Sportsmith Blog
17Jun/15Off

12 Reasons People Join Health Clubs

Health Club Members

If someone is thinking about joining a health club, there are a number of ways to use their interest to your advantage as a club operator. If you know the reasons why they may be thinking of joining, then you can start to market your company successfully by appealing to what they want most.

Keep in mind that on any survey, you must consider the questions being asked and the people answering them. For example, people may not want to seem vain so they don't say that they're solely going to look better. Also, a lot of these reasons are similar, so your marketing plans can cover a few of these in a single campaign or web page or promotion.

In this four part series we will examine ways you can use member interest to bolster your bottom line. Be sure to Subscribe to receive the upcoming articles in this series.

So why do people join a health club?

Let's look at the top 12 answers.....

  1. Health

People want to live longer and happier lives, this is no surprise. By appealing to someone's well-being, you put it into their mind just how important it is to stay healthy. Put in surprising facts about exercise and its effect on pretty much everything we do. From helping to ward off dementia and decreasing depression to combating heart disease, exercise is an absolute necessity for everyone to stay healthy.

  1. Better Self-Image

There are so many things that are out of control in any given person's life. People need something that they can turn to which won't let them down, and which will consistently help them feel better about themselves. A health club gives people the opportunity to form relationships and builds pride when they see their accomplishments. When they start to take the time out to improve their body and brain together, it can create a small shift which will ultimately lead to bigger and better changes. Let potential customers know how much it matters to be good to themselves because that's a message which will never go out of style.

  1. Maintaining Their Shape

When you already have a nice body, you obviously don't want to lose it. Younger people especially may not know quite how difficult it can be to keep up their muscles and definition. Toned bodies may not last all that long, and the more a person is aware of this, the more they can do to prevent it. Let people know that they can easily keep up their physique if they just take some time to invest in the upkeep. A strong recommendation would be to include the message that it takes a lot more effort to get in shape than it does to keep in shape. This warning could go a long way for a health club business.

  1. Their Looks

Ok, so it took us to number 4 to get here, but this is a big one. Most people aren't really thinking about the long-term, even though it sounds responsible to say that they are. When someone wants to look differently, they don't want it in a year, they want it right now. Don't make promises you can't keep obviously, but effective marketing should subtly reflect the benefits of the confidence which comes in feeling good in your skin. It should also speak to their desire of immediacy, especially when summer is quickly approaching.

  1. Weight Loss

This goes hand in hand with reason number 4, but it is a tad more specific. When someone wants to lose weight, they want to literally shed a part of themselves and emerge lighter and freer. You know your customers, so if your clientele tends to be on the heavier side, don't show them a stick figure. It's unrealistic, and will just make people feel discouraged with just how far they have to go. However, if you show a healthy person who actually did lose a lot of weight when exercising at your club, you can connect on more levels than just the weight loss angle.

  1. Getting in Shape

A flabby stomach, arms or legs can really make people feel not so great about their look. Maybe they don't feel fat, but they really just want things to be tightened and toned. Their thoughts are all about how when they head to the pool the last thing they want to do is hang out of their bathing suit. Your health club should be talking about how they can help whip people into shape faster than they could do it on their own.

  1. Keep Up Their Strength

When people lift, they're often amazed at how far they come in terms of the actual weight they can handle. Whether they have a demanding job, or just want to be able to lift their kids in the air while their children still appreciate it, their strength has become a part of who they are. Giving them an easy way to come in and maintain it can be a great way to get them to consider you as the best way to do it.

  1. Flexibility

Joints and muscles have a way of quitting on us when they're not used very often. People may find that touching their toes is not quite as easy as it once was, or they may feel like they're going to wrench a muscle with any sudden movement. Let them know the many different ways that we use flexibility on a day-to-day basis. Advertise classes like yoga and pilates to get people interested in what they can to to increase their flexibility.

  1. Increasing Their Muscles

This is very close to getting in shape which you really can't do without building up your muscle. However, this is likely more about gaining some intense definition and showing a little bulge. Men in particular like to be able to display their muscles, so by showing the bigger guys in your ads you can remind them of where they want to be. This would be about appealing to their masculinity as well as their vanity.

  1. Keep Their Current Weight

There's nothing better than hitting a goal weight, except for when thoughts start coming in about what you need to do to maintain it. Let your customers know that when they drop into your health club, they're doing what they need to do to make sure that all of their hard work was not done for nothing. Their bodies should look the way they do now as long as possible, and your health club is the reason why they'll maintain their weight.

  1. A Health Issue

Physical therapy exercises people's muscles in a strategic way and helps get people back to their original condition before an accident or injury. However, people will likely need continuous work to keep their bodies strong, and what better place to go than to your health club? Whether they're just trying to get their cholesterol down by dropping some extra pounds, or even if they're just exercising to alleviate anxiety, you can speak to a variety of maladies that exercise can help with.

  1. For the Sake of Others

You probably know enough about human nature to know that this one should probably be closer to the top, but kudos to the people who were brave enough to put this down as their answer. You can subtly show in your advertising just how impressed people they know and complete strangers will be when they have the chance to show off their new svelte body all over town.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

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Survey source The 2015 IHRSA Global Report

11Jun/15Off

15 Nutrition Tips That Will Transform Your Life

15 Nutrition Tips

As the health and fitness industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar sector, the market has been flooded with so much information that it has become virtually impossible for the average consumer to make sense of everything. Diet books and websites with conflicting advice are popping up with unrelenting frequency, and information from government agencies can be just as confusing and unhelpful. These 15 straightforward tips will clarify what you need to be doing with your diet and put you on the fast-track to a healthier lifestyle.

 

  1. Portion Control

The number one tool that will help you eat more nutritiously is a digital food scale. While you can approximate portion sizes using your hand, digital scales are remarkably accurate, and decent models can be purchased for about $30. Keep in mind that some restaurants serve 8-12 ounce portions of meat in a dish! Keep it to approximately 4-5 ounces per serving and you’ll immediately reduce your calories and fat significantly.

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  1. Utilize Superfoods

Superfoods pack an incredible amount of nutritional benefits into one serving, and many of them are delicious as well. Sprinkling chia seeds on your morning yogurt will yield a wealth of antioxidants. Adding avocado to a fresh salad will provide an indulgent flavor and rich texture, complete with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Swapping out lettuce for kale in a salad will give your lunch some much-needed fiber.

  1. Cook as Much as Possible

Going out to eat with loved ones is a great way to spend an evening, but cooking most of your meals yourself is a foolproof way to eat healthier. It’s simply too easy to fall prey to giant portions and rich, fatty foods in restaurants. Cooking at home allows you to control every aspect of the meal from the ground up. Save a meal out for an occasional treat and try to avoid the fast-casual chain restaurants that are notorious for packing a day’s worth of calories into a single dish.

  1. Don’t Drink Your Calories

Sodas are nothing but sugar bombs that don’t provide any nutritional benefits and won’t help you feel full. Recent studies are showing that even diet sodas are made from chemicals that may be harmful, even while being calorie-free. Limit your beverages to water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee. And unless you’re a professional athlete burning thousands of calories a day, sugary sports drinks should definitely be avoided.

  1. Read Nutrition Labels

During your next trip to the grocery store, pay attention to the federally mandated nutrition labels on the back of every packaged food; you might be unpleasantly surprised to find out what’s in your staple items! Look for ingredients that are high in protein and fiber, and low in saturated fat and sugar. Be aware that while the total amount of sugar is listed on the label, the amount of sugar as a percentage of the daily recommended allowance is not required.

  1. Fill up on Fiber

Fiber is one of the most crucial nutrients in a healthy diet; it helps regulate the digestive system and, as an added benefit, it helps you feel full for longer. Eating a diet rich in fiber means you’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy snacks later on. Beans are an excellent source of both fiber and protein, and the brassicas family of leafy green vegetables (including kale, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) is teeming with versatile, flavorful options as well.

  1. Be Judicious with Good Fats

For most of the 1980’s and 1990’s, fat was demonized as the foundation of unhealthy diets in America. Recent science has shown us that some fat in our diet is both necessary and beneficial. Saturated fats, abundantly found in red meat, should be eaten sparingly. But healthy, monounsaturated fats found in ingredients like olive oil, nuts, and fish should be a part of your daily routine.

  1. Avoid Processed Foods

Focus on purchasing ingredients that look as close as possible to how they did when they came from the farm. Processing plants rely on things like extra salt and preservatives in order to reduce spoilage and maximize profit. These tricks are for the benefit of their bottom line, not your health!

  1. Indulge Occasionally

If you constantly feel like everything you want is being withheld, you’re far more likely to fall back into bad habits. Every once in a while, enjoy something just because it tastes great and ignore what nutritional benefits it may or may not provide; just remember that portion regulation is your friend. Have a small steak or a serving size of cheese and augment it with an abundance of fresh, calorie-light fruits and vegetables.

  1. Drink More Water

The next time you feel hungry in between meals, try drinking a glass of water before you reach for the snack drawer. Studies have shown that we often mistake thirst for hunger pangs, and proper hydration may be just what you need to keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal.

  1. Don’t Fear Spices

What many cultures around the world know, and what Americans are just starting to discover, is that generously using spices throughout your cooking is a great way to wake up your palate and pack a dish with flavor without relying extensively on fat. Spices like cumin, paprika, and coriander make food exciting to your taste buds, and they do it without adding any significant calories!

  1. Pack in the Lean Protein

Protein is essential for the body to build muscle and convert energy, and it’s best to rely on sources rich in lean protein like fish, tofu, and beans for the majority of your intake. Protein-rich foods that are higher in fat—like beef, dairy, and pork—should be eaten more sparingly. Don’t forget that many nuts make great high-protein snacks in one-ounce portions.

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  1. Eat Breakfast Everyday

Hectic lives make it tempting for many people to walk out the door in the morning without eating breakfast, but this mistake can be detrimental to your healthy lifestyle. Eating breakfast helps control your metabolism and provides you with energy for the day. Pack your blender with whole fruits and vegetables the night before for a quick and easy smoothie in the morning. Steel-cut oatmeal with fresh fruit also makes for a delightful, nutrient-rich breakfast.

  1. Embrace Occasional Hunger

If you’re hungry between meals and water hasn’t helped, maybe a snack isn’t the best answer every time. Most people are too quick to grab whatever is near at the first sign of hunger, but sometimes it’s ok to just be hungry until it’s time for your next meal. Obviously, you need to use good judgement and not deny your body when it is desperately in need of something, but often, you’ll find the hunger will pass and you’ll avoid binging on processed snack-foods.

  1. Snack on Whole Foods

When you do need a snack to tide you over, pass by the bagged treats and processed bars, and choose something more natural like whole fruits or a judicious serving of almonds. Companies can pack more sugar, salt, and fat into processed snacks than you would think possible.

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3Jun/15Off

Treadmill Desks Are Fueling the Next Fitness Boom

treadmill deskImage Courtesy of Daniel Rothamel

A sedentary lifestyle dramatically increases the risk of developing lifelong obesity, heart disease, mental health problems and certain cancers. With jobs moving from labor-intensive manufacturing positions to all-day office work while sitting at a desk, more people are facing health effects from limited physical activity than ever before. Luckily, the innovative treadmill desk has caught the eyes of office managers everywhere. Treadmill desks drastically limit sitting time by keeping people moving throughout the day. The effects go beyond improving public health to benefiting office-based companies, fitness centers and fitness equipment service providers.

Participant Benefits
The main benefit of using a treadmill desk center is improvement in the health and lives of workers. Daily physical activity not only provides incredibly dramatic physical health improvements but also has lasting effects on mood and well-being. The health effects further inspire workers to head into the gym to build their strength and endurance on additional fitness machines. Companies benefit from a decrease in sick days and medical insurance claims alongside a boost in production numbers.

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Improved Health Status
The health effects of sitting for hours each day are devastating to people in all demographics. The effects tend to multiply several times over as the hours of sitting drag on throughout the day, week and year. In fact, the risk of dying in a three-year period increases more than 40 percent for people who stay seated for at least 11 hours each day. Health problems contributing to that increased risk of premature death include coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, anxiety and obesity.

Motivation to Work Out
As workers start to feel healthy and energized from leaving seated work behind, the newfound feelings of well-being often encourage them to head to the gym for additional rounds of fitness training. Workers might want to round out the cardio benefits of their treadmill desks with lunchtime lifting programs to build strength. Gym owners near office complexes will likely see an increase in visits, especially before work, during the lunch hour and toward the evening, as treadmill desks take over office spaces.

Boost in Productivity
Workers who feel well and energized will naturally have more effort to put into tasks throughout the work day. As a result, productivity levels for each worker will quickly rise as workers adapt to using their treadmill desks. Constant movement encourages workers to keep their minds on their daily goals, which reduces the amount of downtime between smaller tasks. Since workers will spend the work day walking on the treadmill, the frequent need to leave their desks to stretch their legs may dramatically decrease. Workers may even favor a collaborative treadmill desk layout that keeps everyone in close proximity to encourage sharing without delaying completion of daily tasks.

Workers will naturally call in sick less often, leading to more productive days with the full roster of staff members on hand. Office managers may even see fewer high-value insurance claims as staff member health problems naturally decrease over time.

Industry Benefits
The integration of treadmill desks into office environments definitely benefit fitness equipment manufacturers and repair technicians worldwide. As office managers adopt this potentially lifesaving and business-boosting workplace setup, treadmills will be in high demand.

Increased Repair Requests
With so many treadmills running at a time, service technicians will constantly have a full queue of maintenance and repair appointments. Friction between the constantly moving parts necessitates regular maintenance to keep treadmill components in good shape throughout the machine's life.

Since most treadmills only consist of components vital to the main operation of the moving walking surface, any worn or broken parts will require immediate repair to return the equipment to service. With the increase in repair requests, skilled technicians may start to consider the use of desk treadmills a boon to the fitness equipment service industry.

Keeping Equipment Maintained to Facilitate Workers' Needs
After full adoption of the fitness desk configuration, service technicians will be running between office environments on a regular basis to keep equipment in good shape over the years. Keeping the treadmills running for even half of the work day will constantly wear down the belts and decks. Cleaning the equipment, inside and out, will consistently remain a vital part of service technicians' callout requests to keep appearances up throughout the office space.

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