As the evenings start to draw in and the days become cooler, you might begin to see some of your gym’s client base less often than in previous months. For some, the lure of getting a summer body has already started to wane (don’t they know that a summer body is made in winter?!) and retreating to the sofa may have more appeal than braving the elements for a trip to the gym. This issue is further exacerbated by people wanting to spend less time in the great outdoors, swapping their walk, run or cycle to work for the car in a bid to avoid the unpleasant weather.
So, how do you get these people motivated again and back to a healthier mindset to improve long-term fitness goals?
This lull in fitness activity can be a hard nut to crack but helping your clientele to see past seasonal fads is one of the best ways to bring people back time and time again and avoid peaks and troughs in activity.
“A fitness journey shouldn’t just consist of the physical improvements that come with regular training and exercise. Many people get stuck on these ideas of how they want their body to look and often glance past the broader impact on how it can improve your overall mental and physical health. This is particularly true in terms of reducing stress, which more and more people are experiencing as an everyday norm.” – Dimana Markova, Inspiresport
In the colder months, more and more people are also being affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sometimes known as “winter depression”, this causes suffers to experience symptoms such as a persistent low mood, irritability and lethargy. Theorised to be caused by a lack of sunlight (which effects the production of serotonin), exercising regularly and getting as much natural sunlight as possible can help to treat it.
By assisting your clients in seeing the bigger picture, this can help reduce the number of individuals just focusing on passing trends and seasonal ideals such as ‘the summer body’.
Setting short and long-term goals is a great way to help members monitor progress, and this can motivate people especially when they first join to keep coming back to see results. Measurable improvements are often the easiest way to gain more confidence. However, an emphasis on the quantifiable benefits in mindset and overall lifestyle developments can give individuals enough of a chance to form better habits.
Fitness is personal to each member of your gym, so one of the best ways to encourage regular visits is to assist them in tailoring the experience to their needs. Ultimately, they are the ones that know what they want from their commitment to regular exercise, so working with clients to maximise their potential without overwhelming their schedule will improve attendance at your gym.
Members can often get bogged down with set routines, and this can begin to decrease motivation levels if they don’t see or feel the results they are looking for. Providing advice and tips on how to adjust workouts and goals at different times of the year can build trust and a better relationship between your trainers and members. As an example, encouraging them to take part in challenges (such as marathons) in winter and supporting them with their training will make them less likely to fall off the fitness wagon until the warmer months make a reappearance.
Getting members out of a seasonal fitness fad mindset can be challenging, but there are options to help promote a healthy and long-term commitment to exercise in your gym. They say variety is the spice of life, and this couldn’t be more accurate for keeping clients interested in returning time and time again. Providing a diverse and exciting range of classes in your gym timetable help to entice people to mix up their routine. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure these are also accessible for all abilities, from the beginners to the super fit. Timings are also a key aspect here, as offering classes that no one can attend will not be beneficial to your members or your bottom-line.
Another way to encourage interest in year-round fitness is to offer free personal training sessions periodically. Some of the main areas that people struggle with at the gym are feeling intimated by the environment or self-conscious in their abilities. Personal training helps to improve confidence and builds trust, so individuals feel more positive about trying different activities and workouts themselves without the fear of asking for help.
Each of the above areas can boost member motivation and improve gym attendance throughout the year. By assisting your members and changing seasonal mindsets, you will see vast improvements in regular and enthusiastic clients.
To boost attendance at your gym, investing in Club Software can make it easier for your members to check into your gym and book classes online. For more information on our services, contact Ashbourne Management today.
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