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South Surrey fitness expert named president of national fitness council

‘Immediate priority’ for Sara Hodson is to lobby government to make gym membership tax deductible
Live Well Exercise Clinic CEO Sara Hodson (left, shown here alongside Carl Ulmer) has been named president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. (Contributed photo)

A Semiahmoo Peninsula fitness expert has been named president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada.

Sara Hodson, the CEO of Live Well Exercise Clinic in South Surrey, was named to the post following a vote at the organization’s recent annual general meeting – an appointment that was called “a bold statement on the importance of exercise for physical and mental health,” in a news release issued Wednesday.

“It is an honor and privilege to be able to work to improve the lives of Canadians,” Hodson said.

“We know that exercise is medicine and prevents and manages almost all chronic health conditions – from diabetes to heart disease, obesity, blood pressure, depression and many forms of cancer.

“We know that exercise is equally effective as antidepressant medication to treat depression, stress and anxiety – something that has afflicted us all in the last 18 months. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is important work. It is life-saving work.”

Hodson has long been a proponent of increased physical activity as a way to increase health. Last May, when the province announced that its restart plan would see numerous fitness activities renewed, she told Peace Arch News that “this is our time, and this is the opportunity for British Columbians to get back to play, to get back to moving their bodies and being active.”

According to the release, in her new post, Hodson – who is also co-chair of the BC Fitness Industry Council alongside fellow Peninsula resident Carl Ulmer – will take a lead federally in lobbying to make gym memberships tax-deductible, with the FIC noting it plans to make it an election issue now that a federal election has been called for Sept. 20.

The release calls the gym-membership issue “her immediate priority.”

“People need community more than ever; we need support and accountability,” said Hodson.

“More than that, we need qualified exercise professionals to lead us out of the dark times of the pandemic. Exercise will be the foundation of our recovery as a nation from the pandemic. The fitness industry is ready to serve Canadians, to help them regain their health and experience all the benefits of an active lifestyle.”

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