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Fitness Industry Provides Free Health Club Memberships to Military Families as Part of Joining Forces and Let's Move! Initiatives

Washington, DC - Executives from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) joined First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of the White House on May 9th to announce the launch of the IHRSA Joining Forces Network-an affiliation of health clubs throughout the country that will offer free memberships to immediate family members of actively deployed reservists and National Guard members.* The announcement took place at a health and wellness event for military families hosted by Mrs. Obama which combined the Joining Forces and Let's Move initiatives.

Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. Let's Move! is also a comprehensive initiative launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

"The freedoms that each of us enjoys every day are possible because of the sacrifices that our nation's military families bear," said Joe Moore, IHRSA's President and CEO. "Joining Forces offers us an opportunity to provide these families with the support they are due."

The IHRSA Joining Forces Network hopes to offer at least 100,000 free health club memberships throughout the country-the equivalent of more than 18 million days of free access to health clubs and an estimated value of more than $30 million.

Clubs also may provide additional benefits, such as childcare, children's programming, group classes, discounts for veterans, and discounts for active duty families.

"Rooted in communities all across America, IHRSA health clubs stand ready to serve our nation's military families," said Moore. "We are here to offer them safe, supportive environments where they can exercise and find encouragement in their efforts to stay well through healthy lifestyle choices. We are deeply honored to be part of the Joining Forces and Let's Move! initiatives." Beginning June 1st, eligible military families can find participating clubs in their area online at www.healthclubs.com. The website also offers a free digital subscription to Get Active! Magazine, a consumer resource dedicated to promoting the benefits of safe and effective exercise, and offers useful advice on making healthy lifestyle choices.

Moore also noted that IHRSA is particularly excited about the opportunity that these free memberships will provide for the teenaged children of deployed reservists and National Guard members, who will now have access to positive health club environments where they can stay physically active and feel supported in making smart lifestyle choices. IHRSA has been an outspoken supporter of the Let's Move! initiative since its inception. To enroll your club, or for more information, please visit www.healthclubs.com.