Between May 15–September 1, teens aged 15-18 can work out at any of Planet Fitness’s 1,700 locations for free as part of the Teen Summer Challenge in an effort to help kids increase their confidence, happiness and positive mental health between school years. Planet Fitness commissioned research that shows that 91% of teens want to stay active during the summer but have trouble finding the confidence to head to the gym–and hope that this free challenge will provide an incentive. In addition to the Summer Challenge, teens can attend free summer classes Monday-Friday with certified fitness trainers.
All teens who sign up beginning May 15 are automatically entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes. By the end of summer, 51 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. Planet Fitness created this initiative to combat increased anxiety, stress, and mental health challenges in teens’ lives.
“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. 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.”
Research shows that 72% of teens surveyed believe that exercise positively affects their mental health. This makes working out crucial for today’s overworked teens. 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 reporting that exercise directly makes them better students.
Planet Fitness also hopes to use this initiative to get kids off their phones and provide them with structured avenues of exercise, considering almost 2 in 5 kids surveyed said they don’t have enough guidance on how to exercise or where to start. Between open gym access and classes, the Teen Summer Challenge offers a variety of ways for teens to learn how to use the gym in the way that best suits them. Planet Fitness prides itself on not fostering “gymtimidation”–ensuring that everyone, including teens, feels comfortable working out, no matter their level or experience.