NEW YORK, April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Men's Health and Women's Health, the most established wellness media brands published across six continents, and Mindbody, the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, today announced Relay for Relief – a global 24-hour relay initiative taking place on Friday, May 15 through Saturday, May 16, 2020 to benefit COVID-19 response and recovery.
Coming together for a first-of-its-kind digital event, the three brands will partner to host the world's largest virtual workout relay, with a full day and night of back-to-back streaming workouts led by top fitness trainers and influencers internationally.
Individuals across the globe can register for one or more of the 48 consecutive, 30-minute fitness classes curated by the editors of Men's Health and Women's Health and the team at Mindbody by visiting Mindbody.io/m/RelayforRelief. Programming scheduled throughout the 24-hour event will range in style from HIIT and strength classes to yoga and meditation sessions, with offerings spanning all levels of fitness. Classes will cost $10 each, with proceeds benefiting United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery fund.
"Fitness is a uniting force for our millions of readers and followers who are looking for a safe, healthy outlet to help them cope with the monumental changes happening in the world at this time," said Women's Health Editor-in-Chief Liz Plosser. "Relay for Relief will provide an opportunity to support others while simultaneously doing good for one's own body and mind."
"The power, authority and scale of our combined brands in the wellness space is unparalleled," said Men's Health Editor-in-Chief Richard Dorment. "We are in a unique position to unite the fitness community and to provide a platform for those whose livelihoods have been affected by recent events, enabling our massive audiences to sweat for a greater cause."
Relay for Relief comes as businesses and consumers have taken their workouts online in response to social distancing. Since March 2020, Men's Health and Women's Health have programmed daily workouts through Instagram Live, and according to Mindbody, over 10,000 studios have launched their first 'virtual class'. In-app bookings through the Mindbody app are up 88.3%, and mindbody.io bookings/purchases have increased 1655% year-over-year. During April 2 to April 20, 73% of Mindbody consumers reported using pre-recorded video versus 17% in 2019, and 85% are using livestream classes versus 7% in 2019.
"COVID-19 is having a hugely disruptive impact on the wellness industry, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Men's Health and Women's Health in order to provide some relief to business owners and practitioners," said Mindbody CEO and Co-founder Rick Stollmeyer. "With this disruption comes both near-term challenges and long-term opportunities. We at Mindbody are utterly convinced that the wellness industry will grow even faster in a post-COVID-19 environment and that many existing businesses will thrive and new businesses will emerge."
Following class registration or simply by visiting unitedway.org/relayforrelief, participants are invited to make additional donations to United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery fund as individuals or teams, enabling further relief toward essential services across the world.
Premium performance apparel brand Athleta has also joined on as a program sponsor and is pledging a donation to United Way on behalf of Relay for Relief.
"United Way Worldwide knows that a community is only as healthy as the people who call it home. We are grateful to the trainers and coaches throughout the world who encourage a culture of health, fitness and mindfulness," said United Way Worldwide U.S. President Suzanne McCormick. "Keeping our bodies and minds strong and healthy develops the resilience required for the long road to recovery from COVID-19."