Immunity: A Trend Worth Supporting
Help your clients and members thrive with health-boosting programs.
While it may not be getting the same COVID-19 notoriety as the word “pivot,” “immunity” has a spine—and it’s much more than just a keyword. Thanks to the health crisis ebb and flow of the past 2 years, consumers have taken special note of their immune systems and more people than ever are interested in boosting their natural defenses and improving their overall health. This is a very good thing for fitness and wellness professionals, whose services are backed by research as being pro-immunity superstars.
A Booster Shot of Interest
The 2022 Mindbody Wellness Index recently released “7 Trends to Watch in 2022,” which is based on survey results from 16,000 Americans who were asked to weigh in on the ever-changing wellness field. One of the key findings is increased interest in immune health, with one in three global consumers reporting they were more concerned about immunity than they were prior to 2020 (Innova Market Insights 2021). According to Mindbody’s report, this trend will continue in the new year, as 55% of the U.S. population focuses on their health and wellness. Why? Because “they want to strengthen their immune system to withstand illness and disease.”
Here are additional highlights from the survey:
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of people say that they’re more focused on health and wellness because they want to live a long and healthy life.
- One in five Americans has tried new services or treatments that support immune health, and 46% are interested in trying those services moving forward—women being more interested than men.
- Consumers are seeking services such as red light therapy, IV therapy (vitamin drip), detox programs, injection therapy (B12 shots), infrared saunas and salt therapies.
Fitness professionals can use this information as a starting point for planning products and services in 2022.
See also: Fructose Affects the Immune System
The Right Immunity Message
Personal trainers, group fitness instructors and fitness facility owners can truthfully promote exercise as a way to boost immune health. For example, a scientific review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science (2019) found that exercise can improve immune response, lower illness risk and reduce inflammation. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, discovered that people who engaged in cardiovascular exercise five or more days of the week lowered the number of upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold) over a 12-week period by more than 40%. This, of course, doesn’t apply directly to the coronavirus, but the underlying message is that movement can be a kind of “medicine.” What can fitness professionals suggest to their clients to help bolster their immunity? Here’s a starter list from Harvard Health:
* Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
* Exercise regularly.
* Maintain a healthy weight.
* Drink alcohol in moderation.
* Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly cook meats.
* Minimize stress.
* Keep current with all recommended vaccines.
Karen Sullivan, a personal trainer and fitness instructor from St. Petersburg, Missouri, adds a secret ingredient to the above list and shares it with her clients and participants: an upbeat mindset. “Stay positive,” Sullivan says. “This is where laughter comes in. It can help you eliminate stress and depression. In this time of uncertainty, it can be a challenge to stay positive. But staying positive and lowering your stress is one way to take action and be a good influence.”
Sullivan also recommends to her clients that they restrict screen time an hour before bed, which includes smartphones, computers and iPads. “Don’t watch the news right before bed, either. These things may help you sleep better, which will also help your immune system.”
What questions do you have about integrating immune-boosting products and services into your fitness business? If you’re an IDEAfit+ member, join the discussion as a valued member. Be on the front lines and take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.
Interested in learning more about how to grow with the fitness industry as it enters a new era? IDEAfit+ affiliation is the key to life-long success as a fitness and wellness professional.
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