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Entries in #WhyGetActive (70)


3 Ways Exercise Makes You Better at Life

Exercise is more than an avenue to weight loss. In addition to all the known mental and physical health benefits (chronic disease prevention, cognitive, and mood benefits), it turns out exercise can also make you better at life.

1. Exercise helps you focus and be productive

Continue reading "3 Ways Exercise Makes You Better at Life."

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5 Hilarious Exercise Motivations, from Peanut Butter to Revenge

Exercise enthusiasts say the darndest things…

There are many legitimate reasons to pursue a physically active lifestyle—better mood, lower risk of health problems, and improved physical stamina, just to name a few. But lets face it—sometimes people need to focus on a less-healthful goal to motivate themselves to hit the gym. And those goals can be pretty funny. 

Since 2014, IHRSA has asked the fitness industry, legislators, legislative aides, and consumers to share why they pursue a physically active lifestyle as part of our #WhyGetActive campaign. Some people took this question more seriously than others.

Here are the five funniest reasons we found that motivated people to get active. 

Continue reading "5 Hilarious Exercise Motivations, from Peanut Butter to Revenge."

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Active Wellness Embodies the Spirit of #WhyGetActive

A community is more powerful if clubs provide people with a warm welcome, a supportive space, and a sincere, nurturing spirit.  Doing so, with a focus on health and fitness, enables us to improve people's lives.

That was the sentiment expressed by Bill McBride, the cofounder, president, and CEO of Active Wellness, the multifaceted Sausalito, CA–based company, when he submitted its entry in IHRSA’s #WhyGetActive video contest.

Active Wellness’ video eventually proved to be the winning entry.

Continue reading "Active Wellness Embodies the Spirit of #WhyGetActive."

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Would an Act of Congress Help Americans Get Active?

It’s a question we’ve all been pondering for years: What will it take to get more Americans to incorporate the habit of exercise into their daily lives? Would an act of Congress help? An act that promotes physical activity by helping individuals and families more easily pay exercise-related expenses?

It certainly would, and IHRSA has been working diligently to pass such a bill... but it’s well known that government moves at a glacial pace.

Ten years ago, IHRSA, along with the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), joined forces to introduce the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act.

PHIT would allow Americans to pay for club memberships, youth sports league fees, fitness equipment, and exercise DVDs with pretax dollars from their health savings (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Although 100 members of Congress are currently sponsoring PHIT, it hasn’t yet passed. So, to gather more congressional support for the proposal, in May, IHRSA joined with the Congressional Fitness Caucus to sponsor the #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair in Washington, D.C.

The attendees enjoyed a range of interactive exhibits and activities provided by IHRSA members and partners, which included, among other things, group exercise classes, booths for health screenings and evaluations, and stations that offered onsite massage therapy.

The IHRSA exhibitors included Steve Capezzone, the CEO of Healthtrax International, Inc., based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and Allison Flatley, the COO of Corporate Fitness Works (CFW), based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both are members of IHRSA’s board of directors.

Attendees also were encouraged to take part in the #WhyGetActive social media campaign, which encourages individuals to write down their reasons for being physically active on a whiteboard and, then, share that message, along with a photo, across a number of online platforms and networks.

The event was well received, and a number of congres- sional staffers and five members of Congress participated. The latter included Representatives Bob Dold (R-IL), Ron Kind (D-WI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

“The opportunity to engage with members of Congress and their staff at the Health Policy Fair was priceless,” says Flatley. “Regardless of their political party, the members of Congress are concerned about the health of the nation, and they’ve acknowledged the good work our industry does, and the need for our expertise to help affect policy and behavior change.”

While the May gathering was very successful, there’s more work to do, and IHRSA clubs can help.

You can encourage your staff and members to call or e-mail their congressional representative to express their support for legislation such as PHIT. Targeted communications play a vital role in emphasizing the importance of physical activity, says Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s executive vice president of public policy.

“As we’re in the midst of an election year, it’s more important than ever to send the right message to our political leaders so they clearly understand the impact they can have on the health decisions of our citizens,” she explains. “If we make physical activity a priority, then we’ll be able to make a real difference in the lives of all Americans, and, by doing so, help ensure the nation’s future prosperity and stability.”


Share Your Fitness Throwback Thursday (#TBT) with IHRSA 

Health clubs have been helping Americans find fitness and health for over 70 years, and as a united industry since 1981. Clubs have, through the decades, kept up with the latest in fitness trends and fashions—from belly bands to step aerobics to kettlebell class. 

Yesterday, the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition kicked off their #0to60 campaign with a comic Funny or Die sketch on the history of fitness featuring comedian Nick Offerman (best known for his portrayal of Ron Swanson in “Parks and Recreation”) and First Lady Michelle Obama. 

IHRSA sponsored the video and is a proud partner of the #0to60 campaign

In celebration of the decades the health club industry has been working towards a fitter, healthier America, we’re asking our member clubs to share some of their vintage photos and videos from the last 60 years. 

Have a photo of someone using the belly band? An aerobics class featuring leg warmers and leotards? Photos of your club in the 1990s? Share it! You can email us your photos or share them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram—but be sure to tag us at @IHRSA and use the hashtag #WhyGetActive! 

To help get you in the spirit, enjoy this fitness demo from Brick Bodies owners Lynn and Victor Brick, circa 1985. 


And the #WhyGetActive Video Contest Winner Is…

Congratulations, Active Wellness

We’re proud to announce Active Wellness as the winners of #WhyGetActive video contest. Their video focused on how they create a supportive, welcoming place for people to pursue health and physical activity, and the importance of reaching out to the community. 

The #WhyGetActive video contest was launched at IHRSA 2016 in Orlando, FL. The contest challenged clubs to share the good work they were doing in their communities in a one-minute video, using the hashtag #WhyGetActive. 

"We are honored to have won the IHRSA #WhyGetActive Video Contest,” says Bill McBride, president & CEO of Active Wellness. “We believe in IHRSA’s mission and our mission. Our team had a lot of fun creating the video as it allowed us to show our core values in doing what we do.  Our marketing team ‘gets it’ on what the field teams strive for on a daily basis. 

“We put people first and our people do all they can to promote activity, health, fitness, wellness, and well-being.  Active’s core values are authenticity, community, teamwork, innovation, versatility, and excellence. The team tried to share our collective core values in the promotion of getting active. Thank you IHRSA for your industry leadership and recognition of our teamwork towards the common goal. Get active!” 

As winners, Active Wellness will receive a donation of $500 to the local charity of their choosing, a Club Business International feature focused on their programs and initiatives, inclusion in a press release announcing the winners, and an opportunity to share their knowledge on video and social marketing at an upcoming IHRSA event. 


Happy International Day of Yoga

Tuesday, June 21 marks International Day of Yoga, celebrated by the United Nations as a day to raise awareness about the many benefits of practicing yoga. 

Yoga has been shown to decrease stress, improve muscle strength, help maintain balance, and increase flexibility. Many clubs offer yoga as part of their group exercise offerings, and some clubs offer yoga for specific groups like prenatal yoga and yoga class for older adults. 

According to the latest IHRSA Consumer Report, 9.9 million consumers participated in yoga in 2014, one of the most popular group exercise offerings for people under 24. Stretching and calisthenics were one of the most popular offerings to adults over 55. And, according to the Sport and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), 25.2 million health club members participated in yoga in 2015. 

IHRSA members offer a wide variety of yoga styles, from meditative and restorative yoga to higher intensity Vinyasa and power yoga classes, as well as Bikram yoga, or yoga performed in a heated room. Some clubs and boutiques have taken a more interesting route—trying out yoga with cats, beer, and even salt. 

Are you celebrating International Day of Yoga? Tag us on Twitter @IHRSA or add the hashtag #WhyGetActive. 


Top 5 Reasons U.S. Policy Makers Get Active 

Last Thursday, IHRSA sponsored the #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair, hosted by the Congressional Fitness Caucus. The event took place on Capitol Hill and brought together policy makers and physical activity advocates with the goal of advancing policies that promote and encourage physical activity.

The day-long event featured interactive exhibits from IHRSA members and IHRSA allies, free body composition screenings, massages, and a group workout. The event was attended by a number of congresional staffers and five members of Congress: Rep. Bob Dold (IL), Rep. Ron Kind (WI), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI), Rep. Carolos Cubelo (FL), and Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR). 

IHRSA staff was there to promote the benefits—both physical and fiscal—that health clubs provide to the country, and encourage attendees to participate in the #WhyGetActive white board campaign. The inspirational #WhyGetActive campaign provides a platform for individuals to share their compelling reasons for being physically active to encourage all Americans to incorporate more exercise into their daily habits and lifestyles.

Here are the top five reasons U.S. policy makers and activity advocates gave for purusing a physically active lifestyle themselves. 

1. To live a long, healthy life 

2. To maintain good health 

Rep. Robert Dold (IL)

3. For happiness or mental health

4. To continue purusing hobbies  

5. For their kids or grand kids

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Legislators Attend #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair on Capitol Hill

U.S. Legislators Attend 3rd Annual #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair
IHRSA and the Congressional Fitness Caucus hosted the third annual #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair on Capitol Hill this Thursday, gathering members of Congress to highlight national efforts and policies to promote physical activity. The day-long event featured interactive exhibits from IHRSA members and IHRSA allies, free body composition screenings, massages, and a group workout. “This is so, so important,” Rep. Ron Kind (WI) said in a speech during the fair. “As we know, we’ve got to change the culture in America, we’ve got to make it easy for more people to be more active. Basically, we have to make healthy choice the easy choice in peoples lives—that means not only physical activity, but nutrition.” Rep. Bob Dold (IL), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI), Carolos Cubelo (FL), Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR), and a number of congressional staff also attended.

Rep. Robert Dold (IL)

Social Media Might Be Behind Popularity of Inversion Yoga Poses
A growing number of yoga participants are striving to master inversion poses, according to The New York Times. The fixation could be caused by social media, where images of yogis doing handstands and other complex poses are popular. An analyst with market research firm IBISWorld said yoga poses lend themselves to showing off—a statement supported by Instagram search results, where the hashtag #yogaeverydamnday has more than five million posts, and #handstand and #handstands have over 400,000. “There’s a level of badassness to it,” Metta Murdaya, 41, told The Times. Murdaya, who has been working on her handstand for two years, said her inversion practice made her feel more confident, fearless, and focused. “Literally, you succeed because you refuse to fail.”

Running Boom Slows as Millennials Opt for Noncompetitive Fitness
After two decades of growth, the popularity of competitive running is starting to slow due to decreased participation from millennials,
The Wall Street Journal reports. The sport is traditionally dominated by young adults, but statistics show those aged 18 to 34 years old are choosing noncompetitive fitness over running. The number of footrace finishers decreased by 9% in 2015, according to Running USA. While the research group reported the sport reached an all-time peak of 19 million runners in 2013, it has since dropped to 17 million in 2015. “Of course, most runners don’t compete in marathons, half-marathons, 10Ks or 5Ks,” The Journal reports. “But the larger pool of noncompetitive runners also is shrinking—especially among millennials, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Overall, the number of adults who run 50 times a year or more declined 11% from 2013 to 2015.”

Fitness Trackers Move to Basketballs and Socks
Fitness trackers have evolved from the clip-on pedometer to the ubiquitous wristband. Now, The New York Times reports that the next iteration of fitness trackers is taking new forms. In the article, The Times details several fitness trackers that are embedded in basketballs, socks, and other unconventional items. The Wilson X Connected Basketball costs $199, and was created to track shots in real time to help players develop shooting skills. A sensor embedded inside the ball records made and missed shots, which it relays to an app. Sensoria’s Fitness Smart Socks, $199, feature textile sensors that transmit data to a mobile app via anklets that are connected to the socks. “As cumbersome as that sounds, the socks are comfortable and the anklets are unnoticeable and stay securely attached,” the reporter wrote. “When used with the Sensoria Fitness app, the socks produce a wealth of real-time feedback on cadence, foot landing, pace and speed (for instance, I found out that I landed on my heel too often when I ran).”


Create a #WhyGetActive Video in 5 Easy Steps

"Hi, I'm Alex and I've never made a movie before."The #WhyGetActive video contest is an opportunity for you to share the great work your club is doing, and compete for some bonus publicity and the opportunity to help an organization or charity in your community. Clubs and businesses can submit a video until May 31and a winner will be announced on June 15.

Making a video is one of those things that sounds hard, but isn't. And to illustrate that point, I made a video using the iMovie app showcasing how IHRSA supports a healthy workplace. It took me less than two hours total to shoot the footage, edit, and post. Below are the steps I took to create this quick, easy movie. 

Step 1: Create Your Story 

Using a notepad and pencil, I drew up a quick story board to organize the points I wanted to make and how I wanted to lay out the video.

Step 2: Shoot the Footage 

I sent a quick email around to recruit volunteers to be in the video. I also filmed a pre-planned event, the first session of an eight week yoga program. 

Step 3: Edit in iMovie 

Once you have all your videos, open iMovie or another video editing app of your choice and add them from your phone. You can also use pictures—the first and last section of my video are images.

Step 4: Share!

Upload your video to YouTube and share on your social media accounts to get the most views.

Step 5: Submit

Finally, submit your video entry on the #WhyGetActive video contest page.