How to Boost Intellectual Engagement: Connecting Members to Wellness

For Gym Operators

How to Boost Intellectual Engagement: Connecting Members to Wellness

As outlined in my recent article, no time is better than now to take a proactive role in how you are managing your members’ overall engagement. Regardless of age, there are seven dimensions of wellness that individuals should incorporate into their lives to stay healthy. Here's how health club operators can maximize benefits for their members by using intellectual wellness in their programming.

The topic of cognitive decline is making the headlines more and more these days. Being mindful in all areas of your life is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Maintaining mental health is critical to overall wellbeing, and incorporating ways to include intellectual wellness into your daily fitness classes and club events could be a differentiator.

1. Schedule a ‘Change the Way You Age’ wellness series.

The first key is listening to your members, clients, or even loved ones in your life, to identify key indicators that will help you in designing customized wellness programs and activities that will ignite a passion, solve an aging concern, and foster purpose.

A wellness series is a wonderful way to showcase the fun and engaging programs you offer that will benefit your current members as well as serve as a community outreach opportunity. Embracing fun and playful events already happening in your community could be the starting point you need to begin collaborating for next year. 

2. Leverage your connections.

Leading brain wellness experts' research clearly shows that healthy brains have the potential for continued growth and development at any age. Identify community partners that could present a segment of your series. You may find that you do not have to look far since the older adults coming through your doors have a wealth of experience and industry connections.

Consider hosting a Jeopardy-themed open house event for your members. Or try hosting monthly socials in a happy hour atmosphere and scatter some of these clever cards I call “table-talk" to spark meaningful conversation.

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth & cease only at death." – Albert Einstein

3. Promote a year-round walking program.

Walking does not require any special skills, so why not help individuals of all ages in your community get moving and make it part of their daily routine? While exercise and a healthy diet can’t cure Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Walking boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.

A year-round walking program could parlay into a signature program that can also be a great training tool to reach low usage members. It can piggy back on walks and runs already happening in your community. EveryBody Walk! is a great resource that partners with national, state, and local level organizations and businesses.

During winter months and inclement weather, a walking club can be a great way to promote your cardio floor areas, especially if you are lucky enough to have innovative equipment that supports a running or walking motion.

There are so many fun ways to pique members’ interest if you promote indoor training for specific sports. Create challenges and contests to inspire members utilizing engaging and interactive programs offered on premium equipment. There is also no down side to incorporating new approaches to engage your members through social media outlets promoting the success of those that participate.

Stay tuned to read How to Boost Environmental Engagement.

Author Information

Katie Dobbs
Katie Dobbs's picture

Katie grew up under the Big Sky of Montana, but she has since moved to the beautiful city of Seattle. She is a self-proclaimed food connoisseur who loves playing in the great outdoors, traveling, and learning new things.

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