Differences between Gyms, Health Clubs and Fitness Centers

What Are the Differences Between A Gym, Health Club, and Fitness Center?

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Have you ever found yourself wondering what the actual difference is—if any—between a gym, health club and fitness center? If so, you’re not alone! For the most part, these terms tend to be used interchangeably, and it makes sense because there is overlap in the services they provide. But there are distinctions that make them different, which you’ll want to know if you’re considering joining one.

In this blog, we’ll cover some of the key differences between a gym, a fitness center and a health club.

Gym – A Place for a Workout

Gym, short for gymnasium (a term coined by the Ancient Greeks), is actually one of the world’s oldest establishments with deep historical roots. In its origins, gyms were not just about promoting physical fitness, but education as well. Ancient Greeks used gyms to practice various sports, engage in physical therapy, and to study. In fact, many gyms in ancient times had libraries as well.

Today, modern gyms tend to be a place for indoor workouts with free weights, fitness equipment and cardio machines provided. Some gyms have a specialty focus, like boxing or Pilates, while others keep it simple and stick to free weights and cardio machines only. Most gyms will have personal trainers available, but not as many group fitness classes as a health club or fitness center.

Fitness Centre – A Place for Full-body Fitness

Fitness centres typically occupy more space than a gym because they tend to provide both indoor and outdoor physical activities—for example, a pool, running track or golf course. Broadly speaking, fitness centres provide the same machines, free weights and equipment as a gym, but they also offer a larger array of amenities, group fitness classes and certified staff.

Fitness centres usually focus on whole-body health and house additional amenities like saunas, steam rooms, physical therapy and snack bars. Most fitness centres will also have personal trainers and nutritionists available to educate customers on how to use the equipment, or how to design a meal plan best suited for achieving their fitness goals.

Health Club – A Place for Body & Mind

The health club concept was first introduced to the U.S. in Santa Monica in the 1940s, though they actually began in France in the 1840s. Generally speaking, a health club is more similar to a fitness center than a gym because the focus is on whole-body wellness rather than just physical fitness.

Health clubs typically comprise all the characteristics of gyms and fitness centres because they offer certified staff with personal trainers, individual and group fitness classes, a variety of equipment, an array of amenities (pool, steam room, sauna, etc.), and space for sports like tennis, basketball and volleyball. Many health clubs even offer recreational areas with restaurants, juice bars, music and more.

If you’re considering joining a gym, fitness centre or health club, it’s best to look past terminology alone and choose a facility that best meets your health and fitness goals, budget and personality. You may want to visit a few facilities to ask for a tour so you can see what they offer firsthand and get a better feel for the culture.

Or, if you’re considering opening your own fitness facility, click here to learn how EZFacility can help get you up and running easily with our all-in-one software solution. From online gym scheduling and text messaging, to point-of-sale and automated billing—EZFacility can help you seamlessly manage all aspects of your fitness business.

Online Yoga

Facilitating At-Home Yoga Classes

« Blog | Written by kdressler | | (0) Comments |

The unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus took everyone by surprise and left many business owners scrambling to identify ways to maintain a revenue stream and cover operating costs despite physical locations being closed. In the face of adversity—and although the fitness industry was one of the hardest hit– savvy yoga instructors have quickly adapted and began to offer pre-recorded and virtual yoga classes. 

The popularity of yoga existed long before Covid-19, but the shift to at-home yoga has created a new path for people to experience the benefits of yoga that weren’t always able to do so, whether because of scheduling issues or geographic distances.

The increased demand for at-home and virtual yoga classes should come as no surprise as people are looking for ways to stay active and destress amid such a time of uncertainty. It presents a unique opportunity for yoga practitioners to modify their traditional practices to suit the current environment and bring the tools of meditation, breathing exercises and movement to people in their homes.

If you’re considering adding virtual yoga classes to your yoga practice, here are some tips to help you with the transition.

Get Integrated and Test the Link

One of the most popular mediums for streaming yoga classes is Zoom. Once you have your account set up, you’ll want to make sure you integrate it with your yoga studio management software. Once connected—all class attendees will have access to the day’s session from their Self-Service page, calendar, phone, iPad, etc. If you’re a first timer—definitely be sure to schedule a few test Zoom sessions to ensure you have the process down (practice makes perfect—namaste!).

Test the Internet & Audio Connections

Always test your internet and audio connection before you begin your virtual yoga classes! To check your internet connection, run your browser through a speed test or try opening and scrolling through a few web pages to make sure it’s up-to-speed.

If you’re using Zoom and want to test your audio, click the upward pointing arrow next to the microphone icon to open the audio options. From there, select “Test Speaker & Microphone” and then follow the prompts.

Choose the Right Background

You’ll want to make sure you’re teaching your yoga classes in an environment that’s clean and free of clutter. Try to find a wall in your home that has a good amount of space, and then remove clutter and distracting objects.

Pay Attention to Lighting

You’ll want to be well lit from the front and sides, so make sure you don’t have light behind you as it will flood the camera’s sensors and make you appear dark. For this reason, try to avoid teaching with a window in frame or a bright lamp in the frame with you.

Work out the Kinks in Advance

As with most things, practice makes perfect. Do a few recorded trial runs before you officially launch your virtual yoga classes. Make sure your yoga poses are fully visible, and that your audio and internet connection are up-to-par.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’ve figured out how to seamlessly schedule and book classes, and that’s where we can help! Achieve peace of mind with our powerful yoga studio management system, which now offers Zoom integration. To learn more, click here to schedule a free demo.