Fitness Industry Roundup: Educating for Overall Wellness

Part of the health and fitness industry’s role is to educate the public on the importance and benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle. Companies and groups are getting the message out.

More partnerships are blooming to promote active lifestyles, and evidence continues to roll out that healthy living is key to a long, happy life. Here’s a look into a new study on happiness, how to support children’s mental and physical health, programs targeting menopause, and the snack revolution.

University of Cambridge Study Highlights Wellness Tips to Improve Happiness

People are living longer than ever before, yet more people are dealing with depression, as noted in The Telegraph. A recent University of Cambridge study identified five lifestyle changes that improve mental health and wellness:

  • Sleep between 7-9 hours per night

  • Drink alcohol in moderation

  • Improve number and quality of social connections

  • Exercise regularly

  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

Although advances in medicine and public health messaging have greatly improved life expectancy, Barbara Sahakian, a neuroscience professor at the University of Cambridge, believes these holistic factors need to be taken into account. “We discovered that having a healthy lifestyle reduces risk of depression by 57%,” she said. “Changing our behavior is something we can do for ourselves.”

Find out more.

Understanding & Supporting Children’s Mental Health

“Worldwide, at least 200 million children and teenagers struggle with a mental health disorder,” Harold Koplewicz, founding president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute, said on a recent episode of The McKinsey Podcast. In the episode, Harold and Erica Coe, McKinsey partner and co-leader of the McKinsey Health Institute, discuss teen mental health, factors that contribute to the increase in mental health disorders, and how we can help improve mental well-being. As we all may expect, while dealing with and healing the trauma of the pandemic, Harold and Erica believe equipping children with resources and decreasing sedentary behavior and screen time will likely play key roles in reversing the mental health crisis—and we couldn’t agree more.

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Read the transcript or listen to the full episode.

Health & Wellness Programs Target Menopause

White it’s often a taboo subject, by 2025, approximately 1.1 billion women will have experienced menopause—13% of the projected population. Lifesum, a global healthy eating platform that offers corporate wellness, is focused on naturally regulating hormones through food intake to boost workplace productivity. Additionally, Lifesum provides specific nutritional needs to improve the health and well-being of women experiencing menopausal symptoms, reported Athletech News. “The Hormonal Meal Plan is another exciting step towards Lifesum’s holistic approach to workplace health, which empowers everyone to live a longer, healthier life,” said Jenny Ragnas, chief product officer at Lifesum.

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Bonus: find spas and resorts offering perimenopause and menopause programs.

High-profile Organizations Engage Students in Fitness & Education

The American Heart Association and the National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with Discovery Education, held the first of three free broadcasts for students to engage in fitness. According to Yahoo! Finance, NFL PLAY 60 features special guests from the NFL and the American Heart Association who discuss the importance of good health and well-being and demonstrate fun ways to move more. Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, said, "NFL PLAY 60's main priority is fostering the health and well-being in students through the unique relationship with NFL teams and players.” The next broadcast will be released on February 8.

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Learn more.

The “Great Wellness Reset” Hits Snacks

Advantage Solutions notes that younger generations are leading the growing interest in better-for-you snacks. Jill Blanchard, president of enterprise client solutions at Advantage Solutions, said, “What we are seeing in 2023 is what I call the ‘great wellness reset,’ where, for instance, natural brands and healthier options are driving snack growth—even outpacing growth for conventional snack products.” While we know physical activity is only a piece of the puzzle, it’s promising to see that younger consumers are taking this step toward healthier nutrition in their wellness journey.

Find out more.

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, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Senior Manager of Digital Communications, working to shape the organization's image on various digital platforms. On a typical day, she creates content, delivers impactful communications, and executes targeted marketing efforts to keep IHRSA at the forefront of the industry. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring new destinations, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.