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How State Fitness Alliances are Saving the Fitness Industry

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United we stand, divided we fall. As we continue to battle the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we come together as an industry. Though COVID-19 has forced physical distance, it has also forced us to realize there’s immense strength in numbers.

In health and wellness facilities across the nation, the goal is the same: to promote health and wellness. Surviving the biggest health crisis of our lifetime has intensified the need for mental and physical wellness. Ironically, state and local governments are shutting down fitness facilities when communities need them most.

In an effort to provide a collective voice for the fitness industry, business owners and leaders have banded together to create state fitness alliances. With key objectives to advocate, educate, and provide recovery and relief, state fitness alliances are doing the necessary work to ensure the short-term survival and long-term prosperity of our industry.

Give a Voice to the Voiceless

As state and local governments navigate unprecedented business closings, the fitness industry must be part of the conversation. State fitness alliances speak on behalf of not only industry leaders, but the thousands of employees and members who make up the fitness community. As a single club, it’s hard to capture the attention of officials and lawmakers, but a clear and unified voice from a state fitness alliance is a welcomed source of information and authority.

Educate the Masses

Another critical role of state fitness alliances is to provide internal and external education. Smaller businesses that may not be in the loop on the latest guidelines can use state fitness alliances as a resource for safely operating. Outwardly, state fitness alliances advocate for the recognition of fitness facilities as essential businesses. By providing data-driven recommendations and developing strong relationships with county and state representatives, state fitness alliances help inform and influence reopening decisions.

Decide Your Destiny

State fitness alliances are deciding their fate both now and in the future. Though formed in response to a crisis, their work won’t end with the pandemic. Long-term, the benefit of having a collective voice to advocate on behalf of the fitness industry is truly invaluable. As the world around us rapidly changes, alliances will play an important role in determining the fitness industry’s place in it.

Take Action

With reopening laws changing daily, the future of the industry is constantly in flux — that’s why it’s important to take action now. If your state already has an alliance, add your voice to the movement by joining. If your state doesn’t, get the ball rolling. Charge headfirst into the storm by starting a state fitness alliance, using other state alliances as models for your own. By simply securing a board and sharing your mission on a website, you will create positive momentum that inspires other operators to join.

Challenges are only as daunting as we allow them to be. If we band together, we can overcome the pandemic and come out stronger and more supported than ever. We got into the fitness business because we’re passionate about the health of our country. State fitness alliances prove just how passionate we are.

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Jeff VanDixhorn

Jeff VanDixhorn is a club owner and member of the Illinois State Fitness Alliance. He is also the founder of Club Automation and chief revenue officer of Club Automation, CSI Spectrum and TennisSource, club management systems used by more than 1,000 facilities nationwide.

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