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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.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: Answers to Questions on Vaccines, Exercise [VIDEO]

This week, IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden urges health clubs to sign on to the Active & Safe Commitment, answers questions about vaccines and exercise, and touches on news about EU tariffs and the GYMS Act.

The recent news of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Hong Kong fitness facility is a great reminder of the importance of health clubs to continue to offer safe environments for their members. As more people get vaccinated, it is also crucial that we continue to follow safety measures.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent discusses keeping members safe, and answers your questions on working out and following guidelines after receiving your vaccine.

Brent also shares good news on European Union tariffs, a quick update on the GYMS Act, and wishes Dr. Kenneth Cooper, “The Father of Aerobics,” a happy 90th birthday.

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

  • 0:21 - COVID-19 Outbreaks & Keeping Your Member Safe
  • 0:57 - GYMS Act: An Important Update
  • 1:30 - EU Tariffs Suspended
  • 2:15 - Working Out After the Vaccine
  • 3:17 - Happy Birthday, Dr. Kenneth Cooper

As more people are vaccinated and we hit record numbers of club openings in the United States and abroad, letting your members know your club is doing what it needs to be done to keep them and your staff safe is absolutely crucial. So let's jump right into this week's IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

COVID-19 Outbreaks & Keeping Your Members Safe

The news last week of an outbreak at a small fitness-only facility in Hong Kong is really a good reminder of why it's important that every club make the Active & Safe Commitment. Scientific research and data, both in the U.S. and globally, help reinforce that clubs following the recommended COVID-19 mitigation steps continue to offer safe environments for their communities to be active.

Please, if you haven't already, sign up for the Active & Safe [Commitment] so that we can be a good example in all of our communities.

GYMS Act: An Important Update

As of this recording, the GYMS Act now has 62 sponsors from over 20 states. Fitness professionals and gym-goers have sent over 17,000 letters asking Congress to support the GYMS Act. And while this is truly inspiring, we do need to maintain the pressure on Congress. So please keep sharing the campaign and asking friends, family and colleagues to send a message to the representatives.

EU Tariffs Suspended

Back in November, some of you may remember that I shared information on European tariffs that included a 25% tax on exercise equipment going into the European Union from the United States. Today, I'm happy to share that the EU and U.S. recently agreed to suspend those tariffs for at least a four-month period. I think the European Commission executive vice president said it best stating that, “Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides at a time when the pandemic is hurting our workers and our economies.” Obviously, this is significant for so many of our industry partners, and we're happy for them that this is finally changed.

Working Out After the Vaccine

We've received quite a few questions concerning members who get the vaccine, like “Can people working out after or the same day that they get the vaccine do so safely?” or, “Do they need to follow the special guidelines?” Well, I recently came across a very good article from Verywell Fiit, and I wanted to share three key takeaways that you might find helpful.

  1. Everybody's body will respond differently to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and perhaps even the different vaccines that are available on the market.
  2. Some may experience no symptoms, while others may have more significant side effects.
  3. You should monitor how you're feeling and then consider modifying your regular workout or perhaps take a rest day after receiving the vaccine.

Overall, the most common symptoms reported include complaints of muscle soreness and fatigue.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Kenneth Cooper

Finally, I want to recognize Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who I had the pleasure of working closely with several years ago, who recently turned 90. Known as the “Father of Aerobics” and for his pioneering work in preventive medicine, he continues to challenge individuals to live a healthier lifestyle. In celebration of his birthday, he invited everyone to take a 90-day challenge to “Get Cooperized” with these eight action steps.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Make healthy food choices most of the time
  3. Exercise most days of the week
  4. Take the right supplements for you
  5. Do not use tobacco
  6. Control alcohol usage
  7. Manage your stress
  8. Make sure you get a regular comprehensive physical exam

Dr. Cooper was truly a leader ahead of his time in terms of promoting exercise research around the benefits of healthy behaviors and longevity and creating a world-class preventive medicine clinic. One of his favorite sayings, on the topic of evaluating your own wellness that I enjoyed over the years and I've borrowed from him many times, is this question: “If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be?” ... I'll leave you to ponder on that thought.

Well, that's it for this week's IHRSA Take 5. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to sharing more with you next week. Take care.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.