The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated collective awareness around mental health and wellness. This article highlights research and evidence showing the effect of COVID-19 on mental health, the benefits of physical activity, and the role fitness centers can play.
Wellness & Community Programming
We review three studies that show a link between physical inactivity and odds of more severe COVID-19 outcomes, the potential benefits of resistance training for people with rheumatoid arthritis, and Pilates’ efficacy as a fall risk prevention strategy.
The World Health Organization’s revamped standards can help guide fitness facilities and health clubs that play a key role in promoting physical activity, providing a safe space with knowledgeable staff, and supportive programming.
We review three studies that show a link between low physical activity during COVID-19 to anxiety and depression, the potential for exercise to improve sleep quality in older adults, and how higher objectively measured fitness and strength levels lower the odds of anxiety and depression.
We review three studies that show a link between higher levels of physical activity and incident cardiovascular disease, outline the vital role physical activity plays for breast cancer patients and survivors, and find an association between higher levels of exercise capacity and lower odds of COVID-19 hospitalization.
We review three studies that show resistance exercise can lower anxiety symptoms in young adults, higher levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity can mitigate the risks of lengthy sitting time, and physical activity is linked to lower rates of diabetic neuropathy and improved kidney function in people with type 1 diabetes.
We review three studies showing how medical referrals to an exercise program can benefit health outcomes, the influence of exercise on brain DNA damage and related neurological conditions, and the potential for physical activity as a helpful adjunct treatment for COVID-19 recovery.
Gyms across the U.S. are making an impact in their communities and to their bottom line by adapting childcare services to support schools and families struggling due to COVID-19-related changes.
The physical, mental, and emotional damage from the pandemic is increasing nationwide. Experts are pushing data and facts to keep gyms open as part of a solution to fight the negative effects brought on by the virus, lockdowns, and isolation.
Activity levels are slumping, unhealthy lifestyles are on the rise, and a pandemic is ravaging the world. Tyler Cooper, M.D., MPH, shares how exercise can help improve quality and quantity of life.
We review three studies showing how physical activity positively impacts overall health in the general population, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes in people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, and quality of life in breast cancer patients.
Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., has been promoting preventive medicine and disease prevention long before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, he says, it’s time to heighten the need to keep health and fitness levels up.
The industry must broaden its service proposition. It’s time to aggressively court the older generation.
We review three studies showing how physical activity provides benefits to people with chronic disease, Parkinson's disease, and gestational diabetes.
America was unhealthy before the pandemic, now it’s out of control. One expert hopes to see healthcare reform by promoting physical activity in the future.
Broadening your club’s reach and including people of all ages and abilities in your programming benefits both your club and your community.
Lori Deemer, M.D., concludes that social isolation, decreased physical activity, and loss of function—all factors of the pandemic—are leading Americans to an unhealthy future.
Some health and fitness clubs in the U.S. have been closed since March. One doctor believes it’s time that policymakers see—once and for all—how important clubs are to overall health.
We review three studies showing how physical inactivity can affect COVID-19 outcomes, what the evidence says about physical activity and Alzheimer’s disease risk, and the benefit of adding exercise to behavioral therapy for depression treatment.
Robert Sallis, M.D., says, “Whatever it takes to get places where people can exercise and be active to open, we have to do it, it's an essential part of life.”
IHRSA spoke with four health and fitness centers leading the industry in health and wellness programming. Here's how they're continuing to serve at-risk populations.
An increasing number of studies are pointing out the benefits of physician referrals for exercise. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some clubs who could prove they were offering health services were allowed to remain open, even as others closed. Here's the evidence your club can use to continue to build relationships with the medical community.
A family-friendly brand can reap dividends that can last years. Here’s how to create a successful kid-friendly program.
Health clubs around the world are making changes to all aspects of their business in response to COVID-19. Here’s how some clubs are adapting to new protocols as they apply to a special population: children.
Learn about three studies showing how exercise can alleviate adverse side effects for some cancer patients, be used as a prevention and mental health promotion strategy, and how it can help lower depression and hostility in sedentary adults.
Army Major General Lonnie G. Hibbard discusses your club and military readiness.
Cancer research experts have a vision for the future where cancer treatments include tailored exercise prescriptions.
As gyms begin to reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering whether it is safe to resume pre-closure activities, including working out in the gym. Here are four evidence-based reasons why exercise is beneficial for immune and overall health.
Having a registered dietitian on staff at your health club is good for your members and your bottom line.
Many gyms offer specialized programs to help cancer patients manage their health. Here are some ideas to help you start a program of your own.
The IHRSA Expert Series shares knowledge, tips, and experience to help you grow, protect, and promote your business and the whole health and fitness industry.
Nearly 11% of all health club members join their gyms in January, but 80% of New Year's resolutions are abandoned by February. Here's how to help your members beat the odds.
Help your members stay motivated and fight the urge to drop their fitness routine with these seven tips.
As more studies link exercise with reduced risk of developing dementia, the question becomes, “What role can health clubs play in helping their communities stay physically and mentally fit?”
Respecting ‘scope of practice’ protects and pays dividends for your staff and your members.
More and more health insurance companies are encouraging customers to be healthier and more physically active through incentives and reimbursement programs. These programs can benefit your members and business.
If you want to reach the 80% of people who aren't exercising at a gym, then you need to join health clubs around the world that are working to make facilities more accessible to people of all abilities.
Health clubs can attract whole families when they offer children's programming. Discover how to get started while ensuring the safety of kids in your club.
The World Health Organization is turning to the fitness industry to help prevent the leading causes of death globally. First, we need to innovate to get more people into gyms, says the WHO’s Dr. Fiona Bull.
When your members keep in shape while they travel, they’re more likely to return to your gym once they come home. Here’s how you can help them stick with it.
Commit to Get Fit launched 30 years ago. What lessons can we learn from three of the original participating clubs?
And the payoff can reach beyond health club members into revenue streams.
Not only are gyms the perfect place for people who want to lose weight, they’re also in an ideal position to their help members keep it off.
Your members need social connection. Give it to them and watch your club thrive.
The new guidelines stress that “doing something is better than doing nothing,” says project lead Katrina Piercy, Ph.D., RD, ACSM-CEP.
In three steps, your club could tap into a new opportunity and help address a significant health problem.
In 2018, Medicare changed the rules to allow non-clinical centers (like gyms) to be reimbursed for Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) services. Let's talk about how your club can leverage new opportunities in diabetes prevention.
Help your members accomplish their goals with these seven easy tips from club owners like you.
Worksite wellness, also called corporate wellness, may be the solution to sedentary lifestyles. And gyms—a natural partner—stand to benefit.
Investments in the community and the political arena pay dividends, writes IHRSA Assistant Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Perkins.
A pilot study called the Warrior Wellness program is shining light on how exercise can help veterans manage PTSD symptoms.
Regular exercise benefits people with Type 2 diabetes, but it can also help people with other forms of diabetes maintain good health.
Whether you are looking to create new youth initiatives or you are looking to revamp your current programs, these seven ideas will help you get kids and teens moving.
Want to make your medical wellness program stand out from the rest? We’ve got seven tips to get you on your way.
There are 960 million people around the world over 60 years old who are interested in living their healthiest life. Here are seven ideas to keep your older membership active and engaged.
Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness uses these four tiers of corporate wellness services to encourage more employees to get active during the workday.
Health clubs are in perfect positions to help local employees get active through corporate wellness challenges. Here are some fun-filled ideas to get you started.
If your club runs health and wellness programs you may need to comply with HIPAA, which regulates the use and sharing of health information.
Here are five questions you can ask yourself to see how your facility can become more welcoming for different types of special populations.
Can your health club be more inclusive? Learn four key strategies from experts at leading clubs that serve members with disabilities.
It's easier than ever to integrate your club into the local community. Get started with these ideas for a community outreach project.
Start a conversation with your members about nutrition with these easy-to-implement suggestions.
Since February is American Heart Month, we've put together some easy ways your gym can promote healthy hearts for your members well past Valentine's Day.
Don't let your aging members fall back on the same routine every time they come to your gym. Give them a circuit training workout that will continue to challenge them!
Three essential ingredients are required to achieve a healthy lifestyle, but one of them—sleep—is too often overlooked.
More than 100 million Americans live with diabetes. That's why IHRSA has put together a list of ways your gym can improve the lives of your members who live with diabetes.
70% of U.S. adults are unfit to serve in the armed forces. We asked U.S. Army Brigadier General Blake Williams how gyms can help reverse this trend.
There are many ways your gym can work with local schools to encourage and instill healthy habits in children. Learn from three successful programs.
Wondering how your club can form a relationship with the medical community? We've compiled everything you should consider to get started.
It’s never too early for club operators to start planning for the post-New Year influx of people ready to get healthy and lose weight as part of their resolutions.
Launching a health promotion program may seem like a big undertaking, but these three simple steps will help you determine where to begin.
Clubs Fit proves that gyms provide the perfect place for people to gather and share their stories about their fitness journeys.
Many clubs that offer community programs aren't in it for the business benefits. But giving back often has its perks.
GIVE Fitness challenges the conventional health club business model by prioritizing the needs of the people they service over financial gains.
The Francos created a health club culture centered around families and community long before other clubs got on board.
Exercise is beneficial for older adults who want to stay healthy as they age, and health clubs provide opportunities to help them meet their fitness goals.