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: Reinventing and Rebuilding the Fitness Industry [VIDEO]

IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden shares details on IHRSA’s new collaboration with the WHO, announces GHFA’s new membership, and discusses the IHRSA Advocate’s new look and direction in this week’s Take 5.

  • May 26, 2021

While the pandemic impacted people’s ability to stay physically active, it also highlighted the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent shares details on IHRSA’s collaborative event with the World Health Organization and how they are working to build a stronger and more inclusive physical activity and sport system for all.

Brent also talks about the Global Health & Fitness Alliance’s new membership and shares details on the new research study they are working on.

He also addresses the IHRSA Advocate new look and direction, discusses an article by Dr. David Katz, and gives more quick facts from a wellness industry report by Credit Suisse.

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

  • 0:22 World Health Organization and IHRSA Collaborate to ReINVENT and ReBUILD
  • 1:33 Be a Part of the Global Health & Fitness Alliance
  • 2:46 What Happened to the IHRSA Advocate?
  • 3:36 Sensible COVID Policies, Unmasked by Dr. David Katz
  • 5:36 Wellness Industry Quick Facts from Credit Suisse: Part 2

Full Transcript

I hope everyone continues to see encouraging signs of emergence from the pandemic and the recovery of your business. In the meantime, I have some interesting updates to share. So, let's get right to this week's IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

World Health Organization and IHRSA Collaborate to ReINVENT and ReBUILD

I'm delighted to tell you that IHRSA is holding a collaborative event with the WHO on June the third. This WHO event is called the ReINVENT and ReBUILD Webinar: Ready for change: the future of sport, exercise and fitness. But this will really be far from the typical webinar. This event includes a high-level panel that wants to hear from all of you to help inform the WHO Policy Brief on physical activity, which will include our sector for the very first time, which is great news for us and our industry that the WHO is wanting to feature the health and fitness part of this vector.

Dr. Michelle Seeger, who is part of IHRSA's Medical Science and Health Advisory Council, and I will be joined by others as part of the discussion. And this policy brief is going to inform governments and policymakers worldwide and help elevate our industry to gain more recognition and credibility into the future.

So, we're including a link to register in the description of this video. And it is a free event, so I encourage you to actively participate and spread the message to all of your contacts in the industry.

Be a Part of the Global Health & Fitness Alliance

Our Global Health and Fitness Alliance members and volunteers are working on some pretty big initiatives, then I have some news that I'd like to share around that.

First, the GHFA has opened up membership and is inviting c-suite level people to apply if you're interested. So, if you're a thought leader and you have a passion to grow the global industry, find the link to join the GHFA in the description of this video.

The second thing I want to share is that the GHFA is working on an exciting, actually the first ever of its kind, global impact economic research study. So big thanks to our club operators and industry leaders for designing and funding this study. The GHFA economic impact research project will quantify and amplify how the health and fitness industry contributes to the global economy, as well as the health of the respective communities all around the world. We'll share more information in the coming months and our next full GHFA meeting will be held on June the 10th. Again, if you'd like to support this innovative initiative or get involved, please visit the link in the description of this video.

What Happened to the IHRSA Advocate?

You may have noticed the IHRSA advocate Twitter and Facebook platforms have had a new look and direction recently. Don't worry, we're still going to share all the fitness-related advocacy and lobbying content that you're used to seeing, but now it'll be delivered under the National Health and Fitness Alliance branding.

The NHFA is a broad-based, open-platform, community-driven alliance bringing together leaders and changemakers from a variety of fields and disciplines to do something important for the promotion of health and fitness. We welcome and invite all health and fitness industry stakeholders to connect to the NHFA community.

There is no membership. It's just about your participation and your contribution both of time and perhaps also funding if you'd like to do that. And with the new IHRSA new structure, every U.S. member has the opportunity to get involved with the alliance automatically because a portion of all U.S. member dues contribute to our efforts of promoting and protecting the industry as part of the NHFA initiative.

Sensible COVID Policies, Unmasked by Dr. David Katz

A recent article by Dr. David Katz, founder and CEO of DietID and also a member of IHRSA's Medical Science and Health Advisory Council, discusses the new CDC guidelines and the idea that life inherently involves risk. He explains that the new policy validates immunization, rewards vaccination, and that the right time to lift mask mandates is when everyone wanting to be vaccinated has had the chance to do so, or when the risk of infection is lower, which may or may not be right now, depending on where you are in the world and where the vaccine rollout is happening right now.

The bottom line here is simply this, according to Dr. Katz, the risk of getting COVID if you are immunized and even nominally responsible in your behaviors is very low, with or without masks. Also, the risk of getting severe COVID is all the vanishingly improbable. However, he says, life comes with risks. Dr. Katz also explained that as with all other vaccines, those inclined to be vaccinated, did, and are continuing about their normal lives. COVID infection after a vaccine is a low risk, but it's not zero, and COVID infection without a vaccine is a much higher risk, but it's not a certainty either. As we did before the pandemic, Dr. Katz says, "we will need to reconcile ourselves again to the idea that living involves risk."

Wellness Industry Quick Facts from Credit Suisse: Part 2

After last week, several of you contacted us and asked for more information on the wellness report from Credit Suisse. So I wanted to share a little more information from that report.

So, Credit Suisse looked into long-term trends that supported wellness growth. One of their findings was that the World Health Organization predicts that the over 60 population will almost double by the year 2050, which could put a premium on health and wellness and also influence purchasing habits. Further if trends continue, consumers will also see a high cost and countries could see rising death tolls.

In response, Credit Suisse predicts consumers and governments will become increasingly aware and involved and incorporate aspects of health and wellness that they hope will help reverse the effects of unhealthy lifestyles. Credit Suisse also predicts people will pursue proactive lifestyle choices that tilt toward health and fitness, such as more exercise, shopping for healthier foods, using health and fitness-related apps and spending more time actively outdoors. They're also seeing the younger generation spending more on health and wellness products.

That's it for this week. I hope this information helps you feel even more optimistic about the future of our health and wellness industry.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.