Fitness Industry Roundup: Positive Outlooks & Good Deeds

A Boston studio is featured on “Good Morning America,” the 17th U.S. surgeon general writes for gyms to stay open, fitness facilities in Philadelphia receive relief, and more.

There’s still plenty of good news to go around for the fitness industry. These health and fitness clubs can’t know for sure where 2021 will take them in terms of the pandemic, but they’re making the most of their businesses, helping others, and staying positive. Plus, the critical need for clubs to remain open is making waves amongst more public health officials and lawmakers—maybe it’s because of the data that continues to pile up supporting the claim that gyms aren’t contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

‘Come As You Are Space’ Flourishes During Lockdown

Trillfit, an all-inclusive, hip-hop-inspired dance and wellness studio in Boston, had 50 straight days of sold-out classes prior to the pandemic. Founder and CEO Heather White recently appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the difficult decision to switch to remote classes—and not charging attendees for the first six months. “Offering your core services for free for over six months, during a pandemic when your business is closed is really risky,” said White. “But, we’re lucky that the community stayed behind us, it was their gym, it was their place. They will not let us fail.” The studio has amassed a large online following, reaching 42 cities, 22 states, and several countries.

Watch the full story.

Another Former U.S. Surgeon General Notes the Vital Need for Gyms to Stay Open

Richard H. Carmona, M.D., the 17th U.S. surgeon general, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Herald calling for lawmakers to keep health and fitness clubs open during lockdowns. Carmona details the extensive health benefits of physical activity, such as preventing chronic disease, boosting the immune system, and alleviating stress and depression. He added, “Large fitness centers are more spacious—optimal for physical distancing—and have control over their robust ventilation systems with the ability to replace air hourly. With winter weather in much of the country, large fitness centers are one of the best options Americans have to access indoor physical activity and the benefits that it brings.”

Read Carmona’s piece in the Herald.

Fitness Facilities in Philadelphia Receive a Crucial Lifeline

A $12 million gym and restaurant relief program for businesses in Philadelphia has been agreed upon by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation), reports AL DIA NEWS. “[Gyms and restaurants’] economic footprint is felt throughout our neighborhoods. Jobs provided, taxes paid, amenities and services provided,” said María Quiñones-Sánchez, head of the Philadelphia City Council Appropriations Committee. “We cannot and will not let them fail.” The grants will be distributed through eligibility and priority and are worth up to $15,000 per business. Applications for the program close on Tuesday, February 9, at 11:59 p.m.

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Learn eligibility requirements to receive funding.

Colorado Health Club Attendance Data Finds No Link to Area Outbreaks

The Oregon Consulting Group analyzed data regarding Colorado gym check-ins provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The 32 weeks of data totaled upwards of 8.5 million check-ins and was not linked to any of the 59 outbreaks in the state. JoAnna Masloski, Colorado Fitness Coalition advisory board member, chief operating officer for the Colorado Athletic Club, and IHRSA member, told The Know, “[Gyms] need to get to a higher capacity to survive. We’re not spreaders...We are a controlled environment. It’s now proven that is the case.”

Find out more about the study.

Austin Gyms Show Appreciation for Frontline Workers

As reported in KXAN, Castle Hill Fitness, an IHRSA member, and HEAT Bootcamp recently sent care boxes and packages to show their gratitude for local frontline healthcare workers. HEAT Bootcamp was able to raise $8,000 for gift bags that included coffee, gift cards, skincare products, disposable masks, and more. When asked why they were sending the boxes, Castle Hill Fitness community outreach manager, Elizabeth Nitz said, “It really came about as a desire to express our gratitude to those workers and everything that they’re doing right now to keep Austin well.”

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.