Fitness Industry Roundup: What Does Exercise Do For You?

    TIME relays positive data for the fitness industry, sports and lifting help people overcome life’s challenges, and more.

    There’s nothing our industry likes to hear more than people taking control of their lives and finding an exercise routine that works for them—and sticking with it! We’re seeing more positive data each day that shows people worldwide are honing in on their overall health and wellness more than ever. There are also so many stories out there that are sharing the power of exercise, sports, lifting, or whatever your go-to physical activity regimen is. Here’s a handful of positive fitness industry stories to uplift your spirit.

    Americans Find New Affinity for Gyms

    The omnichannel approach is coming to life. A recent TIME article states that Americans are getting bored of their strictly at-home routines and returning to gyms and health clubs. The article notes that gym visits were down just 8% in early October compared to the same period in 2019, and for IHRSA member Planet Fitness, third quarter revenue increased 46% to $154.3 million compared to the same period a year ago. Experts believe the uptick comes from the newfound need to improve mental health—so exercise is a priority. “If people are very depressed, they don’t take action to get out there and exercise,” said Alison Phillips, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University. “You have to be mentally healthy enough to take that action and get out there and start doing something. So to me, it also reflects positively on people being resilient.”

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    Get the whole story.

    Nonprofit Program Supports Connecting Kids Through Tennis

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the autism community encompasses more than 75 million people worldwide. Founded in 2008 by Richard Spurling and Shafali Jeste, M.D., in Boston, MA, ACEing Autism aims to grow, develop, and benefit children with autism through social connections and fitness with affordable tennis programming. Since then, the program has provided in excess of 5,800 hours of tennis to over 4,500 registrants in more than 30 states. ACEing offers community programs, school-based programs, and at-home options, all while working to expand its limited adult programs. From 2019-2020, 91% of parents were satisfied with ACEing Autism.

    Read real ACEing Autism stories.

    New Campaign Highlights Personal Values of Lifting

    Eleiko, an IHRSA member, released a new campaign, “Lifting Makes Me,” to explore how lifting makes us who we are. Loraine Pengel, a Masters Weightlifting athlete from the Netherlands, explains that through incredible hardships and loss, lifting makes her overcome. “I just can’t imagine my life without lifting,” said Pengel. “It helps me to stay motivated, it gives me my me time when chaos and sadness is all around … I am rising above myself and this is a feeling that I’ve learned through lifting.”

    Take part in the campaign and share what lifting means to you by using #liftingmakesme on Instagram and tagging @eleikosport.

    Find more Lifting Makes Me stories.

    Study Finds Effective Exercise Motivators May Not be What You Think

    When it comes to exercise motivators used on fitness apps, a new University of Waterloo study featured in ScienceDaily found that participants are more inclined to be physically active with illness- or death-related messaging. Kiemute Oyibo, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health Sciences, said that he expected respondents to relate most closely to the obesity-related messages considering it is associated with the leading causes of mortality. "Not only were illness- and death-related messages motivational, they had a significant relationship with self-regulatory belief and outcome expectation, and there was no significant difference between males and females," he said. This study emphasizes the need to uncover more information about persuasive health communication.

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    Find out more from the study.

    Lifestyle Medicine Offers Summit Talks to Expand Medicine & Health Coaching

    The 2021 Lifestyle Medicine Summit, held from October 27-31, is still available for download. Registrants can expect to learn from renowned doctors and researchers how to be healthier, happier, and live longer and succeed as a Lifestyle Medicine and Health Coaching practitioner. This year’s event offers topics regarding the science behind lifestyle medicine and proper protocols, chronic disease solutions, health coaching and business success, and more. The free registration provides health professionals and lovers four days of access to:

    • 35+ live expert talks,

    • Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine Starter Course, and

    • Prescribe Lifestyle Medicine Worksheet.

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    For a fee, registrants can upgrade to premium access, including 90+ recordings, CE/CPD credits, additional courses and workshops, and more. The overall goal of the summit is to make Lifestyle Medicine and Health Coaching more accessible to everyone.

    Learn more and register.

    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.