Judgement-Free Zone

Here’s how this queer-friendly gym can help you maintain physical and mental health

Planet Fitness is a safe space for high school students to work out. 

Gym culture can be an intimidating prospect for teenagers, and especially LGBTQ+ youth.

That’s where Planet Fitness’ High School Summer Pass comes in. 

Now through August 31, high school students ages 14-19 are welcome to workout free of charge at Planet Fitness gyms nationwide. And best of all, they can feel safe and secure in Planet Fitness facilities, which are Judgement Free Zones. 

U.S. teens are in the midst of a mental health crisis. According to a recent Planet Fitness study, 61 percent of teenagers face mental health challenges.

The numbers are even more dire for LGBTQ+ teens.

The Trevor Project’s 2022 survey on mental health among youth ages 13-24 found that 45% seriously considered attempting suicide over the previous 12 months. The prior year, 69% reported feeling persistently sad and hopeless, the CDC says (for heterosexual teens, the number was 35%). 

That’s where physical health comes into play. With mental health care difficult to access–60% of LGBTQ+ youth who want mental health care are unable to obtain it–exercise is more important than ever.

Physical activity is known to increase dopamine and serotonin levels, which boosts mood and brain health. 

Exercise increases oxygen supply to the brain, which improves memory and self-control. 

Planet Fitness is making the gym accessible for everybody.

When mental health lapses, studies show they are more prone to physical issues, perpetuating a vicious cycle of anxiety and depression.

With these figures in mind, making exercise more accessible is paramount to boosting mental health. Yet sports and fitness have been exclusionary spaces for LGBTQ+ people, especially those who are not cisgender. 

A teen working out at Planet Fitness.
Working out at Planet Fitness.

But with representation in sports improving these days, the barriers are becoming less daunting. For the first time, young sports fans can point to athletes who are dominating in their favorite sport as their true selves. 

Roughly 20 percent of WNBA players identify as LGBTQ+. And guard Layshia Clarendon, who’s played eight seasons in the WNBA, identifies as transgender and non-binary.

Quinn won gold for Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

There have been 16 gay and bi players in the NFL. Right now, Carl Nassib is the first active out player in league history. Luke Prokop is the first out active player to have an NHL contract as well. 

Luke Prokop won a championship this season.

Inclusion fosters a welcoming environment, which is what Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Zone is all about. One of the largest operators of fitness centers, Planet Fitness is committed to providing an inclusive fitness experience. 

Since its first location opened in 1992, Planet Fitness has been changing the gym game with its non-intimidating, low-cost model – the “Judgement Free Zone” – that fosters a welcoming and friendly community where everyone can feel accepted and respected.

Good habits last a lifetime, which is the most important benefit of the High School Summer Passes.

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