Fitness Industry Roundup: On-demand Mental Wellness is Here

The first on-demand mental wellness platform backed by neuroscience has launched with the goal of creating “a world where looking after your mind is as normal as going to the gym.”

Mental health and well-being has long had negative stereotypes associated with it. All it took to alter people’s views was decades of science, countless discussions, and a global pandemic—of course, plenty more really went into this shift. We still have a long way to go, but now that the importance of maintaining mental wellness is gaining significant traction, it’s time to allocate more time, effort, and funds into services and programs to assist consumers.

Before we cover the new—and first—on-demand mental wellness platform, let’s dive into Politico’s recent coverage of IHRSA and the collective U.S. fitness industry’s lobbying efforts.

Politico Influence Highlights IHRSA & Fitness Industry’s Lobbying Efforts

This week, IHRSA lobbyists and fitness industry leaders virtually met with bigwigs of the Hill to discuss including targeted funding for health clubs, gyms, and studios in an upcoming omnibus spending bill. The scheduled calls were with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Small Business Chair Ben Cardin (D-MD), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Politico Influence spoke with IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark to learn more about these discussions and why the fitness industry urgently needs relief. “[Gym owners] are making personal, future financial decisions based on this legislation,” Liz said. “And I have to hope that Congress does the right thing for these small businesses.”

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Since August, Liz has met with numerous government officials to advocate on behalf of the fitness industry. Liz is pictured with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

Read the article.

First On-demand Mental Wellness Platform Launches

In a press release that appeared on Club Industry, MindLabs, the video-first mental wellness platform backed by neuroscience, announced the launch of its app. Users have access to hundreds of live and on-demand videos that utilize expert knowledge from world-class mindfulness practitioners. “For far too long, we’ve neglected taking care of our minds in the same way we take care of our physical selves,” said MindLabs Co-founder and CEO Adnan Ebrahim. “We want to empower everyone with the tools to take better care of their minds. Fundamentally, we want to create a world where looking after your mind is as normal as going to the gym.” The app launched following a series of investment and aims to bring mental wellness tools into the mainstream by covering:

  • Stress and anxiety,

  • Sleep,

  • Mental fitness,

  • Relaxation, and

  • Focus.

Learn more about MindLabs.

Women’s Sports Network Fills Void With 24-hour Streaming Service

Although female athletes account for 40% of sports participants, they receive just 4% of sports media coverage. Women’s Sports Network, a dedicated 24-hour streaming service for women’s sport launched by Fast Studios, aims to change the current narrative. “When we launch, 50 years after Title IX started the ball rolling towards parity for women’s sports in America, the Women’s Sports Network will fill a void that has been plaguing brands and audiences alike,” Carol Stiff, vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN, told SportsPro. Initially, the free, ad-supported platform will feature Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), US Ski & Snowboard, the World Surf League (WSL), and women’s sports news programming. Stiff will join the network’s advisory board and assist in the Women’s Sports Network debut on major streaming platforms this year.

“The new Women’s Sports Network is primed for success with our initial slate of content partnerships with key sports organisations, deep relationships with brand marketers, and the growing demand for a premiere destination for women’s sports.”

Sophie Goldschmidt

CEO, US Ski & Snowboard / Advisor, Women's Sports Network

Find out more.

USTA Awards Tens of Thousands in Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants

The USTA (United States Tennis Association) recently awarded more than $50,000 to 32 wheelchair tennis programs across 19 states. Jason Harnett, head coach of USTA wheelchair tennis, said, “These grants are a part of a continued effort to expand programs that support the wheelchair community through tennis and foster growth and success in players.” Grants can be used for coaching, court time, equipment, recruitment, and events, including tournaments and camps. Since 2008, the USTA has awarded programs with more than $700,000 worth of grants.

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Source: Dave Knachel, Virginia Tech Athletics / USTA

Find out which organizations received the grants.

2022 Virtual Fitness Industry Technology Summit Free for All Attendees

The 2022 Virtual Fitness Industry Technology Summit returns this April—Thursday, April 7, for the U.S. audience. The FREE one-day event is packed with two keynote speakers, more than 16 breakout sessions, and over two hours of networking with global industry leaders. “We have been strategic in the selection of our content,” Justin Tamsett, managing director of Active Management and host of the Fitness Industry Technology Summit, said in a press release. “Owners and managers want leads, sales, retention now and so we have experts who will help with tech strategies now. [The content is] for the real and the now world.” IHRSA is an Industry Partner for the event in which Liz will deliver a national update on the industry to delegates from the U.S.

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Learn more about the summit.

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.