(Editors' Note: This article was part of Club Industry's April 2019 "Wellness Integration in 2019" report. You can download the full free report here.)
We live in a world surrounded by screens while we spend our mornings hashtagging our breakfasts on social media and taking selfies of our gains at the gym. We’re adapting to behaviors that have become social norms in a world where receiving more “likes” on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a personal achievement that delivers instant gratification.
Some might argue that our online lives could be destructive to our real lives by introducing possibly negative side effects related to body image and self-esteem. However, digital wellness is opening doors for both facility owners and their members. This means bringing together people with common goals through a simple hashtag. It arms members with more fitness knowledge while generating new revenue opportunities.
Healthy for Members Equals Healthy for Business
Fitness is just as mental as it is physical, and taking advantage of digital wellness is a quick and effective way to keep members motivated while maintaining strong retention rates. While members stay busy running on treadmills and posting their yoga photos to Instagram, facility owners can maintain a library of digital blogs and articles that focus on different workouts, healthy recipes and wellness tips for members to reference. Owners can offer yoga classes and other events that are geared toward stress relief and wellness—providing members with more value and generating more revenue at the same time.
More Than Just Appearance
There is a preconceived notion that exercise is strictly for weight loss, but that overlooks the positive impact exercise can have on overall health and wellness. It’s important for owners to assure their members that weight loss is not the only reason to purchase a gym membership, even though it is a common goal and is directly linked to confidence. Wellness is about much more than what we see on the outside.
Specific body types and desirable looks are constantly being broadcast online, leading both men and women to believe that they must look a certain way to achieve happiness. Technology isn’t the culprit here—we are. Health club owners and fitness professionals are direct influencers of this issue, which is why it’s imperative for us to use technology as a tool to spread positivity by encompassing every aspect of fitness and wellness, not just appearance.
Anything posted online has potential to spread like wildfire. It’s up to the professionals to ensure no toxic content is being showcased to their consumers.
Opportunities for Owners
Social media has given owners opportunities to boost member confidence and increase revenue in the process. Through simple posts and accurate hashtagging, owners are able to share progress and transformation photos across their social media platforms, celebrating member accomplishments and praising their victories.
Club owners can instantly motivate their members through positive sayings, such as quotes of encouragement, to get members excited about exercise. Personal trainers and class instructors can go beyond teaching and truly empathize with members, offering compassion and listening to them during moments of frustration or discouragement.
Trainers can give encouraging advice in person as well as online. Building and maintaining these business-to-consumer relationships online and offline will only continue to help health clubs flourish.
In this digital age, your club members will inevitably be influenced by the content they consume online. By keeping up with digital and wellness trends, business owners can be a positive force in their members’ lives and ultimately help them achieve their goals. Is digital wellness for you? Yes. It’s an open door and can override any negativity surrounding ideal body images and shift one’s focus to all areas of fitness and what being healthy truly means—all while putting more revenue in an owner’s pocket.
May Elliott is the content and social media specialist for ASF Payment Solutions. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in theatre from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Elliott is passionate for all things creative and spends much of her time acting on camera, at the gym and in the kitchen. She enjoys researching about the fitness industry and spreading that knowledge in her articles, blogs and across social media. Get in touch with Elliott at [email protected] or 303-914-2702.