Fitness Industry Roundup: It’s About People & Overall Health

Active Wellness steps into the medical wellness arena, a reporter highlights the need to prioritize access to physical activity, and more.

This week, we have a good lineup of articles, including exercise’s role in the medical community and improving mental health and memory. We also highlight two IHRSA members, one that has pulled through hard times by placing high value on its people and another that has entered the Metaverse.

Active Wellness Launches Retail Wellness Brand

As reported by Club Industry, Active Wellness, an IHRSA member, announced the launch of a medically-integrated wellness center chain, Active Wellness Center. “We have created a retail wellness center brand to provide our partners with a proven model, brand continuity, established practices, economies of scale and more,” said a company spokesperson. So far, Active Wellness has rebranded three existing facilities to Active Wellness Centers and is opening a new location this summer—all four locations are owned by healthcare system partner, Providence, and managed by Active Wellness. The goal is to better serve communities and improve overall health by providing a cutting-edge fitness club and state-of-the-art medical wellness programs.

Find out more about Active Wellness Center.

Montreal Gazette: ‘Physical Activity Should be Prioritized’

Jill Barker, a reporter with the Montreal Gazette, wrote an article that highlights many reasons why closing health clubs, gyms, and studios negatively impacts public health. Specifically, Barker speaks on the mental health implications of physical inactivity and lack of access to safe spaces to exercise when governments shut down fitness facilities. Plentiful research concludes that physical activity mitigates the pandemic’s obstruction to mental health, including a review of 31 studies published in BMC Public Health. If faced with another shutdown or stay at home order due to COVID-19 or another reason, Barker urges, “Finding creative ways to make physical activity safe should be prioritized at the municipal and provincial levels, with new options ready to be announced if sports and gyms are to be affected.”

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Read more.

Study: Older Adults Retain Memories Through Exercise

A meta-analysis of 36 studies, published in Science Daily, found that regular exercise can help older adults retain memories and prevent memory decline. "We found that there were greater improvements in memory among those who are aged 55 to 68 years compared to those who are 69 to 85 years old—so intervening earlier is better," said lead author Sarah Aghjayan, a clinical and biological health psychology Ph.D. student. In total, the studies reviewed how exercise impacts memory in 3,000 participants. Researchers found that benefits for episodic memory begin once a participant exercises 3 to 4 times per week for at least four months.

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Learn more.

Three Crises Lead Cross Gates Family Fitness to High Esteemed Organization

After enduring a fire that burned down 80% of the facility, Hurricane Katrina, and the COVID-19 pandemic, IHRSA member Cross Gates Family Fitness abides by a people-first culture to power through hard times. Club Solutions featured the Sidell, LA, facility’s impactful history and story in a recent issue. Larry Welch, Cross Gates Family Fitness co-owner, has increased the facility's membership by tenfold since acquiring it in 1994. His secret is cultivating a hardworking and passionate staff that wholeheartedly cares about the facility and its members. “My No. 1 priority is identifying, acquiring and then creating an environment where great people can reach their potential,” he said.

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Source: Cross Gates Family Fitness / Club Solutions

Read the full story.

Les Mills BODYCOMBAT Program Enters Metaverse

The popular martial arts Les Mills BODYCOMBAT workout, with the help of Odders Labs, a virtual reality (VR) specialist, has transformed into a high-octane VR gaming app. Now available on the Metaverse’s Quest platform for $29.99, the IHRSA member’s BODYCOMBAT VR features 25 training sessions that range from basic to advanced and are hosted in an array of environments, according to Fit Tech. “Our mission is to create a fitter planet and we hope the launch of the BODYCOMBAT VR app enables us to reach new audiences and break down barriers to exercise, helping more people to start their fitness journey and reap the rewards of an active lifestyle,” said Rachael Newsham, BODYCOMBAT co-founder and Les Mills program director.

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Source: Les Mills

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 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.