Kiley Mutschler, a regional manager with Active Wellness, shares how to leverage research and data to connect people to movement.
Based on data from member intake surveys, weight loss is the No.1 reason someone will join a health club. Weight loss only scratches the surface of what exercise can do for you and we can use those other benefits as an engagement and retention strategy for our members.
How can we leverage the research and data to connect people to movement and improve their overall health? What fun programs and services are we offering, how are we connecting with our members to understand their needs?
If our goal is to serve our current members and reach the other 80%, are we doing a good job of educating people, talking to them to really understand their why, and/or working to support them in a routine that will be most beneficial for them. Research shows that outside of the physical benefits of exercise, the benefits on our health also include longevity, improved brain health and getting more fun out of life.
Exercise for Longevity
Did you know exercise is the No.1 predictor of not just how long you will live, but how well you will live? A combination of strength, cardio and stability training are vital to living a long and quality life. In the book “Outlive: The Science of Art and Longevity” by Peter Attita, MD, he states “Even a fairly minimal amount of exercise can lengthen your lifespan by several years. It delays the onset of chronic diseases. Not only does it reverse physical decline, but it can slow or reverse cognitive decline as well.”
Exercise for Brain Health
Exercise can drastically reduce the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases, but that may seem more like a long-term benefit for some. However, living in a fast paced and high stress world, who wouldn’t love to tap into the immediate benefits exercise provides, including better focus, ability to resist impulses and having an easier time making decisions. Dr. Karlie Intlekofer recently shared studies and trials at IHRSA that spoke to the benefit of exercise and brain health, showing with only 10 minutes of exercise, the blood flow to the brain increases and supports us with many powerful benefits almost immediately. The blood flow to the brain from exercise can even reverse the changes in our brain that are stress induced.
Exercise for Fun
Exercise can cause stress on the body. Albeit mostly good stress, it’s important we’re offering well-rounded programs to our members and community that also allow them to have fun through movement. Being the toughest trainer, the hardest instructor and pushing with a mindset of “no pain, no gain” doesn’t feel inclusive to those living with chronic pain or fatigue. What might be enjoyable to those people is working with someone who meets them where they are in their journey and supports them in finding joy through exercise. Whether it’s boxing, dancing, pickleball or mobility, it’s on us to continue to find ways to be caring and creative so our members see their time with us as fun.
- Exercise is a good way to manage weight.
- Exercise is good for mental health.
- Exercise is medicine.
The list goes on because exercise truly is all of these things and yet so much more. As an industry, we can do a better job of reinforcing these benefits when we’re training, coaching or teaching. Educating our members and communities is the first step but to take it further, we really need to engage with people to find their why and be that support system to help them get started. While weight loss may be the initial reason they came in, all the other benefits give them reason to stay.
“There is some risk involved in action, there always is. But there is far more risk in failure to act.” – Harry S. Truman