In November 2020, the Community Gyms Coalition (CGC) — a collective of fitness outlets, including Anytime Fitness, CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness, and Planet Fitness, which represent “more than 15,000 community gyms and fitness facilities across the US that serve over 25 million members” — was founded in an attempt to lobby Congress for financial relief in an unprecedented time.
It’s time for all Americans to recognize that Fitness is Essential.
On Feb. 21, 2023, the CGC announced the launch of the “Fitness is Essential” campaign as part of its commitments to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
— Community Gyms Coalition (@GymsCoalition) September 28, 2022
Per their press release, the components of the campaign include education about the “positive effects of physical activity and fitness on mental health and well-being” and increased access to resources that include the following:
Free day passes at CGC members’ fitness facilities
Fitness goal and body intelligence consultations
The “Fitness is Essential” campaign intends to “reinforce the Department of Health and Human Services’ Move Your Way® campaign,” which aims to use the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans as a way to increase people’s physical activity levels and thereby lead healthier lifestyles.
“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,” according to the CGC press release.
Community Gyms Coalition
Since its founding, the CGC has been effective at a legislative level in helping gyms recover from the financial losses sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic. The congressional Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act of 2021 was introduced on Feb. 5, 2021, by U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05, Democrat) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01, Republican) and garnered 164 co-sponsors.
The GYMS Act was subsequently sponsored by senator Tammy Duckworth (IL, Democrat) and introduced to the Senate on May 13, 2021, when it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. It has 29 co-sponsors in the Senate at the time of this article’s publication.
— Community Gyms Coalition (@GymsCoalition) February 21, 2023
The GYMS Act of 2021 “authorizes the Small Business Administration to make initial and supplemental grants to privately owned fitness facilities that primarily provide health or fitness services,” without exceeding $25 million to any recipient to help pay for business expenses.
FitnessisEssential.org serves as the campaign’s “central hub for public outreach,’ which aims to “raise awareness about why fitness is essential for overall physical and mental health.”
Featured image: @GymsCoalition on Twitter
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