Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO, Bahram Akradi Addresses Public Health Crisis
Posted: November 25, 2020 in Chains
CHANHASSEN, MN – Bahram Akradi, Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO, offered his perspectives on the current mandates to reclose health and fitness centers, youth sports and physical activities in Minnesota, noting, “The decision to close health and fitness centers, youth sports and physical activities, are costly mistakes when it comes to our overall public health. It is simply the wrong solution that was reached through hypotheses and not rooted in sound data, facts or good logic. Health clubs are not the problem; they are the solution to maintaining public health.”
Key highlights include:
- Health clubs nationwide and in Minnesota are among the safest place for consumers. According to the latest empirical and scientific evidence, Minnesota’s health and fitness centers—when bolstered by enhanced mitigation efforts, including a combination of mask wearing even during exercise and increased social distance are safe.
- We know COVID-19 complications increase dramatically when combined with other chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. This is both counterintuitive and counterproductive to the health of Minnesotans and our communities.
- This is not about profits: the financial margins of health clubs have already been entirely eliminated with capacity restrictions already in place. It’s purely about the overall health of our communities and serving those who badly need these services.
- Health clubs and fitness centers are not “optional entertainment,” they are an essential health service that help people reverse comorbidities and strengthen their immune systems.
- Taking away an active and safe space for consumers will likely cause higher concentrations of consumers in other retail places resulting in more spread and more cases.
The full video of Bahram’s address is included here: vimeo.com/482918677/915ad2a2ce.
“The health club industry has taken this pandemic very seriously by self-imposing comprehensive safety and health measures that greatly reduce the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19. International, national, local and Life Time’s own data proves this clearly. And we have been willing to add even more measures to help if necessary, including requiring masks at all times, decreased capacity and increased social distancing.
Here in Minnesota, Life Time has experienced nearly 3.5 million visits with less than 400 reported cases, equating to a rate of .0001. Because we have the unique ability to do so, we have conducted comprehensive contact tracing and have yet to identify a single case that originated in our clubs.
The conclusion is that health clubs are not the problem, they are the solution to maintaining public health. They are, in fact, the safest environments people may visit for much needed preventative health. We all know that healthier people are less likely to end up in hospitals and overwhelm the medical community.
Moreover, with capacity restrictions already in place to support required social distancing, the financial margins for clubs have been entirely eliminated. Therefore, this is not about financial gain or profit. It’s only about the overall health of our communities and serving those who badly need these services.
Many people face varying levels of depression, anxiety and other mental ailments that are partially addressed through medication that is carefully adjusted based upon their physical activity and routines. Their current rituals at a club combined with this precise amount of medication often provides the careful balance they need. Therefore, these mandated closures now will create imbalances in peoples’ critical routines, potentially resulting in even more unfortunate outcomes than COVID-19 on its own.
Even worse, this provides additional unoccupied time for people, likely resulting in higher traffic to shopping malls or other spaces that have fewer measures in place to protect peoples’ health and safety leading to the further acceleration of COVID outbreaks and spread of the disease.
The Governor has the opportunity to be much more intentional by reinforcing health-focused messaging every time he addresses the media, challenging all Minnesotans to achieve healthier weights, body composition, and physical fitness while we await a vaccine or other therapeutics. We know complications increase dramatically when combined with other chronic diseases, like obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
It is time to reverse this decision for the public health of all Minnesotans and reopen health clubs as soon as possible.