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: GYMS Act Debuts in Senate [VIDEO]

IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden shares a big update on the GYMS Act, announces a new partnership, and shares details on an upcoming webinar in this week’s Take 5.

  • May 19, 2021

As the GYMS Act builds momentum, the fitness industry is feeling optimistic about the future and the recovery for a lot of clubs after the pandemic.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent shares a big update on the GYMS Act and data from a new wellness report that hints that the fitness industry is getting ready for a big comeback.

Brent also announces a new partnership, gives a quick update on the IHRSA CEO search, and shares details on an upcoming webinar with a member of the Apple Watch Health Team.

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

  • 0:25 - GYMS Act Introduced in Senate

  • 1:43 - Vaccinated People Can Safely Forego Masks Indoors

  • 2:26 - New IHRSA Partnership & a CEO Search Update

  • 3:52 - Apple Connect with Holt Vaughan

  • 4:40 - Wellness Industry Quick Facts from Credit Suisse

Full Transcript

The Senate's introduction of the GYMS Act and a new wellness report has many in the fitness industry feeling optimistic once again. Also, the new update to the CDC guidelines moves us ever closer to our pre-pandemic lives and I have some interesting IHRSA announcements to share as well.

Thank you for joining me for this week's Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

GYMS Act Introduced in Senate

I'd like to start off by applauding senators Tammy Duckworth and Jerry Moran for introducing the GYMS Act in the Senate. Also, I want to thank the nearly 14,000 people who already contacted Congress about the GYMS Act. Obviously, we couldn't have gotten this far without you.

The GYMS Act now has more than 110 co-sponsors in the House. Now it's time to shift and continue to build in the House but to also build sponsors in the Senate. Passing the GYMS Act would again help fitness facilities recoup as much as 45% of 2019 revenue to replace revenue lost through the mandatory closures during the pandemic. So please visit thegymsact dot com, take action and share the link with your friends, members, and family so they can help out also.

If you or your business has a Twitter account, we'd also ask you to please make sure you join the Twitter storm on Thursday, May 20. Use hashtag GYMSAct to help get attention focused on the GYMS Act. In the description of this video, we'll include a link to more information and also sample messaging that our friends over at Align Brooklyn have pulled together.

Vaccinated People Can Safely Forego Masks Indoors

According to the latest CDC guidelines, people who are fully vaccinated can return to normal activities without wearing a mask or physical distancing. That is unless required by national, regional, or local regulations, or perhaps when required by a business or workplace. So fitness centers and states without mass mandates or social distancing requirements can now allow fully vaccinated members to forgo masks if they choose to do so.

Many clubs are already in the process of rescinding mandatory mask policies in lieu of allowing members to make their own choice about wearing masks at the club.

New IHRSA Partnership & a CEO Search Update

I'm happy to announce that IHRSA has formed a partnership with MedFit Education Foundation and the MedFit Network. This relationship will support IHRSA's commitment to elevating our industry's ties to the healthcare continuum and the medical community. The MedFit Education Foundation facilitates learning and empowers professionals to help those with medical conditions, chronic disease disabilities, and women's health issues. This strategic partnership will provide medically-based fitness education training at IHRSA's 2021 convention. It also allows IHRSA's professional members to have access to over 30 medical fitness specialist courses through MedFit classroom, as well as an opportunity to promote themselves to the public via an international online directory of professionals who specialize in condition-specific prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, as well as other services through the MedFit Network.

Well, time has flown by since I stepped in last September as the interim CEO and it's almost time for me to pass the reins to the new and permanent IHRSA CEO. The International Search Committee, led by IHRSA Board Member Greta Wagner, has announced that in the coming weeks the board will finalize a selection, from a prolific list of candidates I might add, and announce IHRSA's new CEO.

Apple Connect with Holt Vaughan

A new initiative from Apple called Apple Watch Connected is making it easier to keep club members engaged and active. Apple Watch Connected connects to your fitness facilities cardio equipment for easy tracking, allows your members to use Apple Pay for purchases within your club, and even offers an incentive program to earn rewards for fitness activity tracked using the Apple Watch.

Holt Vaughan, a member of the Apple Watch Health Team, is doing a Q&A webinar for IHRSA members on May 27 to answer questions about the Apple Watch health features, the new initiative, and more. Check out ihrsa.org/webinars for more details.

Wellness Industry Quick Facts from Credit Suisse

We have a few wellness industry quick facts from research done by the investment firm Credit Suisse that tells us the future of the fitness industry is bright and people are focusing on their well-being.

Credit Suisse estimates that in 2021 the global wellness economy will be valued at $5.8 trillion and could grow 4.7% annually through 2024. That's nearly twice as fast as the economic growth predictions. As far as consumer interest in trends, they found that 77% of people say wellness is very or extremely important to them, and 73% see wellness as an essential part of a brand strategy. They also found that 80% of people want to improve their wellness, and 50% of people globally hope to increase their physical and mental wellness in 2021.

This is even more great data showing a positive outlook for the fitness industry from outside of the fitness industry, which is awesome.

Well, that's it for this week's Take 5. Thanks once again for joining me and I'll see you next week.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.