Brian Walker from Live Purple shares the importance of getting fit, the right way.

I remember the first time I walked into a high-end gym in a fancy neighborhood. The sales pitch was minimal and the transaction went quickly followed by a firm handshake. I was looking to escape daily pressures and for a sense of belonging to a group. It would not take long before I was addicted. That gym was a newly built facility in my school and the addiction was to pain killers. I was 13 years old. I would overdose twice before reaching high school.

My story is far too common. Ninety percent of prescription drug addiction starts between the ages of 12 and 18 years old and nearly one in five teens has already abused a prescription pain killer equating to 4.2 Million teens.  With most public schools either significantly reducing the amount of time spent on health education, or eliminating health education all together, most don’t realize the dangers from prescription abuse and one of the many reasons we the abuse shows no signs of improvement. In 2016, the cost of prescription drug misuse in the U.S. exceeded $443 billion each year.  Ninety-seven percent of the $443 billion was spent on the consequences from the abuse with only 3% spent on prevention.

After decades of working executive level positions in fortune 1000 companies, I found myself 32 years old, exhausted, stressed and out of shape. I entered a different type of gym. I received a different sales pitch than decades earlier yet once again became addicted. This time to fitness. Unlike the high I had sought from pills, my addiction to fitness is under my control. This is of little surprise as some of the brain regions effected by commonly misused drugs are the same regions impacted by exercise.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to the former Surgeon General of the United States discuss the increased risk factors to society of substance misuse including the role of stress, anxiety, and the role the “lifestyle” plays, including lack of exercise. that lifestyle practice has become a major topic as the search to find a solution reversing the current trend is discussed.

Sixty percent of all addicted have a medical condition defined as a dual diagnosis disorder or co-occurring disorder.  Dual diagnosis means the addict also suffers from an additional mental disorder in addition to their addiction disorder. For example, alcoholics often also suffer from symptoms of depression and opioid addicts often also suffer from a type of anxiety disorder (in many cases PTSD).

In the most recent survey of the American Psychological Associations, teens are experiencing as much stress as adults, in and some cases more, leading to feelings of depression and loss of appetite. Adult stress levels are also on the rise with only one in ten saying they’re willing to seek professional support to address the issues. The remaining 90% become prime candidates for attempting self-medication thus dramatically increasing their chances of becoming future addicts.

As fitness professionals, it is imperative we not only remember our purpose but act on “why we do what we do.” Our top priority must remain to use our solutions to better the lives of others in every community in which we operate.  Having a proven solution to help an epidemic, it is our responsibility to expose that solution and inspire the community to participate. If we choose not to support the cause, and we continue to ignore the devastation, this epidemic will continue to spread. The consequences to all will be catastrophic.

Live Purple, A CAUSE FOR FITNESS, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our team has decades of experience and knowledge of all aspects of the fitness industry allowing us to provide you the tools and solutions to impact the addiction, the mental health and the obesity epidemics. Most programs currently offered were created specifically for one of the founders own multi-club fitness companies. Each program is designed from inception to be mutually beneficial, delivering both impact to the community and increasing new business resulting from the cause marketing and brand awareness benefits.  Live Purple is the ideal cause-relationship solution for the health and fitness industry.

Together we can fulfill our responsibility as professionals and help end this epidemic.  To learn how you can have a greater impact, please contact us at info@livepurple.org.  We will have one of our Impact Teammates contact you immediately.

Brian Walker
VP of Research & Education | Co-founder,
BWalker@LivePurple.org

Fitness Business Podcast #1 podcast globally for fitness business owners and managers.

 by Chantal Brodrick

With 98,000 downloads across 100 shows to date, the podcast features our industries most awarded, recognised and experienced fitness leaders in addition to experts and authors from outside the industry.Guests include Casey Conrad, Todd Durkin, Bill McBride, Luke Carlson and Chuck Runyon.

The Fitness Business Podcast is a free weekly show, available to listen to through Itunes or directly from www.fitnessbusinesspodcast.com.

During April, The Fitness Business Podcast took a bird’s eye view into LA’s boutique studios from Soul Cycle to Barrys Bootcamp. We talked about: Continue reading “Fitness Business Podcast #1 podcast globally for fitness business owners and managers.”

Join Thunderclap to #PassPhit

by Meredith Poppler

What is Thunderclap?
In our digital age, it is hard to be heard and capture people’s attention above all the noise. One person tweeting, calling or emailing can be the same as a person yelling across a full stadium to get the attention of someone on the other side. It is simply drowned out. But when the entire stadium yells the same message at the same time, not only is it heard, but it reverberates for miles. Thunderclap is a digital version of the entire stadium yelling the same message at the same time.

How Does Thunderclap Work? Continue reading “Join Thunderclap to #PassPhit”

Supporting PHIT

Legislation That Will Make Physical Activity More Affordable and Accessible

Physical inactivity is the cause of 1 in 10 deaths worldwide. We are in the midst of an inactivity and obesity crisis which is costing billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare expenditures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 86% of nationwide healthcare costs are used to diagnose and treat chronic diseases. Needless to say, something has to change! Decades of research prove that leading a physically active lifestyle is integral to good health. Simply put, an investment in staying physically active is an investment in staying well. And good health means lower healthcare costs. At a time when Americans are carrying the growing weight of their healthcare costs, they should have greater choice in how their healthcare dollars are spent. While America’s healthcare dilemma is complex and will require many solutions, passing PHIT will make staying physically active an easier and more affordable choice.

“The PHIT Act would make it easier for Americans and their families to prioritize health and wellness – and hopefully save money on future doctor visits.”

– PHIT co-sponsor Senator John Thune (R-SD)

The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT – H.R.1267 and S.482) will allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos, and youth sports leagues. If passed, it will allow individuals to use up to $1,000 per year to cover these expenses and families to use up to $2,000 per year.

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Continue reading “Supporting PHIT”

Beyond Type 1 Announces Partnership with Medical Fitness Network to Provide New Fitness and Allied Healthcare Provider Resource

An overall wellness plan of healthy living is critical for people with or without diabetes. Physical activity can benefit people, especially with those living with diabetes, in unique ways.

Diabetes and exercise are vital when it comes to managing blood glucose levels and health complications, and regular exercise usually helps improve blood glucose management in people with all types of diabetes.  A growing number of studies show that prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, can be prevented or reversed with healthful lifestyle changes, which can also help prevent or reverse “double diabetes” in people with type 1 diabetes who become insulin resistant due to being physically inactive or gaining excess body weight.  Continue reading “Beyond Type 1 Announces Partnership with Medical Fitness Network to Provide New Fitness and Allied Healthcare Provider Resource”

A Healthier Population and Increased Recognition for Club-Based Wellness Programs

by Meredith Poppler of IHRSA >>>

Despite the many proven health benefits of exercise; physical inactivity, obesity, and chronic disease continue to be growing problems. And still, policy-makers, insurers, and the medical community are slow to embrace the solutions the health and fitness club industry provides.

IHRSA and its members have consistently worked to lay the groundwork for a world that views physical activity and the benefits that health clubs provide with increased importance. With that end-goal in mind, IHRSA has created a mechanism through which our industry’s efforts to fight chronic disease through exercise can be amplified.

The lofty but achievable goals of The IHRSA Foundation are to demonstrate the impact health clubs have on helping people effectively improve and manage their health, and then promote those benefits to increase the physically active population and improve wellness across the globe.

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Specifically, the IHRSA Foundation seeks to:

  • Conduct and support research on health outcomes related to participation in club-based wellness programs,

  • Provide educational resources and support to IHRSA member clubs in their efforts to improve the health of their communities, and

  • Promote evidence-based programs that encourage healthy lifestyles.

Currently, the IHRSA Foundation is building a collection of wellness through exercise programs which stress physical activity as an effective means of managing conditions like cancer, chronic disease prevention and management, diabetes, and physical and mental disabilities.

To support the IHRSA Foundation, please:

The IHRSA Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.


Vice President of Communication and Leadership Engagement at IHRSA
Meredith Poppler puts her 20+ year career in the industry to work protecting and promoting health clubs by raising awareness of and funding for important policy issues, and encouraging advocacy, collaboration and leadership within the industry. And as IHRSA’s Media liaison, Poppler communicates the importance of physical activity and the benefits that health clubs provide to their communities.  @PopplerMeredith
Meredith Poppler puts her 20+ year career in the industry to work protecting and promoting health clubs by raising awareness of and funding for important policy issues, and encouraging advocacy, collaboration and leadership within the industry. And as IHRSA’s Media liaison, Poppler communicates the importance of physical activity and the benefits that health clubs provide to their communities.  @PopplerMeredithVice President of Communication and Leadership Engagement at IHRSA

Partnerships + Tech = Success for Active

By Boss Magazine >>>

The leading health service management company takes a non-traditional approach to delivering exceptional fitness and wellness programs. See how it has benefitted the company.

Active’s approach to fitness and wellness management isn’t exactly traditional, and that’s a good thing. The company believes the best fitness and wellness programs are built on personalization, meaningful connections, and exceptional experiences.

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It’s a leading health service management company, passionate about building active communities through both fitness and wellness. Its secret? People, and the partnerships the company forges to help it redefine how fitness and wellness programs are delivered.

“Our people are community builders and amazing health ambassadors who help build healthy communities through high-touch interactions that inspire personal health journeys,” said Michele Wong, Vice President of Client Services and Wellness. “We show our partners how to make wellness programs fun and engaging in a way that doesn’t feel forced on our members.”

Through personal and technology-supported interactions, Active Wellness knows that delivering exceptional experiences that truly engage broader populations is the key to success.

The company saw an eight percent growth last year, largely due to its procurement and design services. Active Wellness and its team are working with partners on everything from new builds to refreshes of spaces and equipment.

“We’ve helped our partners look at new ways to utilize space to deliver the best aspects of traditional fitness centers, while still carving out more areas for group training with a focus on purposeful design that as more recently has only been seen in small boutique studios,” said Wong.

“The addition of these spaces is not only a differentiator for our partners but an opportunity to drive higher spend and new membership models.”

In many cases, the design services have led to the addition of new management contracts in multi-tenant campuses where the company’s partners are focused on bringing not only unique fitness offerings to their tenants but wellness services that integrate with on-site medical providers.

Convenience, experience, and value are driving consumer choice in this space, and property managers are seeing the convergence of fitness, wellness, and medical services as a differentiator to improve tenant retention.

Active has a core competency in managing all aspects of fitness and wellness delivery and has now gained a strong expertise in working with the medical community—hospital systems such as St. Joseph Health as well as physician groups.

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The partnership between Active Wellness and St. Joseph Health began when the renowned hospital system hired Active to manage one of its medical fitness centers in Napa—Synergy Medical Fitness Center owned by Queen of The Valley Hospital.

As the organizations began to understand one another, the two found their values and goals of positively impacting the health, wellness and fitness levels of the communities they serve were just about identical.

St. Joseph Health later made a significant minority investment in Active Wellness to become an investor/owner in addition to the strategic partnership.

“Having the third largest healthcare company in the country as our partner gives us a unique understanding of the changing healthcare space and the opportunities for advancing the role of fitness and wellness,” said Jill Kinney, Co-founder and Chairman.

“The team has grown and gained a lot of expertise in working with healthcare systems. Our competency and skill set in managing medical fitness facilities is now unparalleled to anyone operating within our industry. We have created a very strong core competency in the medical wellness/fitness space.”

Although Active Wellness has been operating medical fitness centers for many years, its partnership with St. Joseph Health has allowed it to develop new models that are a cross-over from traditional fitness centers to corporate and community wellness programs. Kinney believes the company has just scratched the surface.

“We are expecting this partnership not only brings new management opportunities directly to Active, but will allow us to grow our range of services and operations for other clients.”

“Imagine the latest fitness programming and amenities that best accommodate busy, everyday life,” said Bill McBride, Co-founder, President, and CEO. “Now add in reputable medical care, lifestyle management, and holistic support.

“We’re thrilled and positioned to deliver this convenient new model that integrates all aspects of good health and well-being, backed by science, fun, technology, and service.”

In addition to its strategic partnerships, Active has been successful in adapting to change. The adoption of technology has been historically slow in the health club industry, despite its rapid trajectory in nearly every other industry. The downside of this is that the industry is often behind the curve when it comes to delivering the user experience members have come to expect from modern innovation.

One of the issues is that club operators are reluctant to pilot new technology, which in turn makes it hard for innovators to iterate their offerings and get them market ready. The result is that many good ideas do not get nurtured in a manner that enables them to evolve to being “go-to-market” ready.

To remedy this, The Active Idea Lab provides innovators an opportunity to obtain measured results before reaching out to operators. By helping innovators eliminate certain risk, The Lab will help more companies succeed, and better products come to market.

Active Wellness has the advantage of being located in one of the most innovative areas in the world. The Lab’s virtual space will be developed so that information is shared freely across the entire fitness ecosystem.

“In 2017, we will primarily focus on helping innovators by working with entrepreneurs to develop better fitness products,” said Mike Rucker, Vice President of Technology. “We will then likely expand to create exploratory environments (e.g. the Apple Store) where members can freely test early-stage devices so that we are not just advancing the industry but also bringing members into it.”

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We set out to build a great company doing work we are passionate about on a rock solid foundation—people,” said McBride. “I believe we hire the best in the industry who every day operate with heart, compassion and authenticity.

“Each of us is passionately drawn to our mission of improving the lives of others, and we know that if we approach every decision and action with making our people feel better to remain engaged each day, then results will follow for our members and clients.”

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Bill is a health club industry veteran with over 25 years of experience leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical fitness centers, residential, community, multi-tenant and corporate fitness sites. @billmcbride65