Coronavirus Resources for Health Clubs

A comprehensive list of all IHRSA resources created to help health clubs navigate the coronavirus outbreak. This page will be updated regularly.

Member Communications & Engagement

Coronavirus Conversations: Using Tech to Engage Staff, Members [WEBINAR]
Technology can keep your club’s community alive during the pandemic. In this webinar, SC Fitness’ José Teixeira shares tech strategies to engage your members and staff while your club is closed. Webinar presented on April 14, 2020.

What to Communicate in a Pandemic to Engage Your Gym's Members [ARTICLE]
During times of social distancing, fostering relationships with your members is more important than ever. Here’s what to communicate to keep members engaged and informed while your doors are shut.

What Is Good Health Club Member Service in a Time of Crisis? [VIDEO]
We asked five fitness industry leaders from four countries to share how health clubs should adapt their approach to member service during the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when many clubs are closed.

Fitness Industry Roundup: Suppliers Step Up [ARTICLE]
Brands behind exercise equipment, obstacle course races, and low-carb beer are stepping up to help the industry however they can as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts daily life.

Photos Show How Health Clubs Are Encouraging Social Distancing [ARTICLE]
IHRSA health clubs are coming up with solutions to help enforce social distancing protocols, from equipment screens to custom signage. This article also includes examples of clubs encouraging social distancing by taking workouts outdoors, spacing out equipment, and welcoming members at a special check-in desk.

Guide to Writing a Press Release for Your Club’s Reopening [GUIDE]
When preparing to announce your health club’s reopening plan, the safety of members, staff, and the community is a top priority. Here's a guide filled with everything you need to craft your press release.

How Clubs Incentivized Members to Stay During Closures [ARTICLE]
We talked to IHRSA members around the world about the new ideas they put in place to keep their members on board through pandemic-related closures. Some incentives clubs used were “bring a friend” time periods, online flash sales, extending membership contracts, and free personal training sessions.

Through Video, Health Clubs Show How They’re Safely Reopening [ARTICLE]
Health clubs are using video to show members how they are cleaning their facilities and to give them a glimpse of what it will be like when they return to the club. See examples of clubs showing their front desk check-in process, social distancing measures, sanitation practices for high-touch areas, and more.

How to Handle a Coronavirus Case in Your Club [ARTICLE]
New cases will continue to emerge as more people venture out and as businesses reopen. Here’s how to communicate with your members if someone at your club tests positive. This article covers member privacy, member communication, working with health authorities, and contact tracing.

New Membership Sales Strategies Clubs Are Using to Reopen [ARTICLE]
Health clubs around the world are seizing opportunities for new and exciting strategies to regain membership and revenue. See how clubs are leveraging their communities, technology, and referrals.

How Can Gyms Develop and Protect Their Brands During a Crisis? [VIDEO]
If you want to protect your brand and keep your members engaged during a crisis—be it a pandemic or social—then Diva Richards, owner of Hard Work No Excuses, has some advice for you. In this video, Richard covers developing your brand, protecting your brand, member loyalty, how to take a stand, how to communicate that your gym is safe, and more.

Challenges & Opportunities in Member Retention as Gyms Reopen [ARTICLE]
Club operators face a looming question: How many members will return? Loni Wang, owner of Catic Wellness Group, details the member retention challenges and opportunities that her facility faced in reopening. In the interview, Wang discusses challenges, such a reduced attendance, fear of communal spaces, and regaining confidence with members. She also touches on two opportunities: building trust with members and showing increased safety protocols.

While Informative, South Korean COVID-19 Study Has Limited Applicability [ARTICLE]
Media and policymakers continue to cite a COVID-19 transmission study named “Cluster of Coronavirus Disease Associated with Fitness Dance Classes, South Korea” that, while informative, has limited applicability to the current health club environment. Our public health expert examines the three main issues with the study.

Reopening FAQs Your Health Club Members Will Want to Know [ARTICLE]
One of the quickest ways to share new information about COVID-19 protocols is through a FAQ page. Here are some sample frequently asked questions you should consider answering for your members. The article covers questions on membership dues/services, safety, cleaning, new policies, and staff.

How Health Clubs Still Serve At-risk Groups Amid Pandemic [ARTICLE]
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. This article covers adapting programs to the pandemic, overcoming COVID-19 related challenges, keeping high-risk members safe and reassured, and addressing member concerns.

Strengthening Health Club Member Loyalty During COVID-19 [ARTICLE]
A health club owner who has seen an impressive 80% retention rate throughout club closures outlines four things that you can do right now to improve member loyalty. This article covers member outreach, member communication, staff’s role in member loyalty, and opportunities for membership growth.

Keeping Your Club’s Image Safe & Clean [ARTICLE]
Keeping your physical club safe and clean with new COVID-19 protocols is imperative. As media reports scrutinize the industry, now is the time to ensure your club image is just as protected. This article covers reinforcing the message that your club is safe and clean, communicating your commitment to cleanliness, and protecting your brand image.

Jillian Michaels’ Wildly Misleading Claim About Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
Jillian Michaels contracts COVID-19 from her friend and hairdresser, then tells fans to avoid returning to the gym while pushing her new app. In this opinion piece, IHRSA’s Jim Schmaltz explains why Michaels is wrong.

CDC: Close Contact, Dining Out (Not Clubs) Linked to COVID-19 [ARTICLE]
A recent CDC study has been misconstrued to support the argument that gyms along with bars and restaurants are high-risk settings for transmission of COVID-19. In fact, the study found no statistically significant link between COVID-19 test results and visiting a gym (among other community activities).

4 Things to Know About Exercising in Masks [TEMPLATE]
Navigate past the confusion on masks and exercising with these four must-know facts. This template can be used to bring awareness to your staff and your members.

7 Reasons Why There’s No Substitute for Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
A new survey by IHRSA, conducted by Kelton, a Material Company, shows that U.S. fitness consumers are awaiting the opportunity to resume their fitness routine at health clubs.

Gyms Struggle to Survive Latest Surge of COVID-19 Restrictions [ARTICLE]
Gym owners spoke to members of the media about the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their businesses during a recent IHRSA roundtable press event.

Fitness Industry Roundup: Experts & Lawmakers Rally for Gyms [ARTICLE]
Medical and public health experts speak on the critical need to keep gyms open. Lawmakers loosen restrictions on health and fitness clubs.

Fighting to Save the Fitness Industry

COVID-19 Relief & Information for the U.S. Fitness Industry [LIST]
A comprehensive list of all U.S. specific COVID-19 relief and closure information to help health clubs navigate the coronavirus outbreak while many clubs are closed. This page will be updated regularly.

What IHRSA Has Been Lobbying for During the Economic Crisis [ARTICLE]
It can be hard to keep track of everything happening in Washington D.C. as the coronavirus crisis upends Capitol Hill. We’ve highlighted all that IHRSA has been doing federally on your behalf in March and April.

Will the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package Help the Fitness Industry? [ARTICLE]
Here’s what we do—and don’t—know about the largest stimulus package in American history. President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27.

IHRSA Implores Congress to Include Fitness Industry In Stimulus [ARTICLE]
As the trade association fighting for the fitness industry, IHRSA has requested that Congress include health clubs, fitness centers, gyms, studios, and fitness industry suppliers in the economic stimulus package.

IHRSA Ramps Up Fight for Fitness Industry at Federal Level [ARTICLE]
America’s fitness industry is one of the hardest hit by the forced closures mandated by the coronavirus crisis. To ensure the inclusion of every health and fitness club in relief efforts, IHRSA and industry leaders are ramping up federal lobbying.

Coronavirus Stimulus Packages Around the Globe [ARTICLE]
Governments throughout the world are passing measures to provide financial relief to the hard-hit health and fitness club industry and their staff, as well as broader measures to support all business.

A Small Victory: Gyms Included in Phase 1 of Reopening Plan [ARTICLE]
During an April 16 press conference, President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force discussed the three-part reopening plan, which included the recognition that health clubs are vital to Americans and therefore, are necessary to include in Phase 1.

IHRSA Tells U.S. Governors to Reopen Clubs, Provides Framework [ARTICLE]
As states begin opening their economies, IHRSA and U.S. fitness clubs make the case that health clubs are vital and well-prepared for opening as soon as safely possible. IHRSA lays out four areas of focus to safely and successfully reopen clubs across the country.

Potential Legislation Impacting Gyms In a Post-pandemic World [ARTICLE]
The fitness industry could face backlash from state legislatures as part of fallout from the actions of club operators during coronavirus closures. Here’s what it could look like.

First 10 States to Reopen Provide Rules Affecting Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
Requirements for businesses to reopen vary wildly from state to state. Here's what the first 10 states required, with a special focus on spacing/limits, face coverings, and entry prohibitions.

Getting Your Health Club Back to Business [ARTICLE]
Maximize your health club’s reopening efforts by lobbying on behalf of the industry using IHRSA resources. This article covers IHRSA’s actions for reopening and directs you to six tools you can use to reopen your club. It also explains how you can help influence your state officials to allow clubs to reopen.

IHRSA Tells Consumers Gyms Are Clean, Safe, & Well-prepared [ARTICLE]
IHRSA sent an article to media outlets telling the world how safe, clean, and well-prepared gyms are to welcome back their members. Here’s how you can promote this information in your community. This article includes information on how gyms are enhancing cleaning protocols, including masks and social distancing.

Time Article Attacking Gyms Illustrates Their Need Instead [ARTICLE]
On July 15, published the article: "The Pandemic Is Turning Americans Against the Gym. That Could Be a Good Thing for the Nation's Health." We take issue with the suggestion that a reduction in health clubs and health club membership will lead to an increase in physical activity. The facts support the industry’s mission. Arguing otherwise makes no logical sense.

Helping the Fitness Industry: IHRSA's July Lobbying Efforts [ARTICLE]
From governors to senators, IHRSA's been busy making the case that health clubs are vital to their communities' health. This article reviews our lobbying efforts for July and explains three ways you can help.

Fitness Industry PR Update: Clubs Are Hurting, Safe, & Vital [ARTICLE]
Hot off the presses, right to your screens, IHRSA’s efforts to spread the news about what health clubs are doing and going through are picking up steam. We review three major public relations messages that IHRSA has been communicating: clubs are hurting, clubs are safe, and clubs–and exercise–are essential.

What the Situation in D.C. Means for Health & Fitness Clubs [ARTICLE]
IHRSA’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy Helen Durkin shares details of what IHRSA expects to happen in Washington D.C., where the industry’s lobbying efforts are focused, and action you can take today to support efforts to get relief.

IHRSA’s Lobbying for the Fitness Industry Continues [ARTICLE]
Since March, IHRSA has been fighting an uphill battle to get health clubs relief and show how critical they are to public health. Here’s an update of our lobbying efforts through August, week by week.

COVID-19 Economic Relief Timeline & the Fitness Industry [ARTICLE]
Congress continues to exclude the fitness industry in economic relief packages, but IHRSA has found two bipartisan sponsors for an industry-specific bill.

The COVID Era Fitness Consumer [REPORT]
The COVID Era Fitness Consumer is a report based on a study of American health club members commissioned by IHRSA and conducted by Kelton. The report discusses health club user sentiment and behavior prior to, during, and after facility closures.

IHRSA Responds to Joe Biden’s Comment on Closing Gyms [ARTICLE]
Joe Biden linked gyms and bars during the final presidential debate, saying not to open them above a certain rate of COVID-19. IHRSA sent a letter in response showing that data indicates gyms can be part of the solution.

How India’s Health Clubs Convinced Lawmakers to Reopen Gyms [ARTICLE]
The United Health & Fitness Federation brought pertinent IHRSA resources to Indian lawmakers in hopes of reopening health and fitness clubs. Now members can return and work on improving their overall health.

IHRSA’s Guide to Hiring a Lobbyist for Your Fitness Alliance [GUIDE]
Hiring a lobbyist to represent your state alliance is a serious matter. IHRSA’s Guide to Hiring a Lobbyist can help you navigate through the process.

IHRSA Launches Active & Safe Commitment for Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
IHRSA launches the Active & Safe Commitment at a time when exercise is more important than ever to global health.

University Research: Gyms Are Low Risk for COVID Transmission [ARTICLE]
Findings from the University of Oregon’s Consulting Group (OCG) demonstrates that health clubs do not pose the same risk as other venues like bars and restaurants. An analysis of Colorado data shows no statistically significant link between fitness club attendance and COVID-19 cases.

IHRSA Gyms Urge EU Commission to Drop U.S. Equipment Tariffs [Article]
IHRSA health and fitness clubs sent a letter to the European Union asking that they reconsider recently imposed tariffs on U.S. exercise equipment.

Finance, Strategy, & Leadership

Potential Savings During COVID-19 Closure [CHECKLIST]
This checklist provides tips to help you save money while your club remains closed. Inside, you’ll find information about potentially reducing expenses on products & services, mortgage & rent, insurance, utilities, and music & video licensing.

Fitness Industry Veteran on the Opportunity for a Fresh Start [ARTICLE]
“Pushing the reset button and planning your revival will help ensure a successful future,” writes Brent Darden to gyms struggling while closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fitness Industry Roundup: Gyms Are Rising to the Challenge [ARTICLE]
Although the fitness industry has been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus crisis, many health clubs are stepping up to help first responders, keep the community together, and provide members (and non-members) with ways to exercise.

Coronavirus Conversations: Global Perspectives on Health Clubs & Physical Activity [WEBINAR]
Hear international perspectives on how the pandemic is impacting communities around the world. Plus, learn about recovery strategy and ways to keep your members and staff moving and engaged even while your club is closed. Webinar was presented on April 9, 2020.

Financial Considerations for Reopening Your Health Club [ARTICLE]
You’ve likely reconsidered your financial strategy many times in the last few months, and as you reopen, you’ll need to take an even closer look. This list will help you navigate the new normal.

Fitness Industry Expert’s Five-stage Plan for Reopening [ARTICLE]
Membership experience expert Blair McHaney shares his data-driven five-stage plan for reopening.

Reopening Strategy Lessons from HV/LP Health Clubs [WEBINAR]
Hear from a panel of high-volume, low-price (HV/LP) health club operators on the key steps to reopen your club. Sponsored by Zeamo.

Fitness Industry Roundup: The Good Deeds Continue [ARTICLE]
The fitness industry doesn't quit when it comes to helping communities, members, and employees.

Surviving COVID-19: A Legal Guide for Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
Attorney Tony Ellrod shares legal and other issues being posed as health clubs traverse a world impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Four-pronged Framework to Health Club Reopening [ARTICLE]
We’ve provided a framework to help clubs around the world manage risks associated with COVID-19 in exercise facilities.

Rebound Strategies: Legal Approaches to Health Club Reopening [WEBINAR]
Attorney Adam Sloustcher returns to discuss new legal considerations and answer your questions as clubs reopen. Sponsored by Club Automation + CSI Spectrum.

Rebound Strategies: A Health Club Management Snapshot [WEBINAR]
VivaGym’s 100+ locations in Spain came to a standstill when the coronavirus hit. Learn management strategies from CEO Juan Del Río Nieto as he discusses how VivaGym handled closures, staffing changes, their reopening plan, and more.

8 Takeaways from IHRSA’s HV/LP Reopening Strategies Webinar [ARTICLE]
Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, Inc., Todd Magazine, CEO of Blink Fitness, and Ben Midgley, CEO of Crunch Fitness Franchise, discussed the future of high-volume/low-price clubs as reopening approaches for many businesses in the world in a recent webinar. Here are our top eight takeaways.

Challenges & Opportunities in Strategy as Gyms Reopen [ARTICLE/VIDEO]
Loni Wang, owner of Catic Wellness Group in China, shares how her health club fared with reopening. In this article and video, Wang discusses adapting to new guidelines, the fitness industry’s current business model, using digital platforms, building relationships with the medical community, and more.

HV/LP Reopening Strategies Webinar: Your Questions Answered [ARTICLE]
Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, Inc, gathers information from Blink Fitness CEO Todd Magazine and Crunch Franchises CEO Ben Midgley to answer questions they couldn’t get to during their HV/LP webinar. Topics include: new cleaning challenges, changes to the facility, attracting key staff, member strategy, and future concerns.

Challenges & Opportunities in Finance as Gyms Reopen [ARTICLE/VIDEO]
In Part 2 of our series with Catic Wellness Group Owner Loni Wang, we will discuss the financial challenges and opportunities ahead for fitness club owners. This article and video cover paying staff, managing cashflow, paying rent, negotiating with landlords, exploring alternative sources or revenue, and working together with trainers.

Research Shows Health Clubs Are Safer Than You Think [ARTICLE]
Contrary to popular belief, early research provides evidence for the argument that health clubs pose no additional risk in transmitting coronavirus compared to other public places. This article examines research out of Oslo, Norway and reporting from Arkansas, USA showing that clubs are clean.

Budgeting for Your Health Club During a Pandemic [VIDEO]
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Stone Creek Club and Spa President and General Manager Larry Conner was able to create three different budgets to prepare his business in the case of three different scenarios. Here are his tips for club operators.

How Gyms Are Faring in Spain, Portugal 6 Months After Shutdown [ARTICLE]
VivaGym Group closed their 96 health club facilities in Spain and Portugal as the coronavirus crisis began to unfold. CEO Juan Del Río Nieto shares lessons learned as his business and the industry navigate toward recovery.

9 Focus Areas for Your Health Club’s Future Success [ARTICLE]
It’s time to push the throttle in order to secure success and longevity. With that in mind, we’ve put together nine focus areas that you should keep your eye on to guarantee your club’s success in the future. This article covers health clubs being viewed as an essential service, getting creative with budgets and financing, embracing innovation, and more.

A Healthy Nation Needs Exercise & Quality Healthcare [ARTICLE]
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.

A Pandemic & Decades of Science Show Exercise Is Vital [ARTICLE]
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.

Resiliency & Innovation Are the Future of the Fitness Industry [ARTICLE]
"It's time to innovate or fold," writes Crystal Washington, futurist, technology strategist, and IHRSA Innovation Summit keynote speaker. Learn her perspective on the way ahead for the fitness industry.

Exercise Fights Off Disease Now & Lowers Risk Later in Life [ARTICLE]
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.

Challenges & Opportunities in Leadership as Gyms Reopen [ARTICLE]
In the final part of our series with Catic Wellness Group Owner Loni Wang, we cover the topic of leadership. Below are the challenges and opportunities that she faced.

How Gyms’ Childcare Programs Support Hybrid School Schedules [ARTICLE]
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.

Medical & Fitness Experts: Gyms Are Crucial to Fight COVID-19 [ARTICLE]
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.

8 Key Steps for Health Clubs to Take When Shutdowns Loom [ARTICLE]
With the next wave of COVID-19 forcing world governments to consider shutdowns again, we've put together eight steps gyms can take to help keep their clubs open or reopen as soon as possible.

Advice to Health Clubs on Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic [ARTICLE]
“This is an industry that can once again show its resilience, come together in ways it never imagined back in March 2020, and set new standards for governmental agencies and our current and future club members,” writes Industry stalwart, Rick Caro.

The Updated Four-pronged Framework to Health Club Reopening [ARTICLE]
We’ve provided a framework to help clubs around the world manage risks associated with COVID-19 in exercise facilities.

6 Strategies for the Fitness Industry to Survive [ARTICLE]
With new challenges for the fitness industry come new opportunities to collaborate and communicate. The first-ever IHRSA Think Tank provided an excellent platform for senior executive leaders to reimagine the future and assess the external factors that impact the industry.

Fitness & Wellness Industry Plays Critical Role in COVID Times [ARTICLE]
In this case study, Pure Group CEO Colin Grant writes how health club misconceptions were set straight; how facts speak for themselves; how customers were safe and informed; and how the industry rallied together and worked to create a better future.


Coronavirus: Prevention & Best Practices for Your Gym [ARTICLE]
The world has been experiencing a coronavirus pandemic since late 2019. This article provides basic information about the outbreak and how your club can help keep members and staff safe and informed.

Pool, Hot Tub, & Sauna Safety During COVID-19 [ARTICLE]
Many health clubs have pools, hot tubs, or saunas. Learn how to keep members as safe as possible while using those facilities during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus Conversations: Club Operations Part 1 [WEBINAR]
Colin Grant, CEO of Pure International Group, shares his experience overseeing Pure’s 30+ locations across South Asia in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Webinar presented on March 18, 2020.

Fitness Industry Keeps World Moving During COVID-19 Pandemic [ARTICLE]
Health clubs and industry suppliers are coming together to help people stay active during the coronavirus crisis.

Implementing a Strategy to Convert Fitness Services to Virtual [ARTICLE]
As COVID-19 forces health clubs to close their doors, an alternative for keeping a steady flow of business has arisen. Learn how to make virtual exercises and classes available for members.

Coronavirus Conversations: Club Operations Part 2 [WEBINAR]
In the second part of our club operations series, Pure Group CEO Colin Grant tackles crucial topics on many club owners’ minds, from shutting down your club to preparing to reopen. Webinar presented on April 2, 2020.

5 Tips for Negotiating With Your Health Club’s Landlord [VIDEO]
No one is immune from the pressure COVID-19 is putting on the economy. Industry veterans Chris Craytor and Brad Simpson say we’re all in this together, and have five tips to share if you need to talk to your landlord while your business is closed.

Managing Health Club Membership During the Coronavirus Crisis [ARTICLE]
It's time to think about membership dues, suspensions, and cancellations as mandated closures continue.

6 Tips for Club Operators to Survive During this Crisis [VIDEO]
Industry veteran Theo Hendriks says to survive this crisis, don't be too proud to share your problem, and communicate, communicate, communicate.

Proper Pool Maintenance Key to a Safe Reopening for Clubs [ARTICLE]
What to consider before reopening pools, spa pools, hydrotherapy pools, and other water-based recreational facilities in your health club.

Key Operational Questions before Reopening Your Health Club [LIST]
We’ve put together a list of key questions to consider as you begin to navigate your operational strategy when opening your business following COVID-19 closures.

Health Club Closures & Openings by Country [ARTICLE]
This list gives the status of health clubs and fitness facilities by continent and country. It will be regularly updated.

Fitness Industry Roundup: Supplies, PPE & Antibody Testing [ARTICLE]
Health clubs and fitness suppliers are using their resources to aid the community during the coronavirus crisis. See how.

What We Can Learn from a Swedish Health Club that Never Closed [VIDEO]
Annie Fältman, owner of 360 Träningscenter in Sweden, has a unique perspective of COVID-19’s impact on business operations. She shares her experience on the new norms of club business in Sweden. In this video, Fältman covers what it was like being open during the pandemic, how they’re reassuring members, how members have reacted, and what the future looks like.

3 Key Stats Show Role Health Clubs Play in Safeguarding Health [ARTICLE]
Did health club members stay active while the club was closed? Are they ready to return? Insights from four key global fitness markets—the U.S., Spain, Poland, and India—provide some answers.

5 Takeaways: Legal Expert Talks Health Club Reopening [ARTICLE]
Attorney Adam Sloustcher joined us for a webinar to discuss new legal considerations for staff as clubs reopen. Here are our five key takeaways. Sloustcher covers temperature checks, face masks, communication and documentation, employee considerations, and liability waivers.

What You Need to Know About Masks in Your Fitness Center [ARTICLE]
With some localities mandating masks in public places, clubs need to consider the logistics, member management, and legal implications of mask and face covering requirements. This article reviews the basic of masks and face coverings, what the experts say, false claims of mask exemption, disability laws and medical exemptions, and how clubs can enforce mask requirements.

What Clubs Can Learn from Other Industries’ COVID-19 Strategies [ARTICLE]
Health clubs often rely on each other for guidance implementing new policies and programs, but what can we learn from other industries? We take a look at how Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Universal Studios are working to keep their businesses safe and thriving.

How Your Club Can Survive a COVID-19-related Reclosure [ARTICLE]
After mandated closures around the globe earlier this year, many clubs are now faced with the possibility of having to close again due to surges in COVID-19 cases. Here are some ways to find opportunities in a reclosure. This article covers communication plan revisions, revenue and cost management considerations, and opportunities to improve your club.

5 Takeaways from IHRSA's Group Exercise Ask Me Anything (AMA) [ARTICLE]
Group exercise specialist and industry leader Ingrid Knight-Cohee answered user-submitted questions live on the IHRSA Forum about group fitness operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are our top five takeaways.

COVID’s Impact on Personal Training & Tips for Moving Forward [VIDEO]
Sheldon McBee is no stranger to change, even before the pandemic hit. McBee, the personal training director at Universal Athletic Club, shares insights on how he's been tackling these unique challenges.

What the COVID-19 Vaccine Means for the Fitness Industry [ARTICLE]
The vaccine is key to returning the world to business as usual, but the effect will not be immediate. We will likely be dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, protocols, and effects throughout 2021.

Cleaning & Safety

Social Distancing In Your Health Club [ARTICLE]
What does social distancing mean and how to implement it in your fitness facility as you consider reopening.

18 Safety Considerations for Your Health Club Reopening Plan [ARTICLE]
Health clubs around the world are starting to think about when—and how—to safely reopen. Here are 18 safety considerations to incorporate into your planning.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, & Sanitizing Your Gym During COVID-19 [ARTICLE]
Keep your staff and members safe by staying on top of your cleaning schedules and adding new preventative measures.

How One Virginia Gym Owner Is Approaching Safely Reopening [ARTICLE]
If you’re wondering what reopening your health club will look like, Gold’s Gym franchisee and fitness industry veteran Lori Lowell has three safety measures and four tips to share with you.

What Safety Procedures Are Health Clubs Using to Reopen? [ARTICLE]
To ensure the safety of members and employees during reopening, health clubs are implementing new procedures to monitor for illness, create space for social distancing, clean, and communicate with members.

IHRSA Announces Key Considerations & Risk Assessment Tools [TOOLS]
Due to the growing need for guidance in reopening health and fitness clubs, industry leaders from across the globe have formed a reopening group to provide clubs with recommendations.

Cleaning Terms All Health Club Operators Need to Know [ARTICLE]
Arm yourself with the right vocabulary as you plan your health club's reopening and effectively communicate your cleaning efforts to members.

How to Keep Your Health Club Clean in the Great Reopening [ARTICLE]
Suppliers are eager to help with sprays and wipes that provide protection from contagions and give your members peace of mind. We spoke to a few who specialize in sanitation and maintenance to learn more about products like masks, gloves, electrostatic dispensers, face shields, thermometers, and more.

How Are Health Clubs Handling Mask Mandates? [ARTICLE]
Governments around the globe are mandating the use of masks in public places, causing uncertainty for health clubs. Here's what we know about face covering requirements and the best path forward for your health club. This article covers where masks are mandated, whether people are required to wear a mask while exercising, how clubs are dealing with mask wearing, and issues around enforcing mask mandates in the club.

The Role of Your Health Club’s HVAC System in COVID-19 Safety [ARTICLE]
Your health club's HVAC system is an essential element to your COVID-19 safety strategy. We talked to experts about measures clubs can take to improve air quality and help prevent the virus from spreading. This article focuses on three categories: ventilation, filtration, and purification.

Safety & Efficacy of Masks & Face Coverings During Exercise [ARTICLE]
More studies are revealing the effectiveness of wearing face coverings to stem the spread of COVID-19. Learn what researchers are discovering as you develop your health club's mask policy. This article covers whether masks stem the spread, the effectiveness of cloth face coverings, exercising with a mask, and guidance on safe workouts with a mask.

The New Normal: Operating Your Health Club During a Pandemic [ARTICLE]
Fitness industry expert on standards, Paul Eigenmann, sat down with us to discuss how clubs can operate most effectively during and after a global outbreak. In this interview, Eigenmann touches on three considerations club operators should focus on as they reopen, how to give your members confidence in returning, how to best prepare employees and members, how to create policies when information is constantly changing, and what clubs should do to prepare for the future.

The Top Workout-friendly Face Masks for Your Gym Members [ARTICLE]
Athleisure companies meet the demand for workout-friendly face masks. Here’s our shortlist of top contenders from suppliers like Addidas, Athleta, Zensah, Under Armor, BUFF, and more.

Early Data: Airborne SARS-CoV-2 Not Detected in Florida Gym [ARTICLE]
In an ongoing study at the University of Florida, researchers are conducting air quality tests to determine if SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in aerosol form. Findings from multiple samplings at Gainesville Health and Fitness show no detectable SARS-CoV-2 present.

What the Fitness Industry Can Learn from a COVID-19 Outbreak [ARTICLE]
There’s been an outbreak of COVID linked to a spin studio in Canada. It has the markers to look like a superspreader event with at least 50 cases tied to the studio. The studio was following Provincial protocols and has been working with the local public health authorities to investigate the cause, and steps moving forward.

Enhanced HVAC Strategies to Implement in Your Health Club [ARTICLE]
The potential airborne transmission of a virus makes your health club's HVAC and filtration systems extremely important—especially as the seasons begin to change. Learn what you can do to mitigate aerosol spread by implementing new strategies at your facility.

MIT App Helps Businesses Quantify COVID-19 Risk, Safety [ARTICLE]
An online app can help shed light on what you can do in your health club facility to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread by taking into account ceiling height, MERV filters, human behavior, and other factors that affect indoor spaces.

Understanding Ventilation, COVID-19 Spread, & Your Gym [ARTICLE]
Good ventilation and air conditioning in sports, fitness, health clubs, and aquatics facilities can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Here's what you can do to make sure your members and staff are safe and comfortable.


Coronavirus Conversations: Legal FAQ & Staffing Operations [WEBINAR]
Adam Sloustcher, Attorney, Fisher & Phillips, LLP and Aaron Moore, Director of Operations, VIDA Fitness address legal, operational, and staffing concerns health clubs are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Webinar presented on March 25, 2020.

Questions to Ask Before Laying Off Your Staff [CHECKLIST]
When health clubs are forced to close their business, it opens the doors to many questions. This product provides knowledge for club owners in tough times as well as resources for critical questions to ask when laying off staff.

Understanding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act [ARTICLE]
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes mandatory employer-provided emergency sick pay and emergency paid family leave for certain circumstances related to COVID-19. Learn about the law that took effect on April 1.

Navigating Health Club Staffing During Coronavirus Closures [ARTICLE]
As payrolls take a hit, explore your options before planning your health club’s path forward.

Curated Member Retention Resources for Your Health Club Staff [LIST]
We’ve put together our top webinars, e-books, and articles on health club member retention so your staff can strengthen their skills while your doors are closed.

Curated Sales & Marketing Resources for Your Health Club Staff [LIST]
Check out our selection of sales and marketing webinars, e-books, and articles that your staff can use to strengthen their skills while your health club’s doors are closed.

Curated Hiring & Training Resources for Your Health Club Staff [LIST]
A selection of resources on employee hiring, training, and retention designed to help your human resources team keep their skills sharp while your club’s business is disrupted.

Curated Strategy & Finance Resources for Your Health Club Staff [LIST]
These strategy and finance webinars, e-books, and articles are designed to strengthen your staff’s knowledge and strategic thinking during these uncertain times.

Resuming Health Club Staffing Operations: 5 Key Areas [CHECKLIST]
When your club reopens many things will need to change—including how you approach staffing operations. This checklist looks at five key areas to help you through the transition. The areas include workplace safety, staff training, policies and procedures, communication, and supporting employees.

A Guide to Health Club Staff Training During COVID-19 [WEBINAR]
As health clubs begin to reopen, staff will need to be trained on new procedures and responsibilities. Learn how to train staff while enhancing engagement and productivity. This webinar covers training employees on new procedures, keeping employees engaged and informs, and developing an action plan for how to train your employees for maximum performance. Sponsored by Club Automation + CSI Spectrum.

Health Through Exercise

Virtual Workout Resources [LIST]
IHRSA and the World Health Organization present a range of resources for FREE to help those confined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, including children's books from IHRSA, virtual classes, and classes streamed via social media, such as Facebook Live and Instagram.

Cancer Expert: Working with the Fitness Industry the 'Holy Grail’ [ARTICLE]
Cancer research experts have a vision for the future where cancer treatments include tailored exercise prescriptions. In an interview, Nicole Stout DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA, a renowned healthcare researcher and faculty member at West Virginia University Cancer Institute's School of Medicine, discusses the benefits of exercise for cancer patients and prescribing exercise in a post-COVID-19 world.

How COVID-19 Changed Kids Programming in Health Clubs [ARTICLE]
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. This article looks at how clubs are adapting to changes in kids programming, uncovering revenue-driving opportunities, and staying positive.

What Your Gym Needs to Know About Physician Referral Programs [ARTICLE]
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.

Doctor Says Gyms Can Prevent COVID-19 & Lessen the Impact [ARTICLE]
Robert Sallis, M.D., says, “Whatever it takes to get places where people exercise and can be active to open, we have to do it, it's an essential part of life.” This article covers why exercise is essential, how COVID-19 is a “disease of inactivity,” and changing the narrative to communicate that gyms are safe.

Physical Inactivity & the COVID-19 Pandemic [ARTICLE]
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.

Health Clubs Are Valuable, Policymakers Need to Make Changes [ARTICLE]
Some health and fitness clubs in the U.S. have been closed since March. Greg Degnan, M.D., medical director of the Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs, believes it’s time that policymakers see—once and for all—how important clubs are to overall health. In this article, Degnan discusses the value of health clubs, the role policymakers have in creating a healthier America, and exercising safely at clubs.

Lockdowns Cause Severe Mental & Physical Health Consequences [ARTICLE]
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. In this article, Deemer covers physical activity as an intervention, the risks of quarantine, and how to move forward during a pandemic.

More Activity, Lower Mortality in People with Chronic Disease [ARTICLE]
We review three studies showing how physical activity provides benefits to people with chronic disease, Parkinson's disease, and gestational diabetes.

The Preventive Role of Exercise in the COVID-19 Outbreak [ARTICLE]
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.

Medical Experts: Let Gyms Keep Serving Their Communities [ARTICLE]
Health professionals who sign the “Medical Endorsement of Exercise & Lifestyle Medicine” letter affirm "[health] clubs provide a place for our patients to work on their physical and mental health and experience much-needed socialization in a safe, controlled environment.”

Resistance Exercise Lowers Anxiety Symptoms in Young Adults [ARTICLE]
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.

Compiled Data Shows Clubs Are Lower Risk & a Vital Resource [ARTICLE]
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, epidemiological evidence continues to suggest that physical activity is vital and essential, and that health clubs are not primary drivers of COVID-19 transmission.

Below are some resources collected from IHRSA members that you may find helpful. While we are including these in the spirit of sharing, please note that IHRSA did not vet or contribute to these resources.

Resources for Clubs by IHRSA Members

Virtual & Home Workout Resources for Your Members

The World Health Organization has requested IHRSA and its club and industry partner members to help everyone stay active during the coronavirus crisis. IHRSA is delighted to present a range of resources for FREE to help those confined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, including children's books from IHRSA, virtual classes, and classes streamed via social media, such as Facebook Live and Instagram.

Looking for Information You Don't See Here?

IHRSA is here to help health clubs during this challenging time. Email us with your questions to help us as we create more resources.

Related Articles & Publications

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HFA Staff @HealthFitAssoc

This article was a team effort by several HFA experts.