August 2020

Before Pandemic, Fitness Was Hot, SFIA Report Says

In 2019, fitness participation increased 2.9% and individuals took part in about four fitness activities throughout the year, on average. This is according to a new report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In addition, the report shows that “casual” participation continues to grow as more opportunities to try new workouts arise and become more accessible.

Data Reveals Racial Disparity in Park Access

The Trust for Public Land recently released a new report revealing that across the nation, parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are half the size of parks that serve majority white populations—and nearly five times as crowded. New data in the report shows that areas within a 10-minute walk of a park can be as much as 6 degrees cooler than areas beyond that range.

USA Swimming Waives Swim-a-Thon Fees Through 2021

In late April, as the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on aquatic facilities across the country became clearer, USA Swimming unveiled a strategic recovery plan for clubs that highlighted many of the programs, benefits and services implemented during the COVID-19 crisis. One of these benefits was a removal of the required 5% contribution to the USA Swimming Foundation for teams that completed a Swim-a-Thon. The fee waiver is in place through 2021.

ACE Urges Congress to Pass COVID-19 Youth Sports & Health Working Families Relief Act

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) urges Congress to pass the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Healthy Working Families Relief Act (H.R. 7562), which incorporates the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. ACE has long advocated for the passage of the PHIT Act, which would provide a 10% to 37% discount on expenses directly related to active lifestyles, including youth sports, health club dues, at-home fitness and personal training services, through pre-tax medica accounts like HSA and FSA.

Nation's Pediatricians Offer Advice on Return to Youth Sports

Sports activities offer children and teens many physical and psychological health benefits besides fitness, such as socializing with friends, a critical part of development. Many children have missed these activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and re-engaging youth in sports will require careful thought and safety precautions. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), drawing on the most current research, has published interim guidance to help families weigh the individual benefits and risks of their children's sports activities and ensure that safety precautions in place. It includes suggestions from the CDC's recommendations for youth sports, such as how practices should be conducted, who should wear face coverings and more.