RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Planet Fitness is inviting high school teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18 to work out for free at the Rapid City club from May 15 through Sept. 1. as part of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge initiative. Any teen who is under the age of 18 must bring a parent or guardian to sign up.
Free fitness classes will also be available Monday through Friday via certified fitness trainers.
All teens who sign up beginning May 15 are automatically entered into Planet Fitness' Scholarship Sweepstakes. By the end of the summer, 51 lucky teens across the US will be randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship, and one teen will receive a $5,000 grand prize (for complete official rules, visit https://www.planetfitness.com/sweepstakes-rules).
Planet Fitness is focused on the health of teens as there are several statistics that are alarming when it comes to South Dakota teens and physical activity:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, 47.4 percent of high school students in South Dakota do not currently meet the 60-minute daily activity threshold on at least five or more days per week. Furthermore, 14.5 percent of South Dakota high school students are classified as overweight and 14.7 percent are considered obese. For details on this study, you can find more information at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/results.htm.
In addition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity can bring immediate health benefits such as reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved quality of sleep, and improved insulin sensitivity. Long term benefits include improved brain development, reduced risk of eight different cancers, and reduced risk of excessive weight gain. Details on this can be found at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2018/11/12/hhs-releases-physical-activity-guidelines-americans-2nd-edition.html.
Planet Fitness' Teen Summer Challenge offers a solution for teenagers eager for an opportunity to stay active during the summer when school sports programs, gym classes, or after school activities wind down.