“I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”
As we celebrate National Health and Fitness Day on Saturday, June 3, where Fitness Industry Council members and participating fitness providers will open their gyms to the public for free, we can reflect on how much the fitness industry has grown and evolved in the last fifty years, and three reasons we need fitness more than ever.
- Fitness Saves Lives
The Canadian Fitness Industry in 2023 is in a revolutionary moment, where deep knowledge from a myriad of research studies continues to prove that exercise is the medicine we all need to take daily and that physical activity is one of the most important actions you can take to improve your life. As fitness professionals we live and breathe this: we know 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, plus two strengthening programs a week, are the magic numbers for preventing and treating chronic health conditions and improving mental health. Now, we need to help every Canadian achieve this goal.
That is why National Health and Fitness Day’s tagline Let’s Move Canada is so relevant. We all know every important journey starts with a single step. Let’s help Canadians take that first one.
- Fitness is the key to improved mental health
It was the study we had all been waiting for: In March, the most important longitudinal study on the effectiveness of exercise for depression and anxiety was published in The British Medical Journal. The findings made headlines all around the world – exercise can be 1.5 times more effective than medication for treating many mental health conditions. And while exercise is not the only answer, it needs to be considered part of a treatment strategy for the mental health crisis Canada is facing.
On National Health and Fitness Day, we have an opportunity to educate new members, our politicians and the public that our gyms are about much more than dumbbells and spin classes – exercise is a powerful tool for managing and treating mental health.
- Fitness is Fun
The last few years have not simply been stressful, fearful and challenging – there has been a significant absence of fun in our lives, and there is nothing quite like a great fitness class, a fun training session with laughter and sweat, or even a session on the treadmill with headphones and amazing music in a gym. Undeniably, fitness is a vibe and we want to encourage our members and newcomers to feel that vibe.
One of the greatest gifts we can give Canadians is the joy that being part of a fitness community brings to their lives – where the instructor notices when you miss a class and calls to follow up, and the front desk staff know your name.
On National Health and Fitness Day, make fitness fun again. Be part of the National Fitness Party – open your gym to the public for free, host an event, invite the public. Celebrate exercise, fitness and health all in one day! We know Canadians need the fitness industry – to be accountable to their goals, to improve their health, and to be inspired and motivated to create a lasting habit that will change their lives. This is what we do best.
Let’s MOVE Canada!
Photo by William Choquette
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