Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing fitness centers in the U.S. is inviting high school teenagers ages 15 – 18* to work out for free at any of its more than 1,700 Planet Fitness locations throughout the United States from May 15 through September 1 as part of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge initiative. Free fitness classes specifically for teenagers will also be available Monday through Friday via certified fitness trainers.
Additionally, all teens who sign up beginning May 15 are automatically entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes. By the end of summer, 51 lucky teens across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will be randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship, and one teen will receive a $5,000 grand prize. Teens will also have the chance to win exciting prizes on Planet Fitness’ Twitter and Instagram channels throughout the summer, such as club swag, movie tickets and wireless headphones.
A FOCUS ON TEEN HEALTH
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently released new physical activity guidelines, which revealed that 80 percent of Americans do not currently meet the recommended amount of physical activity. The guidelines also challenge youth (ages 6 – 17) to pursue a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Planet Fitness’ Teen Summer Challenge offers a solution for teenagers eager for an opportunity to stay active during the summer when school sports programs, gym classes or after school activities wind down.
“Teens today are under ever-increasing pressure to succeed academically and socially, battle a growing list of responsibilities both inside and outside of the classroom and become well-rounded members of their community,” said Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer at Planet Fitness. “At Planet Fitness, a healthy and active lifestyle should never be a challenge – which is why we’re flipping that notion on its head with the launch of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge. We want to give teens across the United States the chance to stay active when school is out – a time when they may not otherwise have access to organized fitness or athletic programs, which is why we’re offering a safe space to exercise for free and spend time with their friends all summer long.”
BY THE NUMBERS
To uncover how teens ages 15 – 18 view health and fitness today, Planet Fitness commissioned a national study that sheds light on how teens and parents feel about health and wellness, and how best to motivate youth toward pursuing an active lifestyle and setting them up for success through adulthood. Key findings include:
Wellness is On the Brain. Today’s teens are more health-conscious than ever before, seeing exercise as not only a way to be in shape, but believing that – among those who work out already – it positively impacts their mental health (72 percent) and focus on schoolwork (47 percent).
- Sadly, nearly half of all teens (42 percent) lack a positive body image, noting they’re self-conscious and have trouble finding the confidence to try something physically challenging.
- In addition, with two-in-five (42 percent) of today’s teens also battling anxiety and body image issues, many teenagers are recognizing that exercise may be the answer. Those who work out note they feel more confident (47 percent) and happier (43 percent) in addition to feeling less stressed (37 percent) and anxious (24 percent).
Schedule’s Booked. Nearly three-in-five (57 percent) teens surveyed say that between school and extracurricular activities, they do not have enough time to make exercise a part of their daily routine – a sentiment also shared by more than one-third (36 percent) of teens’ parents, who feel today’s youth have fewer opportunities to exercise on a daily basis than they did a generation ago.
- Not surprisingly, over two-in-five (41 percent) report that their fitness levels decrease over the summer when school is out.
- That said, nearly all (91 percent) agree that they want to stay healthy and active over the summer.
Having Access Doesn’t Infer Action. Parents and teens (50 and 54 percent, respectively) agree teens have greater access and options to exercise than previous generations. But almost two in five (39 percent) of teens say they don’t have enough guidance on how to exercise or where to event start (36 percent), which may be why 39 percent feel negatively towards fitness.
Exercise Your Body, Not Just Your Fingers. When asked how they’d prefer to spend their free time, more than one-third (36 percent) wished to exercise or work out more (regardless of school schedules), which is greater than the number of teens who want to spend more time playing video games (27 percent), browsing social media (16 percent) or watching TV (16 percent).
All-Star Student. Working out works to many teens’ advantage, too, as fitness can be a secret recipe for straight As. In fact, among surveyed teens who see improvements based on exercise (91%), two in five (40%) have reported that exercise helps them to find more focus, with 23 percent directly attributing it to making them a better student.
Friends who Sweat Together Stay Together. Having friends at the gym is a big motivator, with almost two-thirds (65 percent) saying they would go to the gym more often with a buddy.
For more information on the Teen Summer Challenge, including how to sign up for the free membership at any of the more than 1,700 Planet Fitness locations nationwide, visit PlanetFitness.com/TeenSummerChallenge.