For teens looking to get in shape this summer, Planet Fitness is offering a “Teen Summer Challenge” that will allow teenagers ages 15-18 to workout for free at any location.
According to a study conducted by Common Sense, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families, teenagers spend nearly nine hours per day in front of a screen. That’s more than one third of their day.
Amy Hall, the general manager of the Athens location, said the goal of the program is to encourage teens to spend less time in front of screens and more time moving their bodies. “There are so many things that are so prevalent in the United States right now, such as heart disease and cancer and diabetes and all of these things. If we just eat a healthy diet and just really move our bodies, it’s amazing how the percentages drop dramatically,” she said.
Daneidra Watkins, an employee of the Athens Planet Fitness location, said her hope is that teens will continue their exercise routines beyond the summer. She said the goal is for teens to “keep coming back, gaining membership, and to continue keeping up that healthy lifestyle that they’ll have started this summer.”
In addition to the free workouts, all teens who participate in the program get automatically entered into a sweepstakes. One winner from each state will be given $500 in scholarship money, and one lucky teen nationwide will get $5,000.
The gym also has a solution for parents who are concerned about leaving their teens alone. Planet Fitness will offer parents a one-day free pass for them to workout with their child. After that, however, they will need to buy a membership.
Sydney Heiberger is a senior at the University of Georgia pursuing a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in sociology.