A national fitness center chain with locations in State College, Williamsport, Bloomsburg, and Sunbury wants students to stay in shape all summer. How? By offering memberships for free.
Planet Fitness is inviting high schoolers ages 14 – 19 to work out for free from May 16 through August 31 as part of the High School Summer Pass initiative.
High School Summer Pass was formally known as Teen Summer Challenge, which was the first program of its kind launched in 2019 and saw more than 900,000 teens sign-up and complete more than 5.5 million workouts over a three-and-a-half-month period, according to the company.
Starting today, high schoolers can visit PlanetFitness.com/SummerPass to pre-register, and get a reminder to formally sign up when the program officially kicks off on Monday, May 16. Teens under 18 must register with a parent or guardian online or in-club
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, less than 15 percent of teens met the 60-minute daily physical activity recommendation during the pandemic.
A national study commissioned by Planet Fitness found that 93 percent of American teens want to stay healthy and active over the summer months, but many lack motivation or access to do so. High School Summer Pass offers a solution for teenagers eager to stay active when school sports programs, gym classes, and after school activities wind down.
“As the leader in fitness, we believe we have a responsibility to provide a welcoming, safe, and Judgement Free environment for high school students to improve their physical and mental wellness, particularly given the challenges they have and continue to face in the wake of the pandemic,” said Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer at Planet Fitness.
“Our study found that nearly all (92 percent) high school students agreed that when they are regularly physically active, they feel much better mentally. Fitness is about feeling good, too, and our hope is that High School Summer Pass empowers teens to create life-long workout habits to help them succeed in every aspect of their lives,” Rondeau said.
To further motivate high schoolers to make fitness a priority, all participants who sign up starting May 16 are automatically entered into The Planet Fitness High School Summer Pass Sweepstakes, awarding one $500 scholarship in each state (and the District of Columbia), and one grand prize $5,000 scholarship at the end of the summer.
According to the company, these scholarships can be used for academic or athletic activities or programs
To uncover how high schoolers view health and fitness today, Planet Fitness commissioned a national study in partnership with Material to shed light on mental and physical health from both teens’ and parents’ perspectives.
Although negatively impacted by the pandemic, teens are ready to make a commitment to getting healthy, both physically and mentally, according to the study results.
Key findings include:
Physical fitness for the win
Despite three in five teens (60%) reporting their usual health and fitness routines were severely disrupted over the last two years, nearly all (89%) of their parents credit regular exercise and physical activity as helping their teens cope with the challenges of the pandemic. And nearly all (92%) teens agree that when they are regularly physically active, they feel much better mentally.
Although many teens make exercise and fitness a priority in their life (65%), there are significant barriers to doing so. Seventy-eight percent of teens note that just having access to a place to work out and being able to do so with friends (72%) would benefit their health and fitness journeys.
According to the study, a majority of teens who exercise also agree that physical fitness makes them feel healthier (61%), stronger (57%) and happier (50 percent). It also provides the meaningful health benefits of more energy (69 percent), increased strength (64%) and stress relief (61%).
Mental health takes center stage
Almost half (48%) of teens admit that they struggled with mental health for the first time during the pandemic. And more than half (51%) say they currently struggle with anxiety, according to the study.
Parents are overwhelmingly concerned about how the past two years have impacted their teens’ mental health (71%), overall health (66%) and physical fitness (60%). And 71% are equally concerned for their high schooler’s academic progress and preparedness for college.
That said, more than four in five teens report they are feeling hopeful about what’s to come in the future (85%) and that the pandemic showed them how strong they really are (82%), the study suggested.
Let’s get talking
Parents have overwhelmingly spoken more regularly to their teens over the past two years about topics like self-esteem and confidence (92%), exercise and working out (88 percent) and mental health (82%). The majority of teens today also say they are now more open and communicative about their feelings (79%).
Screen time, more time
A majority of parents (55%) also report the time their teens spend on social media has increased since the start of the pandemic. In fact, many parents feel their teens are spending more time being sedentary than active. Fifty-four percent noted their teens text more today, 52% saw an uptick in playing video games, and 50% of parents say their teen is spending more time watching TV.
According to the study, more teens agree they spend too much time in front of screens than they did right before the pandemic (61% in 2022 versus 52% in 2020).
According to the company, High School Summer Pass participants will have access to, the free, in-house certified trainers at Planet Fitness and 15 trainer-led workout videos and 10 downloadable workouts – encompassing cardio, strength, toning and sports circuits – just for high schoolers (across all fitness levels), available on their app, PlanetFitness.com/SummerPass, starting May 16.
Enhanced COVID-19 safety and sanitization protocols include:
- Touchless check-in via the free Planet Fitness App – available to all High School Summer Pass participants
- A Crowd Meter on the Planet Fitness App that allows members to check club capacity in real-time before even leaving the house
- Increased sanitization to continually clean and sanitize high-touch areas, with cleaning stations available for member use
- Mask policies in accordance with local guidelines
Visit PlanetFitness.com/SummerPass for more information and to sign up.