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Win Members With a Wellness Approach

Adopting a holistic approach to health can attract and retain members. How can you expand your wellness offerings to address the physical, emotional/spiritual, intellectual and social aspects of health? You’ve probably got the physical aspect well covered, so here are some ways to incorporate the other dimensions.

Stress is common in today’s society and plays a significant role in negatively impacting emotional health. By offering stress management workshops, you can be a part of the solution. Also, consider designating a room or section as your relaxation area. Set up couches for rest; play soft music as opposed to the upbeat music you play in the rest of the facility; and offer helpful books and other tools that alleviate stress. This may encourage busy people to slow down and relish a much-needed break. The Wellness/Recreation Center at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls is an excellent example of a facility that helps clients reduce stress. It provides a wellness resource room featuring stress-reducing items like recliners, drum sticks, massage gadgets and even Play-Doh®.

The more your clients comprehend wellness concepts and facts, the more empowered they will be to take charge of their overall well-being. Act as their resource for this information.

Consider inviting speakers on a variety of health and medical topics. A program like this can be profitable for your business and offer a stimulating intellectual experience for attendees. In addition to speaker events, you might conduct cooking demonstrations, book reviews of recent health-related publications and sport-specific presentations.

Another simple, inexpensive way to offer knowledge to your clients is to give out free handouts on wellness topics, such as body image, heart rate, sports injury prevention and the mind-body connection. Create your own handouts, photocopy those at the back of IDEA Fitness Journal or find a selection at www.fitnessmanagement.com.

Social support is essential for living a healthy life and achieving goals. Foster a sense of group belonging by creating clubs within your facility, hosting social events and offering unique programs and events that bring people together.

The concept of creating smaller clubs within a fitness business is not new. Walking clubs and book clubs are already popular, but with a little imagination you can come up with some new twists. The Fitness Edge, with locations throughout Connecticut, offers a “Backyard Boot Camp” program in which members gather a group of friends to form their own little club. Some of the facility’s trainers then lead an effective, fun exercise program for 6 weeks at one member’s home.

Social events can also bring members together. Events like member appreciation dinners, improv workshops or group outings help people get to know one another outside of the gym environment.

Tell Us What You’re Doing: If you have rebalanced your facility’s programming to make it more wellness oriented, we’d like to hear from you. What’s been successful, and what hasn’t? E-mail your perspective to [email protected] and we may publish it in a future issue of IDEA Fit Tips or IDEA Fitness Journal.

For more information on adopting a wellness approach, see the full article in the January issue of IDEA Fitness Manager or online in the IDEA Article Archive.

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