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    World Wellness Weekend Is Approaching: How to Get Involved

    We want to invite all gyms and health clubs on September 19-20, 2020, to participate in a global initiative to get people active and healthy. See how.

    2020 has been a challenging year for the fitness industry. The global COVID-19 pandemic ushered in facility closures, significant changes to business and safety operations, and a tectonic shift in how people access fitness. One key challenge during this time has been the pervasive assumption by policymakers and the public that health clubs are not safe, not essential, and not part of the solution.

    This September, we have an opportunity to reach out to our communities to show them just how important clubs are for health and well-being alongside a global initiative called World Wellness Weekend.

    What is World Wellness Weekend?

    Health clubs around the globe have the same mission: getting more people through their doors and leading healthy, active lives. But in most parts of the world, health clubs reach fewer than 20% of people, and in many cases the people we’re not reaching are not sufficiently physically active—or active at all. At the same time, the pandemic—and its uneven effect on people with pre-existing health conditions—has underlined the importance of a healthy, physically active lifestyle.

    World Wellness Weekend is an opportunity to get more people active and showcase how your club is part of the solution.

    On Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, spas, fitness centers, salons, yoga studios, and sports organizations will celebrate World Wellness Weekend by offering their wellness services to the community—welcoming them inside the club or going outside the four walls of the gym in person or virtually to bring new experiences to new people. This weekend provides an opportunity for fitness, beauty, tourism, and sport professionals to showcase their diverse offerings, and for community members to experience new wellness services in places or ways they may never have tried before.

    This initiative also supports IHRSA in our collaboration with the World Health Organization and its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity goal of reducing physical inactivity by 15% by 2030. World Wellness Weekend is supported by over 50 organizations, including the United Nations Global Sustainability Index Institute and the European Commission.

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    What does it mean to participate?

    Participating gyms are encouraged to offer at least one free wellness activity or experience—either in person or virtually—during the course of the weekend; this could be a group exercise class (indoor, outdoor, or virtual), a day pass to use the club, a nutrition talk (in person or virtually), or a free meditation session. Gyms can register events or activities on the World Wellness Weekend site to be listed on their site and map of events.

    The goal of World Wellness Weekend is to create exposure for the fitness industry (and other participating industries) and all that it offers globally, as well as to generate new membership opportunities from the 80% of people in your community you are trying to reach.

    How can my gym get involved?

    IHRSA and World Wellness Weekend are inviting IHRSA member clubs to join the initiative to promote wellness in their communities this September by:

    • Opening your (physical or online) doors to the community for a free wellness activity on September 19-20, 2020,
    • Registering their events on the World Wellness Weekend website,
    • Share events, promotions, and offerings widely on social media, using the hashtag #WorldWellnessWeekend and tagging @IHRSA.

    World Wellness Weekend will help you share the story of how your club is part of the health and wellness solution.

    Ready to plan your World Wellness Weekend? Check out these social media marketing and sales resources from IHRSA to help you get started.

    Author avatar

    Alexandra Black Larcom @ihrsagetactive

    Alexandra Black Larcom, MPH, RD, LDN, is the Senior Manager of Health Promotion & Health Policy for IHRSA. She spends her days working on resources and projects that help IHRSA clubs offer effective health programs in their communities, and convincing lawmakers that policies promoting exercise are an excellent idea. Outside the office you'll most likely find Alex at the gym, running on the Charles River, or, in the fall, by a TV cheering on the Florida Gators.