Creating Successful and Innovative Nutrition Programs for Your Club

For Gym Operators

Creating Successful and Innovative Nutrition Programs for Your Club

In order to run a successful fitness facility, it's important to help members reach their goals.

Usually this is done through cardio, weight, and strength training exercise. However, without a healthy food plan, client goals cannot be fully realized. It will be difficult for the client to achieve their desired results, even if they work out daily.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the Speakers

Jasmin Kirstein is the founder and CEO of My Sportlady, a fitness facility for women in Munich, Germany. The facility offers women a holistic approach to fitness and well-being. Kirstein is also the founder of the My Sportlady Trust Fund, which helps support women and children in Germany and other countries. In 2010, she was awarded the Julie Main Woman Leadership Scholarship for excellence, professionalism, courage, and perseverance.

Anna-Marisa Kirstein is a nutritionist who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science, with a concentration in Nutritional Science. She is currently employed at My Sportlady as a child nutritionist.

Kirstein suggests integrating nutrition programs into fitness facilities, along with proper exercise programs. This educational combination of nutrition and exercise help members achieve their goals and increase health consciousness.

Incorporating nutritional information will differentiate your club from other facilities. You can reduce your competition from low-budget clubs by offering your clients ways to enhance their ability to attain their goals.

Nutrition and Wellness Programming

Lifestyle programs educate members on living healthy lives. Kirstein has incorporated cooking into her fitness facility by teaching members to prepare healthy foods that will help them both feel better and obtain their desired fitness results. The classes demonstrate an appreciation for long-standing members. By inviting members to cooking classes and requesting they invite friends and family, the facility is able to market to a larger pool of potential members.

A weekly detox program has also been implemented as well as programs providing information and advice about sports nutrition. The detox program includes three detox meals per day, which are made with natural organic ingredients with an optional delivery service. The meals include soup, a vegan main dish and smoothies. The program includes three detox fitness classes and three detox wellness treatments per week.

To compliment these programs, beneficial health products are offered in the fitness club, such as organic drinks, vegan foods, soups, smoothies, and different natural products.

The “Happiness System”

Studies have shown that diets tend to only work for a short time, if at all. A holistic approach that encompasses nutrition, exercise, and spiritual wellbeing will do more for clients than diet or exercise alone. Clients are better able to reach physical goals and achieve overall health, happiness, and wellbeing over a period of time. This includes weekly meetings in nutrition, along with workouts, yoga, and strength training.

Kirstein believes that calorie counting should be discouraged. Rather, realistic diet and lifestyle goals are set for clients so they can enjoy their food while maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Integrating sports with nutrition corners a niche fitness market while establishing an expertise and role model status in your community.

Nutrition Programs for Children

Childhood obesity in the United States has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. It has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents.

Throughout the world, 43 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese. In America, 32 percent of children under the age of nineteen are overweight, and 17 percent are obese. It is estimated that 80 percent of obese children will likely remain obese into adulthood.

Facts about childhood obesity:

  • 1974: 5 percent of children were obese
  • 2004: 17 percent of children were obese
  • 2012: 31 percent of children were obese

Children are developing early onset type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related illnesses. Childhood obesity more than doubles the risk of dying before the age of 55. It is estimated that 70 percent of obese youth have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Obesity is preventable with exercise and better nutrition. It is important to offer exercise coupled with nutrition programs aimed at children. Programs such as dance classes, yoga, and birthday events with healthy food and activities can be integrated into your fitness facility to help children develop a healthy lifestyle.

A nutritional program for children should be a preventative program. Educate both parents and children about nutrition for long-term success and sustainability.

Why Should You Try This in Your Club?

Child health programs will help build and strengthen your club’s relationship with the community. These programs will enhance your club’s image and allow you to form valuable contacts with parents while increasing your member numbers. It will help differentiate your club, and grow your client base. By integrating these programs, you can help children in your community have a healthy lifestyle, possibly for a lifetime.

References:

  1. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2014). National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Childhood Obesity: Data and Statistics.
  3. Cunningham, S.A., Kramer, M.R. & Narayan, K.M. (2014). Incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States. N Engl J Med, 370:403-411. January 30, 2014. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1309753. Retrieved from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1309753

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