Health is of the utmost importance to the health and fitness industry. Throughout the pandemic, the focus of the industry has been to provide people with ways to safely be active while clubs were shut down. Then, the focus shifted to the institution of stringent safeguards to minimize risk to reopen and stay open. Yet despite these efforts, the media and sometimes public officials have incorrectly labeled the industry as unsafe.
To counter the misconceptions and negative news—and mark health clubs as essential businesses—IHRSA is meeting with medical and health policy experts to get their view on the matter. This article is the first in a series in which we will share expert opinions from medical, science, and public health professionals focusing on:
- exercising safely in clubs during a pandemic,
- how gyms play a significant role in keeping people healthy, and
- the overall health benefits of exercise.
We recently spoke with Robert Sallis, M.D., to get his expert advice on the subject.
Exercise Is Essential
Physical activity is a key measure for prevention, management, and treatment of chronic health conditions. It also promotes long-term health and longevity. Approximately 20% of Americans exercise in one of the nation’s 40,000 health and fitness clubs.