Fitness Industry Roundup: Awareness for the Power of Movement

The government is moving to promote the importance of physical activity, every single minute of exercise counts, healthy lifestyles increase longevity and reduce disease, and more.

We’ve said this often, exercise is a powerful tool. There’s no denying it. There’s thousands—if not, hundreds of thousands—of studies and pieces of research that prove how important it is to be physically active. Don’t act surprised to find a few more examples of recent news that highlight the benefits of maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

But, do share these studies and messages with your consumers and across social media! We all know that there’s a terribly large portion of the population that isn’t meeting physical activity guidelines. Let’s continue to spread the word and motivate everyone to get active however they please.

First things first, to kick off National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Congress is getting active and competing for bragging rights.

PAA & Myzone Host 2022 Congressional Physical Activity Challenge

Monday marked the official start of the 2022 Congressional Physical Activity Challenge. Hosted by the Physical Activity Alliance (PAA), a coalition of organizations promoting physical activity in which IHRSA is a board member, and Myzone, an IHRSA member, the challenge aims to engage lawmakers about the importance of physical activity and making it more accessible. All members of Congress and their staff are encouraged to participate and earn MEPs (Myzone Effort Points) while wearing the MZ-Switch heart rate monitor during physical activity. The competition will end on May 31, where leaders in four categories will be recognized:

  • Top Individual Point Earner

  • Top Office Point Earner

  • Top Office Point Average (must have four or more participants)

  • Most office staff participants to reach the World Health Organization Guidelines for Physical Activity (=1,300 Myzone Effort Points)

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Source: Myzone

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is zeroed in on defending his title. Stay up to date on the action to see who comes out at the top of the leaderboard!

Find out more.

New York Times: For Exercise, ‘Every Single Minute Counts’

A recent New York Times article focused on the ideal amount of exercise to stay healthy and live longer. The researchers and doctors featured in the story highlighted the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise as the sweet spot. However, exercise doesn’t need to be packed into a continuous session to be beneficial. “Every single minute counts,” said Ulf Ekelund, a professor specializing in physical activity epidemiology at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Oslo. “Walking up the stairs has health benefits, even if it only lasts for one or two minutes, if you repeat it regularly.” The experts even suggest “exercise snacks” with relatively high intensity for those who can’t quite fit 30 minutes of straight exercise into their routine.

Learn more about what the experts had to say.

Healthy Lifestyle Increases Longevity & Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk

A MedPage Today article highlighted findings from a recent prospective study that sought to understand how healthy living impacted life expectancy and Alzheimer’s risk. “A healthy lifestyle was associated with a longer life expectancy among men and women, and they lived a larger proportion of their remaining years without Alzheimer’s dementia,” reported the study authors. Almost 2,500 older adults participated in the study and provided detailed food and lifestyle responses. For those that achieved healthy lifestyles, they lived longer than their counterparts with women and men adding 3.1 and 5.7 years, respectively. Participants also reduced their time living with dementia—women spent almost 9% less of their life with Alzheimer’s and men 6%, compared to those living less healthy lifestyles.

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Learn more.

Gym Camaraderie Boosts Mental Health & Commitment to Activity

Sheila Jhansale, M.D., FACP, physician lead at Kaiser Permanente’s Chase Gardens Medical Office in Eugene, OR, promotes the mental health benefits of exercise as well as group exercise’s impact on committing to be active. In her article, which appeared in The Register-Guard, Jhansale explains that those who work out in a social and community-focused atmosphere experience more physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. Being active in a gym or group setting:

  • Increases the release of endorphins,

  • Nurtures meaningful connections,

  • Develops camaraderie,

  • Helps to establish good exercise habits,

  • Eases depression and anxiety,

  • Maintains body, spirit, and mind health, and more.

Read more.

Moving Together Outside Campaign Creates Safe Outdoor Fitness Spaces

As the weather warms up, it’s a good time to support and bring awareness to the American Council on Exercise’s (ACE) #MovingTogetherOutside campaign. Specifically, the campaign aims to increase the number of national shared-use agreements (SUAs) for the public to use when not otherwise occupied—e.g., playgrounds and athletic fields. As a campaign partner, IHRSA urges all health and fitness industry professionals to advocate their local government to provide safe outdoor physical activity spaces with programming from qualified fitness professionals. To help make these spaces a possibility, the National Recreation and Park Association—a campaign collaborator—supports park and recreation professionals to address specific barriers in order to create healthier communities.

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Source: ACE

Learn more about Moving Together Outside.

Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to pr@ihrsa.org, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications and Digital Content Producer. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content to shape IHRSA's image on a variety of digital platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.