Fitness Industry Roundup: Gyms, Organizations Find Balance

Even through the turmoil and stress of 2020, gyms and fitness professionals find ways to keep Americans healthy, spread positivity, and become more inclusive.

This week’s roundup covers the important role that maintaining health and fitness plays in overall health. Plus, the Special Olympics extends a campaign to offer workouts to people living with intellectual disabilities, and a new study depicts how to bring exercise back into the routine after a bout with COVID-19.

Colorado Springs Studio Owner Balances Physical & Mental Wellness for Clients

News5 celebrated Women’s History Month by featuring women entrepreneurs who are helping others across Southern Colorado get through the pandemic. In-Balance, a fitness and dance studio in Colorado Springs, CO, offers African dance classes, martial arts lessons, strength training sessions, a Chicago two-step class, and Emotional Emancipation Circles to help African-Americans cope with systemic racism. "We deal with so much and I just wanted a space where I could take people away from that," said Leona Abdullah-Ward, In-Balance owner.

Learn more about In-Balance.

Mother & Daughter Create YouTube Channel to Keep Seniors Moving Amid Pandemic

April Hattori and her mother Aiko Sokolowski of Henderson, NV, created a YouTube fitness channel “yes2next” so seniors can remain physically active from home. Since May 2020, the team has garnered over 40,000 subscribers and their content has more than 2.5 million views. Due to their success, YouTube named the duo January’s creator on the rise, to which Hattori, yes2next founder and a certified personal trainer specializing in senior fitness, humbly said they are “dumbfounded.” Sokolowski told News 3, “The important thing is, don’t let age stop you from getting off the couch. Get moving, keep moving even if it’s just a little bit of walking around.”

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Check out yes2next’s YouTube channel.

Special Olympics & WWE Team Up to Provide Health Resources for People With ID

According to Yahoo Finance, the Special Olympics and WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre have partnered again to build off their March 2020 School of Strength campaign. The new online workout, School of Strength: Class Is Now in Session, is designed for people living with any level of intellectual disability (ID). The workouts contain nutritional tips and mindfulness strategies. Alicia Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., Special Olympics chief health officer, said, "We are thrilled to again partner with WWE for our School of Strength campaign and promote a shared focus on inclusive health, where every athlete has the ability to be healthy and fit.” The campaign also introduces United Fitness Kits for Special Olympic athletes to stay active at home with basic exercise equipment.

Learn more about School of Strength: Class Is Now in Session.

Pandemic Positively Shifts Personal Trainer’s Career

After the Life Time Fitness in Warrenville, IL, was mandated to close, Danica Osborn, a Life Time fitness instructor, began teaching classes from her home and in outdoor areas. During this time, Osborn tripled her Instagram followers and gained clients in Australia and Canada. Now, she balances in-person classes and online streaming services. Regarding the pandemic’s impact on her career, Osborn told the Chicago Tribune, “It’s been exciting in some ways because it’s grown and deepened my community and helped me reach people that I never would have met otherwise.”

Read Osborn’s story.

Researchers Suggest Four-step Approach to Exercise After COVID

After seven days symptom-free, researchers suggest that those who had mild or moderate COVID-19 should begin with minimally exertive exercise for at least two weeks. In each phase, the authors note that patients should monitor “[their recovery] 1 hour after exercise and on the day after, abnormal breathlessness, abnormal heart rate, excessive fatigue or lethargy, and markers of mental ill health." WebMD reports that once patients complete the first three phases, challenging coordination, strength, and balance exercises can be added back to their regimen.

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Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications & 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.