Fitness Industry Roundup: Hope & Inclusivity to Ignite Clubs

The GYMS Act is introduced in Congress, an inclusive fitness organization is born, and more.

The health and fitness industry received a spark of hope with the introduction of the GYMS Act in Congress. Now, the industry and consumers must take action to convince their Congress members to support the inclusion of the GYMS Act in any relief package.

In other news, an inclusive fitness business is taking off in Wisconsin, college students are building relationships through online workouts and social events, and yet another fitness facility transformed into a vaccination site to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress Introduces GYMS Act to Revive Distressed Health & Fitness Facilities

The Community Gyms Coalition and IHRSA reported the introduction of the bipartisan Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act (H.R. 890) by Congressmen Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). “The GYMS Act provides owners like myself with meaningful and specific relief that previous federal relief programs failed to address,” said Debra Strougo, co-founder of RowHouse. “Passing the GYMS Act will save thousands of small businesses from going bankrupt and help ensure the fitness industry survives the pandemic to continue making our communities healthier.” The GYMS Act would establish a $30 billion recovery fund specifically for fitness facilities impacted by the pandemic.

Contact your Congress member to ask that they support the GYMS Act’s inclusion in the next relief package.

Big Sky Mother Launches Nonprofit to Bring Exercise to Those With Special Needs

Monique Prevel of Townsend, MN, recently founded the Big Sky Autism Project (BSAP) to provide access to adaptive exercise programs for individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), other special needs, and their families. The organization hits close to home, as Prevel’s son lives with non-verbal autism spectrum disorder and sparked her inspiration for BSAP. “Our aim is to strengthen, stabilize, strengthen and build endurance in these individuals muscles and joints so that they can live (as) independently as possible,” Prevel told KHQ.

Learn more about the Big Sky Autism Project.

National Organization Connects College Students Through Fitness

With more than 100 chapters across the nation, CHAARG (Changing Health Attitudes + Actions to Recreate Girls) helps college students “find their fit” on campus through the power of health and fitness. According to, through the pandemic, CHAARG has evolved to offer virtual services, such as weekly workouts, SLAM (self-love and meditation) events, socials, and more. “We are a student organization that adheres to anyone and everyone and allows students to ‘find their fit’ on campus with not only just fitness, but also really connecting with others and making amazing friendships,” said Marjorie Sovacool, Kent State CHAARG treasurer.

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Source: Kent State CHAARG

Find out more about CHAARG.

Fitness Facility Becomes Largest Vaccination Site in Iowa County, WI

As stated in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Comer Center, a 91,500-square-foot facility at Lands’ End Inc. corporate headquarters, recently became the largest vaccination site in Iowa County, WI. The facility is able to vaccinate 160 people in a four-hour period and will soon have the capacity to immunize 1,600 people over eight hours. Jerome Griffith, Lands’ End CEO, said, “The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is a critical step toward supporting Wisconsin’s vibrant culture and business community, and we are grateful to be able to utilize Lands’ End’s facilities to help fight the pandemic.”

Read the full story.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Senior Manager of Digital Communications, working to shape the organization's image on various digital platforms. On a typical day, she creates content, delivers impactful communications, and executes targeted marketing efforts to keep IHRSA at the forefront of the industry. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring new destinations, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.