Attract Them With Fitness... Non-traditional Facilities are the New Norm

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | April 16, 2010

Consumers today seemingly cannot watch TV, take a stroll, or even engage in conversation with friends or family without being messaged in some way about healthcare or our greater wellbeing. One might argue that we are now experiencing a ďTipping PointĒ as acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell would define it. Gladwell defines a tipping point as ďa moment of critical mass or boiling pointĒ when describing sociological changes that mark our everyday lives. As Gladwell states, "Ideas and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do." With our nationís current obesity crisis still growing, it would appear that such a viral definition of our collective requirement to exercise is still far from becoming completely infectious. However, make no mistake about it; awareness is spreading rapidly and legions of consumers are adopting varying levels of commitment to daily activity.Most experts now agree that physical fitness is the single greatest preventative medicine we have available to us. Therefore, what more current and powerful way to attract customers to your offering than to weave into the collective fabric of an increasingly fitness-conscious society?

Non-traditional fitness facilities such as those found in hotels, corporations, housing developments, and country clubs are growing rapidly in popularity and are completely redefining how and where we exercise. The traditional health club environment has many limitations. As important as these facilities are as our nationís basis for some of the best health and fitness programming available, only one in ten Americanís actually hold memberships to these facilities. Furthermore, typically health clubs are a revolving door of new members replacing old members that for one reason or another were unable to achieve the results they originally sought out from the gym. What might surprise you is that often this attrition level has little to do with the quality of the facility, equipment, or available instruction.

The truth is, asking folks to break from the demands of their busy lives and their daily routines to embrace fitness through a health club membership is for many, unrealistic. The solutionresides in finding ways to weave fitness into their routines and into the places that life already demands they be. Tens of Millions of consumers are desperately trying to integrate wellness into their lives now. As purveyors of fitness in non-traditional environments like hotels and resorts, we have a unique opportunity to help them in this quest for a healthier life, while simultaneously serving our own business interests.

Consider the following critical factors as they relate to the elevating importance of non-traditional offerings in fitness:

Convenience & Accessibility

Again, exercise isnít inherently convenient for most of us. For those who havenít easily adopted activity within their daily lives, exercise requires an allocation of time, perhaps at the expense of other components of an already demanding schedule.. Typically our jobs, school or families are time-demanding enough. Integrating two or more hours necessary to travel to and from the gym and get a workout in can be a daunting proposition. This is why fitness needs to be as convenient as possible. Thereís no doubt that more of us would embrace fitness, if only our workplace featured a fitness center where we could exercise at lunch or before or after work without the need for yet another commute to a health club. Same goes for apartment or condo communities where residents merely walk over to the fitness center where they can interact with neighbors and friends while exercising. By natural extension, hotels and resorts can offer this same convenience factor to business travelers and vacationers. The hospitality industry also enjoys the element of captivity, where guests are seeking ways to fill their downtime and donít have the typical alternatives afforded to them at home.

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