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Going Green

Sustainability is the No. 1 topic for our businesses.

That was the message of Phillip Mills, creator of Les Mills International and owner of 10 Les Mills fitness clubs in New Zealand, during his keynote on Friday afternoon.

Mills began his keynote with a video about the need to become environmentally more efficient and a book that he and his wife Jackie wrote, titled "Fighting Globesity - A Practical Guide to Personal Health and Global Sustainability." The book outlines how fitness and nutrition affects the planet and how individuals can make changes to their lifestyles to positively affect the world and environment.

During his keynote, Mills stressed to the 100 attendees the importance of “greening your body.” He said that fitness professionals and fitness facilities must do four things:

1. Create greener facilities. He suggested that clubs shift to solar water heat, purchase water-saving toilets and showerheads and use low energy lights.

2. Become advocates for green. He said clubs must start marketing themselves differently so that the public doesn‘t see gyms as merely a place to look better. He recommended that clubs tell their members about their energy-saving features and have their staff members recommend books on green, healthy living.

3. Become better at running their businesses. Mills said clubs must do a better job of creating fun and exciting clubs that are community-based. Group exercise is a major part of this, he said, noting that group fitness members stay twice as long in clubs as typical non-group ex members do.

4. Create a powerful sense of cause and mission. All clubs should have a strong sense of purpose and be environmentally sound, he said, adding that this type of message is what really speaks to and resonates well with the public.

Mills ended his keynote with some thought-provoking stuff: “Think about what you‘d like to leave as your legacy,” Mills said. “You have to have a strong sense of purpose.” --Jennipher

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