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: Supporting & Protecting the Fitness Industry [VIDEO]

This week, IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden shares exciting news about IHRSA’s growing relationship with the World Health Organization, announces the members of the National Health & Fitness Alliance Council, and more!

Staying physically active when gyms are closed or are operating on reduced hours can be hard. However, according to SFIA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report, many Americans decided to bring the gym home.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent shares how IHRSA is working with the World Health Organization to support physical activity in communities and announces the new members of the National Health & Fitness Alliance Advisory Council who are working hard to promote and protect the fitness industry.

Brent also gives you a sweet reason to get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Watch the full video for all of the latest news. You can also read the transcript below.

  • 0:38 - Fitness Equipment Sees Increased Sales
  • 1:18 - COVID Surge in Brazil
  • 2:07 - WHO Committed to Increasing Physical Activity
  • 3:18 - National Health & Fitness Alliance
  • 3:52 - Vaccine Health Data & Sweet Treat

Full Transcript

Whether working out at home, outdoors, or at the gym, more and more people are catching on to the benefits of being physically active, along with the overall improvement it can have on our health, of course, which is great news. On this week's Take 5, I want to share with you some numbers that show just how dedicated some Americans were to their fitness routine in 2020, and also how IHRSA continues to work hard promoting and protecting our industry.

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

Fitness Equipment Sees Increased Sales

Because gyms were either closed or restricted much of last year, many people took matters into their own hands, so to speak, and decided to create their own home gym resulting in skyrocketing fitness equipment sales. According to SFIA's Manufacturer Sales by Category Report, consumer fitness sales jumped 40.5% to almost $5.59 billion. The top five categories that saw the largest increase were treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise cycles, free weights, and home gyms. These numbers further demonstrate that the interest in fitness is alive and well.

COVID Surge in Brazil

Unfortunately, Brazil is recently seeing a surge in COVID cases. But this time, as the country announces stricter rules and closures for many businesses, gyms in Rio de Janeiro are able to stay open with just a few restrictions. The secretary of health of the state of São Paulo acknowledged to the press that gym-goers seem to really comply with the safety protocols in place, and the decision to close gyms was a mistake, as gyms do not pose a significant risk of spreading COVID as long as they follow all safety precautions such as those preached through the Active & Safe program at IHRSA. We can only help more countries revisit their previous positions related to club closures based on the available scientific data. Heck, maybe even California could take a lesson.

WHO Committed to Increasing Physical Activity

Last week I, along with my colleagues, Helen Durkin and Killian Fisher, had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Fiona Bull. She's the Unit Head of Physical Activity for the World Health Organization. And I'm so pleased to share that the WHO is very interested in our industry, specifically how the health and fitness industry can support physical activity, not just in gyms of course, but in their overall communities. In fact, the WHO reached out to IHRSA to explore how we might collaborate with their enhanced efforts around building more active populations. We enjoyed frank conversations about the relatively low percentage of people that belong to fitness facilities worldwide, and a need to broaden our influence. We also discussed the reality of how clubs might actually make progress towards being part of the healthcare continuum and reach the inactive segments of society, as all of you might guess, where the focus was appropriately on the big picture. The absolutely great news is that we are genuinely part of these conversations and the WHO is asking for our involvement, our insights, and our assistance.

National Health & Fitness Alliance

The inaugural National Health & Fitness Alliance Advisory Council has been selected. The NHFA was formed for the specific purpose of supporting advocacy and public policy. Plans are to expand the industry's reach by working with stakeholders, state alliances, industry coalitions, investment groups, fitness professionals and others to represent the industry with policymakers. I want to just say thank you to the 10 advisory council members who have generously volunteered their time and expertise.

Vaccine Health Data & Sweet Treat

As COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the nation, the data suggests that people who've been fully vaccinated do not carry the virus or get sick. Rochelle P. Walensky, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, confirmed that quote, vaccinated people do not carry the virus, they don't get sick, and that it's not just in the clinical trials, but it's also in real-world data. According to the CDC study, the data included around 4,000 police officers, healthcare workers, firefighters and other essential workers, who received one of the two vaccines between December 14 and March 13.

If you need another sweet reason to get your COVID-19 vaccine, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free glazed doughnut to people who have received the vaccine.

Now maybe it's just me, but I have to say based on the staggering weight gain numbers being reported through the pandemic, I'm just not sure this is really the most appropriate incentive. Well that's it for this week's Take 5. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you next week.

Related Articles & Publications

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  • IHRSA’s Take 5: A Rise in Bad Habits [VIDEO]

  • Physical Activity During COVID-19 Linked to Mood

Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.