How to Boost Environmental Engagement: Connecting Members to Wellness

For Gym Operators

How to Boost Environmental Engagement: Connecting Members to Wellness

Regardless of age, there are seven dimensions of wellness that individuals should incorporate into their lives to stay healthy. Here is how health club operators can maximize benefits for their members by using environmental wellness in their programming.

Spring is in the air and no time is better than now to connect with the environment surrounding you at work, home, or while traveling. Being mindful of the type of environment that lifts your mood can be a key factor in overall stress reduction and in turn positively impact the attendance in your programs.

Being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day was enough to significantly boost vitality levels, the Journal of Environmental Psychology research finds. Feeling sluggish? The solution may require getting outside the box-that big brick and mortar box called a building.

As I outlined in a recent post, no time is better than now to take a proactive role in how you are programming for your member’s overall engagement. Providing indoor and outdoor opportunities that are playful, artistic, and innovative in nature is a great way to begin thinking beyond the obvious.  Identifying motivating factors that will spark happiness and increase participation by offering non-member and member opportunities to explore the benefits of wellness is a great way to attract older adults and families.

1. Experiencing local adventures can boost happiness for many and provide opportunities for staying connected and engaged in life events outside the four walls of a home or office. By planning, organizing, and promoting the benefits of an adventure outside your walls you are sure to attract individuals who loathe the tedious details and who are time-starved. Promoting new adventures such as walking groups, hikes, bird watching, or cycling groups can be confidence boosters to help individuals overcome fears or build on strengths.

Since adventure can vary for everyone, start with expanding upon popular classes such as Spinning® by offering an outdoor Summer Shape-Up series once a week in your parking lot, local park, or even on outdoor courts to promote getting ready for all summer activities people enjoy.  Partnering with organizations that give back to the local community by raising funds for charities i.e. Spinning Nation® can also be building blocks in your quest to attract new members that like to sweat for a purpose.  

2. Create an “Older Adult Playground” and promote the “how to” effects of active participation in existing public areas with parks or nature trails with the opportunity to view children and adults of all ages in action, encouraging intergenerational opportunities. Host a Day at the Park event engaging everyone through fun, interactive activities such as lawn games like kickball, foursquare, or dodgeball. Outdoor games are a great source of exercise as well building meaningful connections with your community. End the event by weaving in a yoga class for everyone to get some relaxation by showcasing breathing and relaxation techniques that would entice them back to the club to attend a whole class.

3. Connect to nature and outdoor environments with evening strolls or nature walks. This is a wonderful daily walking opportunity available to everyone, anytime and anywhere. By organizing such groups from your location you can encourage walking partners and families to move together, providing intergenerational opportunities for gathering by becoming their wellness resource focused on prevention.  

Stay tuned to read the next part of my series, How to Boost Social Engagement.

Sources:

Journal of Environmental Psychology

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/get-into-the-habit-of-trying-new-things/bgp-20095803