The holidays are here and that means most people will pack on a few pounds. Some might even stop exercising for the week of Christmas and New Year's. Here is a look at a few ways to keep your members motivated to exercise during the holiday hustle-and-bustle.
Offer a special during the holidays and plenty of people will sign up for memberships and re-enroll. Just as important is the fact that the promotion will keep people motivated to use the gym and stay fit throughout the entirety of the winter. The promotion can be anything from a free session with a personal trainer, a free massage, a free first month or priority access to certain gym amenities.
Plan gym events, improvements and other happenings ahead of time. Encourage members to do the same on their end. In fact, it might prove prudent to market the scheduling services and insight of personal fitness instructors or other specialists on-site. Those who plan their exercise schedule far ahead find it easier to mix in a substantial number of workouts.
Work out With Others
Provide group fitness classes and personal training sessions. Encourage members to work out with exercise partners. People are more motivated to exercise and go hard during their workouts in the presence of another. As long as the workout partners keep one another accountable, it will make the challenge of physical fitness that much easier.
Provide Reinforcement for Early Exercisers
If your gym is sluggish in the morning hours between nine and noon, consider offering a discount to those who work out during these hours and other off-peak hours. Exercising early is also beneficial to those looking to lose weight or at least maintain their weight during the holidays as it gets this often-dreaded activity out of the way before the rest of the day unfolds. For many people, exercising early in the day is the only realistic option as they have too many commitments at other times.
Challenges and Contests
Consider hosting a contest, raffle, challenge or some other sort of group activity like a gym-wide challenge that generates a buzz. It will get people talking about your fitness center, engage current members, entice others to obtain a membership and keep your member base motivated throughout the winter.
People respond quite vigorously to challenges. Even if it is something as simple as performing a certain number of repetitions or holding a yoga pose, a challenge inspires people to give their all and come back for more. Select your challenges, contests and other group events wisely and it just might spark a fun and inviting culture at your facility. Just be sure to offer a decent prize. Ideally, it will be fitness related such as workout gear, fitness equipment, gym-branded items or discounts on gym services or products.
Give Members Free Health Food
Believe it or not, some gyms have handed out junk food like pizza and bagels to members. Provide your members with the occasional healthy treat or snack during the holidays to show your appreciation and they will be that much more inclined to frequent the facility. However, it is a mistake to provide unhealthy food or drinks. Look closely at the ingredients of each food or beverage before providing it to members.
Announce Late Winter or Early Spring Competitions
One of the best ways to motivate people to exercise is to set their sights on an upcoming event in the future. Schedule a competition or another physical fitness event of some sort for the late winter or early spring. This strategic timing will motivate your members to exercise with regularity and at a high level of intensity throughout the holidays and the early to mid-portion of the winter.
Show Appreciation During the Holidays
It is important to show members and employees you care during the holiday season. Giving gifts away to those in the facility at random points during the holiday season will encourage people to exercise. This is especially important amidst holiday parties, extravagant meals and other gluttonous celebrations. Even a minor gift or random giveaway during the holidays will spread cheer and keep your members coming back for more.
Enhance Access With Flexible Hours
Extend your facility's hours if you are not 24/7 and you just might find a steady stream of people trickle in during the hours in which you were previously closed. Some will show up at these times as they spent the earlier portion of the day working, shopping and tending to their kids. Others will take advantage of expanded hours as they tend to stay up late or rise earlier than others. The bottom line is flexible holiday hours will make it that much easier for your members to stay motivated during the holidays.