Fitness Industry Roundup: Is There Anything Exercise Can’t Help?

    Whether it’s enhancing physical fitness, rehabilitating those with neurological conditions, improving mental health, or reducing mortality risk, exercising does it all.

    We often talk about the benefits of physical activity because an active lifestyle comes with so much good. Another reason we won’t let you forget about the overall benefits is to help motivate the sedentary population. Every bit of movement counts!

    As you’ve probably noticed by now, this week’s roundup covers a few ways that physical activity can improve mortality risk, physical and cognitive functions, and more. First, we’re diving into a study highlighting the importance of increasing physical activity and improving fitness rather than targeting weight loss—can I get an amen?

    Researchers Say Physical Fitness More Important Than Weight

    Increasing fitness and physical activity levels consistently reduces mortality risk more than intentional weight loss, researchers say. According to Science Daily, the authors note that weight is highly heritable, and many people target goals by the scale rather than focusing on their legitimate health levels. "We would like people to know that fat can be fit, and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes," said study Co-author Glenn Gaesser of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. “We're not necessarily against weight loss; we just think that it shouldn't be the primary criterion for judging the success of a lifestyle intervention program." The study also notes that a weight-neutral approach to treating obesity-related health conditions can reduce the harmful risks associated with weight cycling and yo-yo dieting.

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    Read the entire study.

    BlazePod Seeks to Improve Physical & Cognitive Reactions

    BlazePod, an IHRSA member, is kicking up competition and challenging San Jose Earthquake athletes to improve their game. San Jose Earthquakes player, Tommy Thompson, sold the team on BlazePod. He told SportTechie, “It's just a great way to wake the mind up going into training. Athletes are always looking for an edge, and BlazePod is just a great way to mix up your routine to where you're challenging your mind to react quickly…” BlazePod’s Flash-Reflex Training System measures a player’s performance and helps improve reaction times, speed, decision-making, awareness, and more.

    Read about BlazePod.

    SportsArt System Chosen to Rehabilitate Patients With Neurological Conditions

    The Motion Project Foundation recently chose SportsArt’s Madonna ICARE (Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical) System to address the rehabilitation needs of patients with neurological conditions, neuromuscular disorders, and spinal cord injuries. An IHRSA member, SportsArt’s Madonna ICARE allows patients to envision things they can do rather than focus on things they can’t. “At SportsArt, we believe that serving others is more rewarding than serving ourselves,” said Ruben Mejia, executive vice president, SportsArt Americas. “ICARE is a direct extension of that underlying value, allowing us to provide a wider population with access to rehabilitation and fitness solutions.”

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    Source: SportsArt

    Find out more in the press release.

    Olympic Athletes Recognized in 40 Under 40 for Destigmatizing Mental Health

    The Fortune magazine 40 Under 40 list debuted in September. Olympic Athletes Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and Michael Phelps are included as influencers paving the way in improving and discussing mental health. Fortune noted, “...these champions are leading a long overdue conversation on the importance of mental health and destigmatizing a subject that, even in a nation suffering from epidemic levels of depression and anxiety, has for too long remained in the shadows.” All three athletes have used their platform to share their personal experiences and struggles with mental health while sparking a revolution in the world of professional sports.

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    Source: Fortune (David Ramos of Getty Images; Sanjeev Verma of Hindustan Times/Getty Images; Loic Venance of AFP/Getty Images)

    See the full 40 Under 40 list.

    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 Public Relations Assistant. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content for IHRSA's advocacy efforts, while working to shape IHRSA and the fitness industry's public image on multiple platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.