23 Sep 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Health Club Management issue 9, 2018 is now out!


Health Club Management bloggers:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Ian Taylor

Gareth Edwards
Director of Education,

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Suki Kalirai
Interim CEO,

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,

Leah De Silva
Business development director,

Peter Moody
Brook Street des Roches LLP

David Stalker

Charles Wilford
Co-Head, Leisure Team,
Gerald Eve

Use research to inspire

28 Apr 2015
by Kate Cracknell, editor-at-large, Health Club Management
One size does not fit all when it comes to selling our services: we need different messages to inspire and motivate different people

The world of scientific research can seem impenetrable at times – lengthy papers full of Greek letters and shorthand – but it’s a world we should get to grips with, because it offers new avenues to explore as we develop concepts, services and messaging to engage both members and prospects.

How about, for example, appealing to men by telling them two hours of front crawl each week will give them a better sex life, or offering women a similar payoff if they use pilates to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles? What about promoting yoga not as a way to boost flexibility or even sports performance, but as a proven method of relieving stress and high blood pressure for city execs? Meanwhile HIIT sessions could be marketed as the perfect way to pre-empt an indulgent meal; we have to accept that many people view going to the gym as a way to balance out the excesses elsewhere in their lives, and we either fight that, or we accept it and give ourselves a role to play.

But can we really make these claims? Yes, we can. On Health Club Management 2015 issue 5 page 18–19, we highlight some of the latest research in the field of health, fitness and wellness. Did you know that exercise can not only help prevent breast cancer, but actually assist in its treatment? That high-intensity interval training can prepare adolescents’ bodies for a high-fat meal, lessening the negative impact of that meal? Or that just two hours of strenuous exercise improves men’s sexual function? I can’t imagine there are many men who wouldn’t have their interest piqued by that message.

And that’s just a small snapshot of the research published over the space of just a couple of weeks; exciting new findings are unveiled on a daily basis.

I’ve previously used this letter to call on the industry to broaden its messaging to encompass mental health – something very few operators are doing even now – but actually it shouldn’t stop there. If we want to engage new segments of the population, we need to find different selling points – as yet untapped benefits of physical activity – that resonate with them. That means exploring the steady flow of emerging research and pulling out exciting new messages with which to tempt the 87 per cent of non gym-goers.

Because one size does not fit all when it comes to selling our services: we need different messages to inspire and motivate different people. The more diverse the benefits we highlight, the wider the range of people we’re likely to at least get to listen to what we have to say.

All of this doesn’t undermine the need to prove the effectiveness of interventions taking place specifically within the gym – an initiative being spearheaded by the ukactive Research Institute. But although that evidence is vital if we’re to prove our worth to health commissioners, the public at large is more likely to be inspired by eye-catching headlines that have an immediate relevance to their lives.

So let’s keep an eye on the research coming through and get creative with our messaging. We need to be brave and try new things out, experimenting and learning as we go, if we’re going to bring new people through our doors.

Tags: Health Club Management  executive  health & fitness  academics/research 

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