As the holidays near, you may discover that more and more of your members aren’t showing up for their usual workouts. From holiday parties and late night with friends, to travel plan and the stress of the holidays, many people often let their workouts take a back seat during the hustle and bustle of the season. As a club owner that can mean empty classes, missed or cancelled personal trainer appointments, and most of all, lost revenue. Studies show that once a habit of regular exercise stops, a decline of motivation and de-training occur within a matter of a couple weeks. This could mean a loss of members due to a shift in morale. Once someone stops exercising, they may not jump back on the bandwagon again. So instead of convincing yourself that you’ll come out ahead with new members joining at the first of the year, it is important to start now and work on membership retention before it’s too late. That way, you’ll have happier and fitter members as well as a new group joining in hopes of fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions. The following are a few tips to keeping your current members motivated so they keep their routine throughout the holidays.
Focus on avoiding holiday weight gain
The holidays are a time when most of us are at a higher risk to gain weight simply because the excess of richer and calorie-dense foods are everywhere. From the office break room to dinner with family or friends, it is very easy to pack on the pounds. As you know, exercise can help to combat the risk of weight gain by sustaining metabolic rate through strength training and cardio workouts. To keep members engaged in their workout, have a weight loss contest during the holidays. You could even give smaller prizes out to people who simply maintained their weight all season.
Destressing from Holiday Stress
Increased visitors, travel, food preparation and shopping can lead to an incredible amount of stress for your members. Help them destress by offering specific “Holiday Stress” workouts. From yoga to boxing, these themed classes can be fun and motivating as your members help themselves and fellow members. They will quickly see that exercise is a great way to improve mood while reducing stress – something they will absolutely want to continue doing throughout the holidays.
Help Members with Seasonal Depression
Even the healthiest people can get seasonal depression. For some, that depression sets in long before the holidays are over. With daylight hours getting shorter and cold temperatures restricting the amount of time spent outdoors, varying degrees of seasonal depression start to set in. Exercise has been proven to reduce depression symptoms and also aids in elevating mood. One idea you could implement if your gym has a screen in the cycling room is to mix up the scenery with a bike ride “through a beach town” or “in a garden” so members get the feeling of a summery and less dreary day.
Exercise Provides Structure
The holidays tend to cause an upheaval in our normal schedules. Encouraging members to stick to the structure of a good exercise regimen can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding stress and depression. The more you, as a gym owner, can keep the regular gym hours and class schedule, the easier it will be for your members to maintain the structure that comes from their regular workouts. By doing so, you encourage your members to prioritize their workouts during the demands of the holiday season.
By showing your members you are on their side and motivating them all the way through the holiday season, you will earn their loyalty and continued membership. As their number one fitness partner, they are relying on you at a time when they may otherwise be distracted. If you implement one or more of the above options for your members, you will surely see a difference in your member count throughout the holidays.