Summer is right around the corner! In the summer months, fitness and wellness facilities typically see a drop in usage due to nice weather and members wanting to take advantage of outdoor activities. This summer, we have unique additional barriers from the rebound of COVID including vaccine distribution, personal comfort, and possible state/local guidelines. As health professionals, we want to be proactive as we build our summer program strategies to both encourage engagement (onsite and virtual), as well as respect the current climate.
Here are five strategies to help drive engagement to your fitness center or gym this summer:
1. Take your workouts outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine have so many benefits from exposure to Vitamin D to help immune function while also improving one’s mood and energy. If you do not already have outdoor programming in place, think about implementing some of the following ideas:
- Build an outdoor group fitness program. Think Bootcamps, Track Workouts, Sunrise Yoga, Zumba Under the Stars, etc. There are no limitations to the fun you could have outside!
- Encourage your personal trainers to take their clients outdoors. Mark off areas designated for personal training in the parking lot or surrounding areas of your gym for clients or small groups.
- Plan meets ups for those with similar interests; Run Club at the Track, Marathon meet-ups at a local path or forest preserve, Beach Workouts, etc.
- Think about creative ways to run aquatic classes and programs. Make a class out of lap swim hours or pool aerobics.
2. Check-in campaigns. It’s no secret that we want our members visiting us at the facility, so we need to be creative about how to get them to check-in and/or stop by. Think about running a summer check-in and win challenge with engaging prizes and incentives to get them through your doors.
3.Run movement-based challenges. Exercise, more than ever, is crucial to every aspect of our well-being (physical, emotional, social, etc). Think about creating movement-focused challenges that follow a hybrid model, meaning that there should be aspects of the program that can be completed virtually and some that should be completed in person. You may need to be creative about what the in-person component can be. For example;
- If you host a steps challenge, you could have a free onsite gait analysis with a custom shoe fitting
- Include a health assessment/evaluation at the beginning and end of your program to show members the great results they are seeing with consistent exercise
- Add-on free personal training or nutrition counseling to your programs to encourage onsite interaction, as well as virtual touchpoints and accountability for members outside of the club.
4. Host or organize events. With things opening back, think about organizing appropriate events for your area. Join a local onsite or virtual 5k walk/run or even help out within your community. People need people right now!
5. Create a safe and comfortable environment. As you plan programs or re-opening of your site, remember safety, cleanliness, and comfort for your members is going to be key now and moving forward. Make sure your messaging reflects all the actions your business is taking to make your club the best experience for your members and employees safety and overall health.
Need help developing your 2021 summer programs? Contact the Active Team today to leverage our programs, best practices, and tools for a winning summer engagement strategy.
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Active's Director of Wellness, Karah Ehrhardt, has been with the organization since its inception and has been a part of the greater fitness industry for 15 years now. She is passionate about meeting individuals where they are by providing our sites and members with the tools, resources and products that help support their health and wellness journey.