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Each week, IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

Exercise Promotes a Sense of Purpose [VIDEO]

IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden discusses a new study that suggests exercise promotes a higher sense of purpose, shares details on an upcoming industry-wide event, and gives an update on IHRSA 2021.

Through all the lockdowns and changing policies of the pandemic, you may be feeling a little indifferent about life in general, but new research on exercise may be able to help.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent discusses a new study that suggests exercise may promote a better sense of direction and higher sense of purpose.

He also shares details on an upcoming industry-wide event that you won’t want to miss and gives an update on IHRSA 2021.

Watch the full video for all of the latest news. You can also read the transcript below.

  • 0:27 Exercise Promotes a Sense of Purpose

  • 1:27 IHRSA Foundation and the Special Olympics Inclusive Health Innovation Grant

  • 2:45 A Successful World Health Organization Webinar with the Fitness Industry

  • 3:34 Save the Date for the Next Industry-Wide Event

  • 4:32 IHRSA 2021 Hotel Reservations Now Available

Full Transcript

If perhaps you've been feeling indifferent about life over this last year, you're not alone, but we have a recent study that suggests exercise may help increase people's sense of direction and purpose in life. We'll also have some exciting fitness industry news and an update on IHRSA 2021, so let's get right to it.

Thanks for joining me for another IHRSA Take 5 sponsored by Precor.

Exercise Promotes a Sense of Purpose

A recent study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine gave insights on how exercise affected over 18,000 middle-aged adults, and how it influenced their sense of purpose in life. The study looked at people's responses to statements such as my "daily activities often seem trivial and unimportant," or "I have a sense of direction and purpose in life." Researchers then revisited people's attitudes a few years later, and found that an increase in sense of purpose was associated with higher physical activity, and vice versa, where higher physical activity was positively associated with future levels of sense of purpose, which demonstrates the bidirectional relationship between the two. Or, as I like to say, intentional actions drive purposeful outcomes.

IHRSA Foundation and the Special Olympics Inclusive Health Innovation Grant

We've redesigned the IHRSA Foundation website recently, with information on current initiatives, resources, and ways to offer support. As you know, last year, the IHRSA Foundation, in collaboration with the American Council on Exercise, obtained funding from the Special Olympics Inclusive Health Innovation Grant. And we were intended to use these funds towards developing tools and resources to help fitness centers offer more programs and services for people with intellectual disabilities.

We also have several other research projects underway including a study by ClubIntel and ABC Fitness Solutions around member sentiments and returning to the gym post-COVID. A project with the Caritate Foundation focused on providing health promotion resources to the underserved Hispanic community, working with clear view insights on behavioral motivation messaging, and soon-to-be-announced a project in concert with the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation about mental wellness and how clubs can play a part. So please check out the new website and stay tuned for even more resources in the future.

A Successful WHO Webinar

I want to take just a moment to thank the over 1,000 people who registered for the World Health Organization's webinar recently. It happened on June the third and many of you I know responded directly to me and registered, I really appreciate that. This was their highest attended webinar to date. The event included great discussions on the impact COVID had on exercise, fitness, and physical activity.

If you weren't able to make it, I highly encourage you to check back and watch the recording or perhaps maybe just the highlight reel that they're getting ready to launch here in the next several days. Something that stood out to me during the event was the overall heightened awareness about physical activity and well-being around the world.

Save the Date

June 29th. Please mark your calendar because that's the current day of the second United We Rise industry-wide action event. At the first event, if you remember, we had representatives Mike Quigley and Brian Fitzpatrick join us to talk about the GYMS Act, which now has 129 sponsors. This time, we're planning to talk about the exciting and innovative way our industry can take a data-driven approach to promote physical activity and exercise. I won't go too much into it right now, but IHRSA staff and a headlight team of industry marketing professionals have been working with behavioral science experts for months now to develop and test a rallying cry for our industry that will help motivate and inspire more people to be physically active. So keep an eye on your inboxes for our invite and save the date for June 29.

IHRSA 2021

We've been hard at work planning IHRSA 2021 and are excited to have everyone back together again for a great show in October in Dallas, Texas. Registration and event details will be made available very soon, but in the meantime, make sure to book your hotel room and one of IHRSA's official hotels to get the discounted IHRSA's 2021 rate. Those two hotels right now are the Aloft Dallas Downtown Hotel or the Omni Dallas Hotel. We're going to be adding more hotels in the next couple of days. Both are located in Dallas and are within walking distance of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, the site of IHRSA 2021.

You can find more information on booking your hotel at ihrsa.org/hotels, rooms are going to fill up fast as always, so don't wait. We're excited to share more information on the event, including the brochure, the speakers, the keynotes, and all that type of information will be coming your way very, very soon.

That's all for now. We'll see you next week.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.