There are three things clubs should know about mind-body wellness:
1. To change our bodies we must first understand what is shaping them!
2. Getting more in tune with our behaviors, habits and choices will get results that are quicker and more sustainable.
3. Learning how to connect our minds to our bodies allows us to better feel and understand what our bodies need. It tells us how hard to push and shows us our limits. This can help us achieve our fitness goals more quickly and avoid injury and over training. We can become more in tune with areas of our bodies that we may have previously disconnected from, such as our stomachs. By doing this we will get greater results out of each exercise by feeling and visualizing our muscles working.
As for whether or not all clubs should offer some sort of mind-body wellness offering, the answer is yes. There are so many ways to incorporate a mind-body approach. I really believe that it can make a difference not only in fitness results, but also improve daily life. I believe that being fit and healthy is truly a combination of mind-body wellness.
There’s a common mistake clubs make when implementing or marketing mind-body wellness offerings, and it’s making it a “separate” offering. I think that in general our overall consciousness is changing, however, mind-body can still have an “oh that’s not for me” or “it’s too out there” feel. By incorporating mind-body into some of the more popular classes by trusted instructors, individuals will be more open to the offering. I also believe that small steps add up to big, realistic results. Clubs can look at making small additions in order to “hook” or peak interest and grow a following from there.
In the past, mind-body has been thought of as “hippy-dippy,” or disconnected from serious fitness. However, with the growing interest in activities such as yoga and Pilates, the importance of the mind-body connection has become more accepted and mainstream. One misconception I would like to dispel is the belief that it is kind of “fluffy” and won’t have much effect on the end result of reaching fitness goals. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are feeling beings. Our bodies were designed to feel using our five senses. Constant contact with technology and the constant on-the-go society in which we live leave little time for feeling, so we tend to turn off the very senses we should use to guide us. Educating participants and clients about mind-body awareness can help individuals become more in tune with their bodies and provide the necessary tools for them to live happier, healthier, more fit lives.
Sara Shears is the Creator of the Ugi® Workout and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.812.9441.
There are six things clubs should know about mind-body wellness.
1. Integrated fitness is all the talk these days, and mind-body exercise and integrated fitness are pretty much synonymous. Mind-body exercise can actually retrain and optimize how the entire body functionally moves, giving your members the added benefit of having a better way to move through everyday life and activities. And that means every one of your members — from the sedentary to the elite athlete.
2. It can really enhance athletic performance — and that’s a great way to get members interested, as everybody wants to be a better athlete. It has become a critical training regimen for many of our customers in the NFL, NBA, MLB and Olympics. Just Google “Pilates and athletes” and you’ll see what we are talking about.
3. You can actually run a successful apparatus-based mind-body program without taking up much physical floor space. So much of the equipment today is portable, lightweight, can stand or stack on end for easy storage, or mount to walls and ceilings so it’s not right in the middle of the room.
4. As long as the program is properly marketed, there is absolutely no reason why a club should not implement a Pilates or mind-body program. It has become an essential revenue source as well as a critical member retention tool for clubs all across the world.
5. The biggest mistake in implementing a mind-body program is either a lack of marketing or poorly marketing the program. In our experience, the clubs who launch successful mind-body programming all do one thing — they aggressively market it to keep it going strong. They establish a mind-body “champion” whose responsibility it is to keep the program visible and “buzzing” to both members and internal club departments (so they are up to speed on the program and can answer any questions), as well as making sure the programming stays innovative and relevant.
6. I’d estimate that mind-body and Pilates participation in clubs and fitness centers is still about 80 percent female, and that drives me crazy. Pilates was designed by a man to rehabilitate internees in WWI, but still has the stigma that it is more of a woman’s exercise. Like I said before, mind-body exercise will benefit everybody. In actuality, men may need it more, because in general we tend to be a little harder on our bodies than women are.
Ken Endelman is the founder and CEO of Balanced Body and can be reached at email@example.com or 1.800.PILATES.