Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fitness and the Government

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Izaak Tyrrell, Master Trainer at Upcountry Fitness said, ‘We are excited about the first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines, and we believe they represent a positive step forward in the fight against sedentary lifestyle diseases and they will help us enhance the quality of life in the community.’ Now that the government is actually recognizing the contribution to the health and the economy of the nation, it is time for the government to recognize that an investment in our preventative health is an investment that will save money in the long run. In January of 2007, H.R. 245, the Personal Health Investment Today Act of 2007, was introduced. In a nutshell, it allows the purchase of exercise equipment or the cost of exercise programs (up to $1,000) to be treated as tax-deductible medical expenses. Given the value that the government clearly expresses with their Physical Activity Guidelines, this should be sailing through the House, yet its current status is still ‘introduced.’ The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association has made it easy for your voice to be heard. They have a three-step plan: 1. Log on to; 2. Enter your address (the system will find your legislators for you); 3. Use the key points provided to write a personal email in support of this tax break for healthy activities. Making an investment in your health is making an investment in the health of the nation; it should not be a part of the tax base. Beyond a tax deduction from the federal government, these preventative expenses should not be taxed (as they currently are) at the state level. For information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, visit”

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