Planet Fitness helps support summer fitness

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HAMPTON, N.H. — It's summer and one fitness company is doing all it can to make sure teens stay active and healthy.

Planet Fitness, headquartered in Hampton, announced its first statewide summer effort to encourage teens to get off the couch, put down their devices and get active.

The "Teen Summer Challenge" is underway at Planet Fitness facilities all over the state, allowing 15-to-18-year-olds an opportunity to work out for free through Sept. 1.

And to encourage teens to participate in the new program and incorporate fitness and health into their lifestyles, Planet Fitness will award four $2,500 scholarships at the end of the summer to use for academic or physical fitness activities.

"Planet Fitness is excited to open its doors to teens, giving them a place to be active and improve their overall health and wellness," said Chris Rondeau, CEO of Planet Fitness. "Many teens many not have visited a workout facility before and this initiative gives them the opportunity to incorporate regular exercise into their daily lifestyles for potentially the first time while on summer break."

Rondeau added the program is a stepping stone for teens to be healthier and happier.

Statistics show that nearly half of the state's high school students do not get the recommended 60 minutes of activity per day. Studies also show that in addition to improving health, exercise can help ward off certain conditions later in life like diabetes or high blood pressure while also increasing self-esteem and positive body image.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu helped kick off the Teen Summer Challenge and said the program will benefit thousands of teens around the Granite State.

"Finding a safe and welcoming place to be active is a problem that many parents and teens face every summer," Sununu said. "We are grateful to Planet Fitness for launching this exciting initiative right here in its home state of New Hampshire and for stepping up to provide a solution without being asked."

The program will also run in partnership with the state's Obesity Prevention Program to help keep teens on the right path to develop healthy habits early in life.

In Derry, the Planet Fitness staff at the facility at Hood Commons is ready to welcome teens in for the summer fitness challenge. With a location near Pinkerton Academy, officials there hope many teens will take advantage of the free offer.

With more than 8,000 members, it's a good way to reach teens during the summer when school is out and exercise and fitness efforts may slow down.

"We want to see as many teens as possible sign up for the program," said Derry Planet Fitness General Manager Joe Dardano, adding the local facility has many incentives and programs to suit families throughout the year and also is a strong supporter of the local community through various initiatives.

Teens can sign up to exercise at any Planet Fitness location around the state. Teens under 18 will need a parent or guardian to sign up for the program. Teens will be able to use any fitness machines and can also participate in workouts developed specifically for them.

For information on the Planet Fitness Teen Summer Challenge, visit any Planet Fitness location in New Hampshire or visit planetfitness.com for information.