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Community Gyms Coalition Launches Fitness is Essential Campaign

In Collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger, Health and Nutrition, Campaign Aims to Foster Physical Activity and Fitness and Ensure that all Americans Know that Fitness is Essential for both Physical and Mental Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 21, 2023 — The Community Gyms Coalition (CGC), representing more than 15,000 community gyms and fitness facilities across the U.S. that serve over 25 million members, today announced the launch of its Fitness is Essential campaign.

Building on the CGC’s commitments to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Fitness is Essential campaign will educate Americans about the broad, profoundly positive effects of physical activity and fitness on mental and physical well-being. CGC members will enable increased access to resources including free day passes, and/or consultations about fitness goals and participants’ body intelligence. In addition, CGC members will raise awareness with community leaders and policymakers about steps they can take to encourage physical activity and fitness in communities across the country. These efforts will augment and reinforce the Department of Health and Human Services’ Move Your Way® campaign, the goal of which is to help people live healthier lives through increased physical activity based on the recommendations of the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Fitness is Essential is about joining forces to make it easier for Americans to get active, fit and healthy” said Dale King, owner of PSKC CrossFit in Portsmouth, Ohio. “More than 40 percent of American adults are obese and are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases. More than 1 in 4 Americans are living with a mental illness. These can seem like overwhelming issues that don’t have a one size fits all solution. But regular exercise has been irrefutably proven to help with a range of mental and physical conditions. It’s a surefire way of improving people’s lives.”

Copious research indicates that regular exercise can prevent or alleviate chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But during the COVID pandemic, physical activity diminished and negative public health outcomes, like weight gain, increased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity increases the risk of severe a COVID infection and may triple the risk of hospitalization. Regular exercise, however, can reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and significantly improve depression and anxiety.

“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from our recent health crises, and it’s clear that there needs to be a much stronger focus on how we enable all Americans to become physically active and fit. We can no longer afford to neglect the mental and physical health of our nation. Tens of millions of Americans depend on it,” said King.

Serving as a central hub for public outreach, will share information to raise awareness about why fitness is essential for overall physical and mental health. The CGC, comprising well-known brands including Anytime Fitness, CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness and Planet Fitness, invites all gyms across the country to offer their own commitments to support physical activity and fitness for all. It’s time for all Americans to recognize that Fitness is Essential.