Reach Underserved Areas with Community Meetups

By | Customer Experience, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Facilities, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mission Delivery, Online, Programs | No Comments

Member-based health and wellness centers focus on making their communities stronger. However, doing so at physical locations has limitations. While the vast majority of American’s are committed to improving their health, 82% are not joining fitness facilities to do so (IHRSA 2014). Why? Perhaps locations are too far from work, home, or school; maybe they are self-conscious working out in front of others; or maybe they aren’t quite sure how to use the equipment and are intimidated to ask for help. Whatever the reason, you’re missing out on making a positive impact on the health of the majority of your community constituents.

What if you could flip the equation? Instead of expecting members to come to you, meeting members of your community where they are. Could you extend your mission of health and wellness to many more without having to invest in another expensive facility? Yes, you can and it’s simple — organize a community meetup. Here’s an example:

As the suburbs have continued to sprawl, your YMCA is now missing a key and growing area of your community with your closest location being 20 miles away. You could build a new facility, but that takes time and considerable funding. In the meantime, host a bootcamp in a local park every week. Your staff can bring along some weights, jump ropes, and mats, and lots of enthusiasm. Organizing community meetups and allowing community members to connect with each other and the Y in between sessions is quick and easy with a tool like Daxko Well. 

Is your center using community meetups to extend your mission and serve more? We’d love to hear how in the comments below.

Virtual Wellness Making Headlines

By | Fitness, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mission Delivery, Online | No Comments

Recently, Bloomberg Business published an article about innovative cycling company, Peloton. Peloton offers a unique cycling experience that combines a proprietary high-end spin bike with high-quality subscription-based virtual spin classes. This innovative formula has proven to be successful in reaching spin devotees that either don’t have the time or proximity to attend an indoor cycling studio. With just 1/3 the riders of spinning giant SoulCycle, Peloton already boasts 1/2 their profits.

When you add the success of Peloton with other virtual fitness solutions (Wello virtual training, and Daily Burn are a few options) that are on the market, virtual wellness is finding its footing and proving its value. Comprehensive virtual wellness has the power to offer heart pumping benefits as well as well-rounded wellness programs. In fact, Well + Good just named Intensive Fitness programs — i.e. those “which incorporate additional lifestyle elements such as nutrition and health coaching” — as one of the top wellness trends of 2016.

If your health and wellness organization doesn’t already have a comprehensive wellness offering and a way to connect with members in the virtual space, a virtual membership option is a great way to achieve both these goals. To capitalize on the popularity of high-end virtual classes and intensive wellness programs, your virtual offering should have the following:

A Broad Scope – To engage members and help them see the best results, a virtual offering should encompass all possible aspects of wellness. This would include videos, eating plans, nutritional information and as well as recipes and tracking capabilities.

Individualization – Members expect eating plans and workouts tailored to their level of fitness and a program will build and expand as their experience, strength, and motivation get stronger. A virtual offering should also offer a way for members to test their fitness level and track their results to keep them motivated and moving in the right direction.

The Benefits of Running as we Age

By | Engagement, Fitness, Industry | 2 Comments
I recently recommitted to running so I was encouraged to read an article in the New York Times Well Blog, “Run to Stay Young” that suggests running can reverse aging in different and significant ways than walking alone can.
The article describes a small study out of the University of Colorodo in Boulder and Humboldt State University that uncovered that “70-year-old runners had the same walking efficiency as your typical sedentary college student,” while “older walkers…had about the same walking economy as people their same age who were sedentary.” Running into old age may prevent and even reverse some of the typical declines in mobility that happen as we age.
Many feel daunted by the task of taking up running.  You shouldn’t.  According to Runner’s World contributor, Jennifer Van Allen, you’re ready to take up running if you’ve spent at least two weeks walking or doing some other form of cardio exercise on a regular basis.
Remember to start slow. One of the best ways to do this is to add short bursts of running into your walking routine, like intervals. Van Allen recommends starting with 1 minute of running for every 4 minutes of walking and as you get more comfortable gradually increasing the running time and decreasing the walking time.  For more tips on how to get started, view the article.
Here are some ways to motivate yourself to pick up the pace:
  • Use a fitness tracker – I find my fitness tracker is a great way to motivate me for those long runs. When you can get your daily 10,000 steps just from your morning run, then you know your day is off to a good start!
  • Join a social community where you can compete with others for wellness bragging rights.
Walking is still an excellent way to improve your overall health and wellness so if running isn’t an option for you, don’t give up. Just encourage yourself to pick up the pace during your walks or add short bursts of running very gradually.