Grow and Maintain Your Gym Reputation with EZFacility

Tips for Increasing and Maintaining Your Gym’s Reputation

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Your reputation is the most important aspect of your business—it affects everything from how many people follow you on social media to your company’s bottom-line. For gyms and fitness-related businesses, a positive reputation can help attract new members, entice a better selection of prospective employees, create more business opportunities, improve your search engine rankings, and more. Conversely, a negative reputation can lead to loss of sales, membership churn, high employee turnover, and other costly consequences.

When a consumer is considering making a purchase decision, they want to make the best choice—and they base their decision on which product or service appears to be superior. Nearly 90% of consumers worldwide make an effort to read reviews before buying products, and 86% of customers rely on word of mouth recommendations and online reviews. These statistics illustrate the importance of your online reputation and digital footprint, as well the impact of positive reviews, to grow and maintain your gym reputation.

Read on to learn more about why gym reviews matter, where you can collect them, and what you can do to get more online reviews. 

Why Gym Reviews Matter

Online reviews give consumers the power to tell their side of the customer journey—whether positive or negative—for millions of eyes to see. And, chances are, the first thing perspective members will do is research your gym and read online reviews before making any purchase decisions.

Here are just a few statistics to illustrate the power of online reviews:

Given the impact of online reviews, it’s necessary to actively monitor them as a part of your reputation management strategy, and to garner as many positive reviews for your business as possible. 

Where to Collect Online Reviews

While a number of different review platforms exist, below are three key ones you’ll want to focus on when building your online reputation:

Your Website

We live in a digital world, and you should assume the vast majority of gym goers will visit your website before they decide whether or not to visit your facility. Your website is the center of your digital presence, and it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools in your repertoire.

Your website is the home base that connects everything—it’s where you can display your mission, provide information about your products and services, link social media accounts, highlight positive gym reviews, and more. You can set up a system that allows users to leave online reviews directly on your site, or you can copy reviews from other platforms.

Google Reviews

Google has a whopping 92% market share, making it the most widely used search engine in the world. Google is the first place most people go to do online searches, so managing your Google presence is an absolute must to grow and maintain your gym’s reputation. The first step is to claim your business listing using Google My Business (GMB), which then gives you the ability to update information regularly in order to control how your gym appears in search results.

Google reviews are directly linked to your GMB page, meaning that a user can search for your business on Google, locate your GMB page, and read Google reviews to get a better feel for your brand based on what other people are saying about you.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform and has over 2.80 billion monthly active users. If that’s not enough to impress you, consider this: Facebook also has 1.84 billion users that are visiting the social networking site on a daily basis. Facebook users are able to leave reviews on any Facebook business page, which will often appear on the Google search page as well.

How to Get More Online Reviews

Below are three simple ways you can get more online reviews:

1. Post Instructions & Information Everywhere

One of the easiest ways to get more gym reviews is to make sure you have the information clearly outlined and visibly posted all around your facility. Consider creating a mix of posters, flyers, and cards that include instructions on how—and where—your members can leave online reviews. It’s also a good idea to include this information in your member welcome packets.

2. Include Review Requests in Your Emails

Emails are most likely the main way you communicate with your members, so it’s a great opportunity to request gym reviews. Consider adding a review request link near your email signature, and make sure you choose a font and text size that makes it stand out.       

3. Keep it Simple

If you’re trying to get more reviews on your website, keep the process quick and simple. Asking too many questions or requiring too much information will drive people away, so you want to make the review process as easy as possible. Consider giving users the option to select a simple star rating, or to also include feedback in the comments section.

Conclusion

Gym reviews are one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business, build a positive reputation, and make your company look more favorable to potential customers. Online reviews also heavily influence purchasing decisions and lead conversion, so it’s important to constantly monitor and respond to your gym reviews to keep your reputation favorable and your business growing.

Proper Gym Etiquette Among Peers

How to Keep Safe and Healthy When Returning to In-Person Workouts

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Exercising is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health—which is especially crucial during the COVID-19 era. Regular exercise helps keep your immune system operating at its prime, and it also helps lowers the risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, and more.

And while many restrictions on businesses have been lifted and fitness facilities have reopened, you may find yourself wondering if it’s safe to return to in-person workouts. The answer is yes—as long as you exercise proper gym etiquette, follow protocols, and do your part to reduce the spread of germs.

 Here are five ways you can help keep yourself and other people at the gym safe and healthy:

1. Don’t go if you’re sick (or think you might be)

This should be common sense, yet we feel compelled to emphasise how important it is to skip your in-person workout routine when you’re sick or not feeling well. Even if you think it’s no big deal, the best way to keep fellow gym goers and other people at the gym safe is to avoid exposure until you’re back to feeling 100%.  

2. Avoid peak hours

Most people have a preferred time to get their workout routine in for the day, but it’s still a good idea—if it’s possible—to adjust your workout schedule in order to avoid visiting the gym during peak hours. Again, it may seem like common sense, but shifting the time of your workout routine by even just 30 minutes can have a huge impact on flattering the curve and reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

3. Follow the rules

Rules and restrictions vary from business to business. Make sure you pay attention to the rules at your gym, and follow them. If you see areas of the gym that are closed, or a piece of equipment that’s marked out of use, remember that these rules are in place to keep you and fellow gym goers safe.

4. Wipe down equipment

Germs and public places go hand-in-hand, and the gym is no exception. In fact, studies have found that free weights contain more than 360 times the amount of bacteria than toilet seats, and treadmills contain over 70 times more bacteria than a water faucet. Again, it should be common sense at this point, but make sure you wipe down equipment before and after every use. Germs and other illnesses existed long before Covid, but you can help limit the spread of germs by exercising proper gym etiquette and washing your hands regularly, wiping down your gym’s equipment, and maintaining a safe distance from fellow gym goers.

5. Bring your own supplies

Have you ever gone to grab a paper towel or cleaning wipe at the gym, only to find there aren’t any left? It’s not a good feeling, but it’s a situation you can easily avoid by bringing your own supplies. Bring at least two towels to the gym with you—one to lay on equipment and machinery to create a protective barrier, and one to use to wipe your sweat. It’s also smart to bring your own sanitiser, or sanitising wipes to make sure you can wipe down equipment before and after every use.

Conclusion

Regular exercise and physical activity have always been important, but even more so now during the pandemic. If you’re ready to get back to the gym and in-person workouts, just make sure you exercise proper gym etiquette and do everything you can to keep you and other people at the gym safe and healthy.

The Importance of Member Experience from EZFacility

The Importance of Member Experience, Now More Than Ever

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

The fitness industry has undergone a major transformation over the past year in order to adapt to shifting demands and changing consumer habits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many government restrictions now lifted, and vaccines available throughout the UK, fitness businesses are finally starting to see more foot traffic again.

While this is great news, it’s important for business owners to understand that customers’ expectations have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit. This is especially true within the fitness industry, where members have grown accustomed to the convenience and flexibility that digital fitness offerings provide. Now more than ever, providing a great customer experience is a non-negotiable for gyms and fitness-related businesses.

In this blog, we’ll talk about why member experience matters, and what you can do to ensure you’re providing a positive customer experience throughout the entire customer journey.

What is the member experience?

In a membership-based business, the customer experience is ultimately what defines and drives your business. The experience you provide is what makes your business unique, and it’s what attracts people to your products and services over your competitors. Providing a great member experience is critical to creating a positive association with your business, boosting customer engagement, and building a community of loyal customers.

The member experience begins at the first point of contact with customers, and encompasses all of the touch points throughout the customer journey. To ensure you’re providing a positive member experience, you need to continuously offer exceptional customer support, anticipate—and exceed—customers’ expectations and needs, and provide an experience your members can’t get anywhere else.

Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience

In today’s increasingly digital world, ensuring a positive member experience is more important than ever. The experience you provide—whether positive or negative—will stay with you and impact your long-term success. In fact, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

A great customer experience provides your business with a competitive edge, improves customer satisfaction and customer engagement, and helps you attract loyal customers. Conversely, a bad experience has the opposite effect, and can quickly lead people to cancel their memberships, or leave negative reviews online and on social media.

In order to provide great customer experience, you must remember that the experience extends beyond just signing up members—it needs to be emulated across multiple platforms and touchpoints. Additionally, you need to understand how your members think, and what they want.

Below are four ways to help you provide a great customer experience:

1. Safety & Hygiene

In the wake of the pandemic, safety and hygiene are critical components of the member experience. Customers’ expectations of gyms and fitness-related businesses have evolved, and they now include the expectation that businesses have health and safety standards in place to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is the new norm, and it’s key to ensuring your members feel safe and comfortable.

2. Employee Culture

The environment you foster plays a huge role in whether a member has a positive customer experience, or a bad experience. Running a gym isn’t just about laying out equipment—it’s about creating a space that can change peoples’ lives. To do that, you first need to ensure that you’re providing positive employee experiences, too. You’re likely familiar with the saying “happy employees create happy customers”—and studies have confirmed that employee happiness is directly correlated with employee efficiency, creativity, and productivity. If you want to consistently provide positive customer experiences, you need to build a team of happy, engaged employees.

3. Customer feedback

The best way to know if you’re meeting customers’ expectations is to ask them. Asking for customer feedback after key touchpoints during the customer journey shows members you care about their experience, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and higher customer engagement. Customer feedback is also an invaluable way to learn what you’re doing well, in addition to identifying areas for improvement.

4. Convenience

As we touched on earlier, customers’ expectations have changed since COVID-19, and business owners need to be willing to meet the consumers where they are. Data from a recent global study revealed that 70% of responding internet users worldwide were using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak, and another study found that mobile owners worldwide will continue to increase to 7.33 billion by 2023. For gyms and fitness-related businesses, this means that a strong digital presence is key to long-term success.

Consumers now expect a hybrid combination of in-person and online workout options, and they want to be able to research, book services, and communicate with brands easily. If you haven’t already done so, make sure your app, website and social media channels are updated, user-friendly, informative, and offer a seamless experience.

Conclusion

A great customer experience is what will keep your members coming back, and make them more likely to recommend your business to friends. Remember that you’re selling a continuous service, so it’s imperative that you build a strong team of engaged employees, solicit customer feedback, and continue to monitor digital trends in the fitness space to make sure you’re keeping up with the shifting landscape.

To learn how EZFacility can help you provide a great customer experience and improve customer satisfaction, click here to schedule a free, personalised product tour. 

How Push Notifications Can Increase Member Retention from EZFacility

Increase Membership and Attendance with Push Notifications

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Are you reading this blog on a mobile device? Statistically speaking, there’s a good chance the answer is yes, considering more than half of website traffic is generated through mobile phones.

And if you’re like most people, your phone is the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night.

With so many people constantly attached to their phones, business owners have an opportunity to reach their audience through a number of different communication channels and marketing strategies.

In this blog, we’ll cover one of the easiest and most effective digital marketing strategies you can implement to connect with your members, boost class attendance, increase member engagement, and improve retention rates.

What Is a Push Notification?

A push notification is a short message that pops up when users have your app installed on their device. Mobile app push notifications are designed specifically for phones and tablets, whereas web push notifications are designed for laptop and desktop users. Certain web browsers, like Chrome and Firefox, have pop-up push messages that alert users of notifications. However, not every mobile device supports web push notifications.

Depending on the device, push messages may look slightly different and have different character limits. Mobile app push notifications typically look like text messages, and can only be sent to users who have your mobile app installed on their device if they have agreed to receive push messages.

How a Push Notification Strategy Can Increase Customer Retention

A push notification strategy is an effective way to keep customers engaged with your business, win back inactive members, improve retention rates, and boost revenue. It’s all about relationships, and push messages help strengthen the bond with your customers by offering a simple, familiar way to keep in touch. In fact, one study found that push messages increase retention rates three to 10 times, while boosting engagement by 88%!

Here are a few examples of how you can utilise push messages:

  • Share updates about new classes and digital offerings to spark interest
  • Motivate clients by celebrating milestones
  • Share links to fun and interesting content like recipes, nutrition tips, or How To’s
  • Offer promotions and discounts
  • Encourage members to book services or purchase products
  • Send alerts for upcoming classes, new services, or expiring memberships

4 Tips to Improve Your Push Notification Strategy

  • Define your target audience: In order to increase your open rates and conversion rates, you need to define your target audience. You can use the member data you have on file to create tailored lists by using information such as age, goals, class attendance and purchase history to categorise clients. Doing this helps you create messages that you know will be relevant and of interest to those audiences.
  • Make it personal: Happy members become loyal, long-term customers and brand advocates. One of the best ways to get your clients to care about your business is to show you care about them. While some messages may apply to all, sending too many impersonal and irrelevant messages will likely lead members to opt out of receiving your push messages. Use the member data you have available to keep the messages relevant and personal. Sometimes it’s the little things—like sending a push message to celebrate a milestone or anniversary—that can make all the difference.
  • Timing is (still) everything: The best time to send push messages will vary based on the content you’re delivering. For example, class reminders should be sent 30 minutes before the class begins, whereas the best time to send general information can vary. Generally speaking, push messages sent between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. have the highest open rates, but you should always check the data to see when your customers are most responsive.
  • Keep it short and sweet: When it comes to writing your push messages, you want to keep it brief, clear, and persuasive. While different platforms have different character limits, the ideal length is about 10 words. Since the text will appear differently across devices, it’s always best to keep it as short as possible.

Conclusion

Push messages are an easy and effective way to reach your audience and keep customers engaged. By creating tailored distribution lists, you can deliver relevant and interesting content to defined audiences, which will help improve your overall push notification strategy and retention rates.

Why Fitness Entrepreneurs Need to Talk About Mental Health

Fitness Entrepreneurs and the Importance of Mental Health

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Being a fitness entrepreneur can offer a myriad of benefits—it allows you to create a career that aligns with your values, dictate your own schedule, choose who you want to work with, build a network of like-minded individuals, and it gives you control over important business decisions.

But while owning and operating your own company can be extremely rewarding, being the person who’s ultimately responsible for whether your business succeeds or fails is a heavy burden to carry alone, and it can have a significant impact on your mental health. In addition to harming you personally, mental health problems can also negatively impact your business by hindering productivity, impacting relationships, and negatively affecting company culture.

In this blog, we’ll cover some of the common stressors fitness entrepreneurs face during their careers, why it’s so important to start talking more openly about mental health, and how to build a support network.  

Entrepreneurial Stress

Those who choose the entrepreneurial path tend to know they will face stress and pressure throughout their careers, but COVID-19 upended day-to-day life, global industry, and the world as we once knew it. The fitness industry was hit particularly hard, and many brick-and-mortar facilities were forced to close permanently, while others are still scrambling to adapt and survive in the post-pandemic era.

It’s been an especially tumultuous time for most businesses, but even more so for fitness entrepreneurs who must navigate the obstacles and changing landscape largely on their own. The high level of stress that comes with running your own business can have a dramatic impact on your physical mental health—and, if not managed appropriately—can lead to burnout, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more.

Below are a few examples of common challenges fitness entrepreneurs face:

1. Assuming multiple roles

When you run your own business, it’s oftentimes necessary to take on multiple roles, especially when you’re first starting out. But when you’re doing everything on your own, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out. If you have a team of employees, it’s critical to learn how to delegate so you can focus on the high-level priorities.

2. Financial burdens

Financial management is a part of every business, and paying close attention to your finances is key to staying in operation. Staying on top of your finances to ensure you’re in the green can be extremely stressful and time-consuming, so it’s important to establish a process for how you plan to manage the books and as well as how you will tackle financial pressures head-on.    

3. Loneliness

Research shows that many entrepreneurs struggle with mental health issues—and many try to keep it to themselves.

Without a proper support network in place, entrepreneurs who struggle with mental health issues can experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as depression, anxiety and a number of other health issues.

Making Your Mental Health a Priority

Running a business can be overwhelming, but trying to deal with everything on your own can be very detrimental to your physical health and mental health. It’s important to be open and honest with those close to you, and to seek external guidance if you’re struggling with any mental health problems.

In order for your business to be the best it can be, you need to be the best you can be, too—and that means making yourself and your health a top priority.

How to Properly Reopen Your Gym from EZFacility

Increasing Your Gym Capacity? Follow These Steps

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments |

Over a year after COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns began, most gym owners are beyond ready to fully open their doors. Part of running a successful gym is making sure that every person feels welcome, and now is no different.

While you likely have vocal gym enthusiasts ready to get back into their old routines, remember that there are likely just as many people hesitant about re-joining large indoor groups. Here are 3 ways to properly reopen your gym so that all feel welcome.

1. Maintain Health Standards

Recent studies show that gyms and fitness centers were some of the superspreader sites of spring 2020. Even if your staff are fully vaccinated, consider the benefits of reducing their exposure to colds, flus, and other viruses. Requiring staff to wear a face covering and maintaining safety protocols of cleaning more will not only make members feel more comfortable, but could also reduce lost attendance for both members and employees due to illness.

Help your members and staff continue the health protocols developed over the last year. Here are a few ways to encourage good health habits:

  • Mark circles on the floor in the free weight and floor exercise areas to show people how far apart to maintain social distancing
  • Stagger class start times of classes to reduce the number of people in the locker rooms at one time
  • Increase the number of equipment cleaner stations throughout the gym to make it easier to reach and use
  • Provide virtual streaming access to group classes to reduce the number of people in the room
  • Work with your facilities management to increase ventilation and air filtration in the building

2. Stay Up to Date

In order to both keep your people safe and keep your gym compliant, make sure to stay abreast of public health news in your area. Review the COVID-19 Employer Information for Gyms and Fitness Centers article to find how to protect your employees and which hazard controls to implement to keep everyone safe.

3. Ask People What They Want

As vaccination rates vary and children are still ineligible to receive the vaccine, there is no one right answer to what will make gym members comfortable again. Send a survey to your email list stating that while you’re following the protocols, you want to hear from them. Ask first how likely they are to return to the gym as well as which safety protocols they’d like to see in place. Some options include smaller group fitness classes, offering times where masks are required, and enforcing physical distancing.

When reviewing survey responses, you may want to give more weight to people more in the middle of the pack in being ready to return. People who respond that they absolutely won’t come back aren’t going to be swayed by wiping down machines more often. And, your most loyal gym attenders are less likely to be kept away by some additional rules. Focus on the people who are hesitant to come, but want to make it work.

Conclusion

While there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it’s important to maintain your commitment to keeping your staff and your members safe at your fitness center. Continue with your existing health protocols, stay up-to-date on changing business guidance, and ask your members what would make them comfortable to return to your facilities.

Guidelines for Returning to Physical Activity in a Group Setting from EZFacility

Here’s How to Safely Return to Physical Activity in Groups

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments |

Group classes are back in session! But does that mean that the gym owners, trainers, and employees are ready to be back?

Here are a few ways that you can protect and support your staff and gym members during this time.

1. Help People Ease Back In

Although there were more at-home workout options than ever this past year, people likely weren’t doing as much vigorous activity as before. Consider offering members with consultations to provide activities recommendations and physical activity guidelines to help prevent injury and see results. Plus, offer more classes and workouts at a moderate intensity and check in more with your members who are working at a high intensity.

Additionally, some people may not want to return due to a certain health condition or other reason. No matter how much you tell people to wash your hands, this won’t change. For these members, make it easy for them to leave. They’ll be much more likely to come back when they do feel safe than if you try to argue the point with them.

2. Offer Outdoor Activities

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people re-discovered a love of the great outdoors. Consider offering member activities outside of the facility, like guided hikes, yoga in a park, and group runs. Since people breathe more heavily during aerobic activities, moving them outside can help slow the spread of airborne illnesses. And, by having fewer members in the studio, you’ll be able to maintain physical distancing more easily.

3. Support Mental Health

Although many people are ready to “get back to normal,” 2020 was nothing but normal. Remember that you don’t know everything that everyone is dealing with, whether the loss of loved ones, stress of managing at-home schooling and remote work, or feelings of isolation from spending so much time alone. People joked about gaining the “quarantine fifteen,” but there are more serious cases of anxiety and depression as a result of a year inside.

Keep in mind that being healthy is both physical and mental. Consider offering mental health benefits as part of your employee health insurance and including classes on mindfulness and meditation for your members.

Conclusion

Just like how none of us were prepared for COVID-19, none of us know what to expect next as the world starts reopening. As a gym owner, you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your employees, your members, and by extension, your community. Be empathetic and kind as you help everyone ease back into their fitness routines to help do your part to keep people happy and healthy.

Should your company include a wellness plan?

Everything You Need to Know About Company Wellness Plans

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Employee wellness programs are more important than ever as the lines between work and home life continue to become increasingly entangled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people working from home, and with many also managing their kids’ virtual learning simultaneously, it’s no surprise that workers are experiencing burnout, loss of productivity and struggling to maintain their physical and mental health.

With new stressors piling on workers every day, employers need to take a more proactive role in improving employee health by creating wellness programs that take individual needs into consideration to offer the greatest benefit. What may help one employee, may offer little to no benefit for another, which is why it’s important to offer a diverse array of initiatives.

In this blog, we’ll talk about what an employee wellness program is, and three reasons why you should consider implementing one.

What is an employee wellness program?

An employee wellness program is a collective of initiatives put into place to improve overall health, as well as to provide resources, knowledge and support for employees to manage health-related issues. When thinking about wellness, it’s important to understand that a person’s overall wellbeing extends beyond just physical health and includes other dimensions as well—for example, social, financial, environmental, and mental health.

One-size-fits-all programs tend to fail to meet most employees’ actual needs, thereby offering little real value. The most successful types of wellness programs address different dimensions of wellness through various programs, providing multiple pathways for employees to improve health across all boards.

Why should you offer an employee wellness program?

Investing in your employees is investing in your business, and when your workers are at their finest, your company will reap the benefits. As an employer, it’s important to provide career development opportunities, as well as holistic support, to help your employees be the best they can be.

Key benefits of an employee wellness program:

The ultimate goal of an employee wellness program is to improve your workers’ overall health and wellbeing, but there are benefits for business owners as well.

Here are three top reasons to have an employee wellness program:

  1. Improve employee health
    With the right education and resources, people are able to change their behaviors for the better. Employee wellness programs are a great way to promote healthy lifestyle habits by providing the knowledge and support needed for your workers to make positive, long term changes. Healthy habits lead to lower health risks and fewer chronic illnesses—and, in turn, having fewer employees with chronic illnesses can lead to reduced healthcare costs for employers.
  2. Increase employee engagement & reduce absenteeism
    When workers feel better, they perform better—and they call out of work less often. Offering an employee wellness program shows your workers you’re invested in their long term health and success, which, in turn, makes them more likely to stay with your company. By reducing turnover, employers can save a lot of time and money on hiring, recruiting and training costs.
  3. Workers want wellness
    In the post-pandemic landscape, employees are more stressed than ever. In fact, one recent study found that nearly 70% of workers claimed this was the most stressful time of their entire professional career. With an increased focus on health, more employees are seeking out employers who demonstrate a vested interest in their health and wellness. In addition to keeping your current workers happy and healthy, a comprehensive employee wellness program can be used as a recruiting tool to attract top talent.

Conclusion

Successful employee wellness programs are a win-win for everyone—employers can lower healthcare costs by improving employee health, reduce absenteeism and boost employee engagement, all of which contribute to a happier, healthier workforce. 

The correlation between sleep and exercise recovery

How Sleep and Exercise Recovery are Connected

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Everyone knows that exercising regularly is good for your health—it improves your mood, promotes quality sleep, boosts your energy, and helps combat a number of different health conditions and diseases. But when it comes to exercise, more isn’t always better. While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best ways to get the most from any fitness regimen is to ensure you’re getting enough hours of sleep every night.

Here are five reasons why adequate sleep is critical to exercise recovery:

1. Provides your body time to heal

Exercising creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue, and your body needs time to recover and repair it. While you sleep, cells called fibroblasts fix the damage and help the tissue heal and grow stronger. The more hours of sleep you get, the more time your muscle tissues have to regenerate.

Additionally, your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, which get broken down during workouts to fuel your exercise. Your muscles need glycogen to perform everyday functions, and getting adequate sleep gives your body the time it needs to replenish your energy stores before your next workout.

2. Reduces risk of injury

Getting enough hours of sleep every night is essential to staying safe during workouts. A lack of sleep can lead to mental cloudiness, delayed reaction time, and increased risk of injury. When you’re overworked or overtired, you’re more likely to misuse equipment, drop a weight, take a misstep, or fall out of form.

On the days you’re tempted to push yourself, try to remember that it’s always better to pace yourself and provide your body the time it needs for optimal recovery than to overwork yourself and risk long-term damage or injury.

3. Prevents muscle fatigue

Exercise depletes your muscles’ glycogen levels, and your body needs glycogen to function. Metabolic overload happens when muscles are exercised to the point of fatigue, and your body has exhausted the amount of glycogen available.

When you’re asleep, your body continues to digest carbohydrates and metabolizes them into glycogen, which is then stored in muscle cells to fuel muscle contractions. This is why getting adequate sleep is necessary to avoid exercise-induced fatigue and soreness—because it provides your body the time it needs to replace energy stores.

4. Improves performance

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults over the age of 18 should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. And did you know that increasing sleep time by one hour per night is like the equivalent of getting an extra night’s worth of sleep per week? Making adjustments to your schedule to ensure you’re getting enough hours of sleep per night makes all the difference when it comes to performance.

Overtraining can cause repetitive strain and stress to your muscles, which can lead to decreased performance, reduced endurance, and slower reaction times. Lack of sleep will wear you down physically, mentally and emotionally—whereas adequate sleep will increase your energy and prepare your body for consistently successful workouts. 

5. Boosts the immune system

Numerous studies have reported on the many benefits of a good night’s sleep—and, similarly, how a lack of sleep can lead to a number of negative impacts to your overall health. For example, quality sleep can maximize athletic performance, improve concentration and productivity—whereas poor sleep has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and depression.

A recently published study found yet another way quality sleep can assist the immune system—by improving T cell functioning. T cells play an important role in the body’s immune system, and researchers found that poor sleep may inhibit the ability of T cells to function as effectively.

Conclusion

Many of us tend to think more is better, especially when it comes to exercise—when, actually, the opposite is true. Taking breaks and getting adequate sleep is critical for achieving optimal performance, regardless of your level of fitness or sport. Skipping rest days or not getting enough hours of sleep can quickly lead to burnout, muscle fatigue or injury. As with many things in life, moderation is key.

Which type of business model is right for your gym?

Are You Using the Proper Business Model for Your Gym?

« Blog | Written by Emily Duty | | (0) Comments |

Sandwiched in the middle of another pandemic year, fitness businesses around the world continue to grow and evolve. Everything the fitness industry knew back in 2019 is very different from what it knows in 2021. If you are a gym owner and haven’t done so already, now could be a good time to check in with your current business model. Find out what still serves you and what doesn’t, in order to stay on top of the competition and continue reaching your target audience. We’d love to help you get started in your search! In this post are some different membership models to consider for your gym.

Membership-Based

Let’s start with a membership-based gym model because it’s what most people think of when they first sign up at the gym. It’s a monthly or annual fee in exchange for unlimited access to facility services. The pros are, it’s been around the block. So, it’s tried and true. It’s straightforward in what your members will receive for their fee. And when it comes to cash flow, it’s a steady and predictable revenue stream for business owners.

The cons are, because it’s an annual contract, members can sometimes feel locked in or locked down. Especially if they aren’t getting full use out of their membership like they want. Or, circumstances arise and they can’t. For example, when people were unable to access their gyms at the start of the coronavirus and couldn’t take full advantage of the equipment and classes they paid for. 

Tiered Membership Models

A tiered membership model is a membership based subscription with options. And who doesn’t love options, right? If members are anxious with a traditional membership plan, offer them a tiered plan. It will allow them more control over their pockets and fitness experience. Adopting a tiered membership shows clients you’re listening to their wants and needs. And that’s pretty cool.

Digital Subscription  

Everyone has watched the fitness industry dive into the digital work out space these last two years. Some businesses slowly added in online accessible features. Others went fully online. What’s great about a digital subscription during the pandemic is gym owners don’t have to fuss over social distancing, limited capacity, masks or sanitisation. However, the downside is members can miss out on the full gym experience. For most people, that’s a huge deal. A big pull of a physical gym is that group motivation. Plus, friendly competition and professional in-person guidance. 

Hybrid Fitness

Hybrid Fitness is somewhere in-between membership based and a digital subscription. By adopting a hybrid fitness business model, you can offer clients the best of both worlds. One with a mixture of in-person and online classes.

Your in-person clients will look forward to a more intimate class-size experience. Your online clients will still get the feel of being in your gym’s environment while working out from the comfort of their homes. Also, your in-person members have the flexibility to access a live-streamed class. Or, stop by a digital library whenever they are unable to make it there either, ensuring they still get in a workout.

Group Fitness

Speaking of group motivation and friendly competition, there’s a business model for that. One where members can pay for a bundle of classes, connect with other members and bounce off energy. While some people need music to pump them up for their workout, others enjoy having like-minded individuals to achieve goals with.

Pay As You Go 

A pay as you go plan can help attract members who are maybe on the fence about committing to a plan just yet. It lets them come and go as they please, and take what they need from your services. From a business perspective, sure, it might not have great cash flow. But, it could still be worth implementing into your business model plan. And remember, you can always mix and match business models until you find what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to do your business, only what feels right to you.

Conclusion

Gym owners, remember this. Like you, some of the most successful businesses are the ones open to evolving. As you know, successful businesses don’t get stuck in their ways. They are always looking for ones to help grow their business. So, continue researching and learning. Listen to fitness industry trends, as well as your target audience and you will do well.  Start with these insights to different membership models for your gym. Then, keep digging for more information until you find your niche and groove. As always, we wish you well on your success journey.