Planet Fitness offers free workouts. Silver sneakers for teenagers?

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The danger here approaches that from the perspective of a crusty old grumbler. But reading the news that Planet Fitness is offering free workouts for teens this summer raises some eyebrows and some questions too. It’s not quite a “silver sneaker” for teens, but there are some similarities.

On the plus side, it’s a chance for teenagers to get some exercise and stay fit all summer long, and offerings run from mid-May through August. It’s good at all Planet Fitness locations. And there’s the incentive of a free bursary for all who sign up.

But the disturbing question that needs to be asked is, is any of this fueled by all the stories of kids doing nothing but hanging around on their phones? Planet Fitness says it’s all part of a goal to “motivate high schoolers to make fitness a priority.”

A scholarship is nice, but with college enrollments plummeting statewide and across the country, it’s hard to believe that $500 will be a major motivator. This brings us back to the question of whether this promotion is aimed at getting teenagers used to going to a particular gym, or is it ultimately being eclipsed by concerns about the lack of physical activity a particular age group spends traditionally spending his summer outside playing (the younger ones) or fooling around (the older youth).

Planet Fitness accepts early registrations on its website. The only limitation seems to be that you have to train at the place where you sign up.

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