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nutrition

Offering a nutrition component within a fitness club tends to be daunting — to the point that it’s easier to ignore than solve. Here are the most commonly asked questions:

  • “Who will deliver and administer it?”
  • “Who will create it? Do I need to hire a high-salaried registered dietician (R.D.) to manage this?”
  • “Does the R.D. need to know how to work with a ‘healthy customer?’ This is the fitness industry, not a hospital.”
  • “Do I pay the R.D. or does the R.D. pay me?”
  • “Do I charge for nutrition? How?”
    “Do I pay an employee as a health coach?”
  • “Is it better to create my own programming or just contract it out?”
    “What do I need to do to be in compliance in my state or province?”
  • “What if my team doesn’t support what I choose?”
  • “Is a supplement system the same thing as a nutrition solution?”

You get the point — and the dilemma. With massive competition in the fitness space and an obese population, this one area is what may make or break the future of your business. Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

It is coming to fruition that the healthcare and fitness industries will be aligned in some way soon. In fact, it’s already begun. This presents even more questions that need answering, but there will be guidelines and parameters to work within for this opportunity.

Aligning with the healthcare industry will require fitness clubs to adhere to HIPAA compliance regulations, which is very new to this freewheeling industry that operates very independently from regulations.

However, get this right, and the financial pay-off will be great if a fitness club can get on board with their programming for fitness and nutrition. Both programs will need to be regulated with frequent progress, reporting to the referring physician to demonstrate improvement of specific health markers set by the healthcare company.

Imagine having a partnership with a local physician who will refer new business to your facility. The physician gets rewarded by the insurance company if the patient improves, your club will get rewarded by new business, and the patient or new member gets rewarded with living a longer life.

It’s a win-win-win!

As of now, this will be a cash-based business, with the insurance company reimbursing their patients for their payment to the health club for their services.

Even if you aren’t interested in aligning with the healthcare industry, don’t ignore what the entire country is struggling with. Step up and stand out as the one who can solve the 100% solution your community needs.

The time to act is yesterday. Remember, not everyone likes or has to exercise, but everyone likes and has to eat.

Carolyn Fetters is the founder and CEO of Balanced Habits, based in Southern California.  She can be reached at Carolyn@balancedhabits.com or 657.231.6779. Download their free report to learn about everything Balanced Habits offers to businesses like yours at Meetbh.com.

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