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Exercise is Medicine: Marketing Fitness to the Health Care Community


Elizabeth Studebaker, Senior Marketing Manager, Club One

Less than 20 percent of hospitals are currently equipped to meet the new wellness and prevention mandates within Health Care Reform. This presents a new opportunity for fitness centers to open their doors to unlikely joiners and extend the continuum of care in partnership with your neighborhood hospital and medical offices. Here are a few tips for marketing your fitness center to the health care industry and its community.

Gain industry advocates.

Offer complimentary workouts to all health care professionals during a week-long open house, and invite employees of nearby hospitals, dental offices and physical therapy centers. Showcase your fitness and wellness services, highlighting the benefits of regular exercise. Consider a special corporate rate for individuals in the health care industry — as they start leading healthier lifestyles, they will encourage their patients to do the same.

Exercise is better than a pill.

It’s no secret that exercise fends off health risks, improves moods and builds a healthy mind, body and spirit — and the medical community is taking notice. Create prescriptions pads for doctors to prescribe fitness programming to their patients. Include your club’s contact details so the patient knows who to contact directly to help them get started on their doctor’s orders.

Perform wellness outreach.

Partner with your local hospital to offer free guest services to patients and their families on the hospital’s campus. Wellness classes like foam rolling, stress management, chair massage or even group exercise sessions, add to the brand value of the hospital and introduces your fitness center to potential members. Bring club collateral and encourage participants to drop their business card to enter to win a one-month membership.

Maintain visibility.

Hospitals have patient newsletters, employee bulletins and common areas such as waiting rooms, break rooms, cafeterias and pharmacies. Ask about opportunities to display an exercise of the month poster in these areas or publish wellness tips in ongoing communications.

Partner with insurance groups.

Insurance groups are spending more and more money on unhealthy individuals. Partner with these groups to send their customers health and wellness resources and a special offer to join your fitness center.


By Elizabeth Studebaker, the senior marketing manager at Club One.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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  1. Chris August 31, 2012

    Great idea. What person/position would you recommend contacting within the hospitals and clinics?

  2. debbie lee August 31, 2012

    What insurance companies have you partnered with, what do you offer to insured, and who did you contact within the insurance company to create the partnership?

  3. Elizabeth Studebaker September 4, 2012

    Hi Chris

    I would start by reaching out to administrators of clinics and hospitals to see who would be the best person to work with. If you have specific programming that would work well with certain departments, reach out to those offices first. Thanks for reading my article!

  4. Elizabeth Studebaker September 4, 2012

    Hi Debbie

    We have partnered with local insurance companies within our communities which varies by market. I would find out the dominant insurance providers surrounding your club, and then contact their local office to get a conversation started about working together. Good luck and thanks for reading my article.


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