you can help IHRSA in our mission to #PassPHIT. How? Glad you asked!  

We are organizing a Thunderclap to help spread the word about all the benefits of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. Passing PHIT will allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos, and youth sports leagues.

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IHRSA 2017 Keynote Broadcast on Facebook Live

IHRSA broadcast today’s IHRSA 2017 keynote presentation on Facebook Live because we had a very important message to get out—#PassPHIT. 

“If exercise was a pill everybody would take it, right?” asked IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore. “If we could pass PHIT—if exercise was tax-deductible—just about everybody would be exercising more, and that’s what we want.”

The PHIT Act, which stands for Personal Health Investment Today, would expand the definition of a medical expense to include physical activity and allow consumers to use pre-tax accounts like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) to pay for qualified fitness expenses. Currently, the IRS code only allows these accounts to be used for medical expenses.

#IHRSA2017 attendees want Congress to #PassPHIT

A post shared by IHRSA (@ihrsa) on Mar 9, 2017 at 9:34am PST

PHIT was introduced in Congress on March 1 and is the fitness industry's top legislative priority. To help keep the momentum going, Moore and the IHRSA Board asked the packed keynote crowd to hold up #PassPHIT panels and yell loud enough for Congress to hear. Attendees were also urged to ask Congress to pass PHIT.

To help you explain how the PHIT Act will benefit your community, and America's Health, IHRSA has created the following #PassPHIT resources for download:

After Moore’s #PassPHIT message, Martin Lindstrom, author, change agent, and brand futurist, took the stage for his keynote presentation, sponsored by Technogym. Lindstrom spoke about the importance of small data and shared some consumer insights that club owners can use to benefit their businesses.

“In the future there will be both big and small data,” he said. “The way to stand out from the crowd is to be the best at picking up those seemingly insignificant observations.” 

Watch Moore’s speech about PHIT and Lindstrom’s keynote address on Facebook.


PHIT Introduced in Congress, Signaling the Fitness Industry Is Being Heard

PHIT, the fitness industry’s top federal legislative priority, was introduced today in Congress.

On the national front, IHRSA’s advocacy team has been actively engaging with Congress, the Administration, and allied organizations to promote physical activity and advance the interests of health club businesses, which are instrumental in building a healthier and more prosperous America.

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Here’s How IHRSA Plans to Grow Your Business and Promote the Industry in 2017

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “To succeed jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”

As IHRSA closes the door on another successful legislative session in 2016, let’s reflect on the opportunities realized over the past year and look ahead to the future—which offers additional opportunities to promote physical activity and ensure the continued growth and success of the health club industry.

In 2016, one of IHRSA’s largest goals was to increase the physically active population by supporting policies that would grow and promote the industry.

Continue reading "Here’s How IHRSA Plans to Grow Your Business and Promote the Industry in 2017."

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: IHRSA Members, Lobbyist Discuss PHIT on Capitol Hill

IHRSA Members, Lobbyist Discuss PHIT on Capitol Hill
IHRSA members Linda Mitchell and Kelly Beauparlant from the Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) Have a Heart Foundation spent Tuesday, February 6 on Capitol Hill with Jay Sweeney, IHRSA's Federal Lobbyist. As the IHRSA team preps for the introduction of the PHIT Act, legislation that would make gym memberships and physical activity more affordable, Sweeney and the NAC team met with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the PHIT Act's benefits to their constituents. After a full day of meetings Linda Mitchell, NAC's director of public and government relations, said, “I learned so much more about the process of getting this bill passed. The responses from our meetings were very positive, but there's still more work to do.”

(L-R: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Linda, Kelly Beauparlant, Jay Sweeney)

Mitchell then implored other IHRSA members to get involved in the very important grassroots efforts to pass PHIT, "This bill could change the "life" of your business once and for all, by reducing the cost of membership and other services for your members. Please reach out to IHRSA government relations to learn if your Congressman is supporting PHIT. If he or she is, thank them! If not, you need to reach out to them personally and immediately. Your voice will matter. The IHRSA team will walk you through the process."  

The Latest Fitness Fad: Stretching Studios
Move over barre, indoor cycling, and bootcamp—stretching studios are the newest fitness fad, according to The New York Times. However, rather than competing with other types of studios, stretching boutiques may be positioned to create more of a symbiotic relationship. “There are all these peak fitness places that have popped up,” Power Stretch Studios Owner Hakika V. DuBose told The Times, referring to SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, and CrossFit. “People go five times a week and their muscles are very overworked and contracted.” Power Stretch Studios isn’t the only boutique of its kind—there’s StretchOut Studios in Boston, Stretchlab in Los Angeles, and Stretch Zone, which appears to be the largest national chain with 31 locations in California, Florida, North Carolina, as well as other states.

Panelists Announced for the 21st Annual IHRSA Financial Panel
The annual IHRSA Financial Panel, taking place on Friday, March 10 during IHRSA 2017, will highlight the expertise of four highly-regarded financial experts and apply their knowledge to the issues impacting the health club market. "The intent of the panel is to ensure industry operators have the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions,” says Rick Caro, president of Management Vision and Financial Panel moderator. “This year’s four panelists have researched the market matter extensively.”

This year’s panelists include: 

  • Marc Magliacano, partner, L Catterton
  • Andrew B. Hirsekorn, principal, Eagle Merchant Partners
  • Will Cowan, senior VP, Jefferies LLC
  • Steve Tricarico, managing director, Jefferies LLC 

Panelists will offer information on major club transactions across a variety of club segments and answer any additional questions during a separate Q&A session. Learn more about the annual IHRSA Financial Panel.

Blink Fitness Announces Los Angeles Expansion
Blink Fitness announced the company’s expansion to Los Angeles metro area in 2017. According to a press release, Blink says that their first location in Los Angeles is a step in their mission to alter the rhetoric of unrealistic goals of ideal body image among the fitness industry. Their goal conceptualizes this positivity over physical results in their latest ad campaign, “Every Body Happy.” “The availability of prime real estate in dense neighborhoods with comparable demographics to much of Blink's home turf in the New York area made the Los Angeles marketplace an appealing next step for expansion,” said Todd Magazine, president of Blink Fitness. Blink's first LA lease is for a former 1930s movie theater in Huntington Park, set to open by the end of 2017. Read the full press release about the expansion of Blink Fitness.

6 Ways to Be a Leader in the Health Club Industry

Our friends at Star Trac Fitness created an awesome video based on one of our blog posts on leadership!


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Studies Find Cellphone Use and Exercise Don’t Mix

Studies Find Cellphone Use and Exercise Don’t Mix
Members shouldn’t be using their cellphones while working out—and not just because it annoys everyone around them. Talking or texting while exercising lowers the intensity of the session and negatively affects balance, which can increase risk of injury, according to two new studies. "If you're talking or texting on your cellphone while you're putting in your daily steps, your attention is divided by the two tasks and that can disrupt your postural stability, and therefore, possibly predispose individuals to other greater inherent risks such as falls and musculoskeletal injuries," study author Michael Rebold, assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College in Ohio, said in a release. Researchers found that texting on a cellphone reduced postural stability by 45% and talking on a cellphone reduced postural stability by 19%.

Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex Adds Physical Therapy Service
IHRSA member Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex announced Monday that “Body Zone Physical Therapy” is its newest community health service. The Wyomissing, PA, club said the service signals its new mission to merge medical services with fitness and preventative care for its members and the community. "Opening Body Zone Physical Therapy is a natural progression for us as we continue to grow towards medical-based fitness. It provides our members, participants in our sports programs, and the general public with an unparalleled opportunity to be healthy all under one roof,” General Manager Ted Kolva said in a release. "We are very fortunate to have Dr. Randy Yocum as our Director of Physical Therapy. His expertise, compassion, and knowledge is evident with every patient he treats. Randy’s experience, coupled with our facility’s offerings will make our practice one of the premier physical therapy experiences in the region.”

Under President Trump, 3 Possible Scenarios to Pass PHIT
Now that the 115th Congress is sworn in and Donald J. Trump is President Trump, healthcare reform and tax reform are at the top of the nation’s agenda. As a result, we see a three-tier opportunity to pass PHITRead IHRSA Executive Vice President of Public Policy Helen Durkin’s post that lays out the “dream scenario,” “replace scenario,” and “tax reform scenario.”

The ‘Target of Gyms’ Will Expand to Philadelphia in 2017
Blink Fitness, which Yahoo!Finance recently dubbed “the Target of gyms,” announced Monday that it will enter the Philadelphia metro area this year. "With dense neighborhoods, varied transit options, and suburbs close by, Philadelphia shares many qualities with our home turf in New York," Todd Magazine, president of Blink Fitness, said in a release. "We look forward to providing both a luxury gym experience at an affordable price and a groundbreaking approach to fitness." 


Under President Trump, 3 Possible Scenarios to Pass PHIT

Now that the 115th Congress is sworn in and Donald J. Trump is President Trump, healthcare reform and tax reform are at the top of the nation’s agenda. Now, we see a three-tier opportunity to pass PHIT

The Dream Scenario

The first opportunity for PHIT could occur when Congress votes to repeal the ACA through use of a special legislative process called “reconciliation.” Reconciliation allows for expedited consideration of certain tax, spending, and debt limit legislation. Until recently, we thought that the chance for including PHIT in the repeal legislation was close to zero. However, after President Trump and other key members of Congress said they might want to replace the ACA at the same time they repeal it, the chance to include some policy measures—like PHIT—in the repeal has grown.

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Spread the Word About PHIT with Our Handy Toolkit

What if your members and prospects could save money on fitness expenses while improving health? 

If that happened, the benefits you might reap include:  

  • More members joining
  • Current members using more ancillary services
  • Better member retention  

Sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not—those benefits could become reality thanks to the PHIT Act. And we have all the tools you need to spread the word to members.

PHIT Would Make Health Club Membership More Affordable

The PHIT Act is federal legislation that would allow any American to use pre-tax accounts like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) to pay for qualified fitness expenses. Currently, the IRS code only allows these accounts to be utilized for medical expenses.

By allowing HSAs and FSAs to pay for fitness expenses, Americans will be able to use $1,000 pre-tax for health club memberships or fitness activities; families will be able to budget $2,000. If passed, it is estimated that individuals and families would see a savings of 20-30% on fitness expenses.

Simply put, under the PHIT Act, health club membership is more affordable.

Everything You Need to Launch a GET PHIT Awareness Campaign

PHIT has bipartisan support in Congress, but we need your help. By educating your members about PHIT, you can help lay the groundwork for the legislation’s success.

The Get PHIT campaign is designed to educate health club members about the importance of passing this legislation, through having the club play the critical role of the conduit in the education process. As fitness consumers, your members stand to save money and prevent disease if PHIT is successful. Clubs that are familiar with the PHIT Act have an excellent opportunity to spread the word about PHIT and attract broad support for the measure.

How a Get PHIT awareness campaign will work at your club is up to you, but we suggest using the communication tools in this toolkit to educate your staff, members, and community about PHIT. This will provide your members with the knowledge base they need for encouraging others to lend additional support.

That way, when PHIT advances in Congress, your members will feel confident reaching out to their members of Congress and urging them to support this legislation through an IHRSA grassroots advocacy campaign.

Once you download Get PHIT: Tools to Design an Awareness Campaign at Your Club for the Personal Health Investment Today Act you’ll have several ready-to-use resources, including: 

  • A sample blog post explaining the importance of PHIT to your members
  • An eye-catching infographic that you can share on your social networks
  • A series of tweets and facts ready to post on your Twitter account
  • A meme-generator to help you communicate the value of PHIT in a fun way
  • FAQs that explain PHIT’s eligible fitness expenses, what it costs, and more! 

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