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STA-Swimming Teachers Association
STA-Swimming Teachers Association
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Active ageing: Age concern

The older people get, the more likely they are to have a long term health condition. But getting ill is not an inevitable consequence of getting older, so targeting the over 50s market could bring about multiple wins. Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Older people look for more connection, community and conversation in the gym
Older people look for more connection, community and conversation in the gym
CIMSPA says there’s been a significant rise in the number of people with three or more health conditions from 1.9 million in 2008 to a predicted 2.9 million in 2018

Two thirds of the NHS budget is currently soaked up by the treatment of long term conditions and the overlap between such illnesses and age is huge, as the proportion of people living with a health condition increases by 10 per cent every 10 years.

However, although health decline is often assumed to be an inevitable part of old age, this doesn’t have to be the case. Analysis published by the British Medical Journal showed that poor health is closely related to a drop in fitness, so if people actually stayed active they would be less likely to get ill.

Getting people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s physically active could have massive wins all round: saving the NHS billions; giving more people extra healthy years of their life and generating new audiences and revenues for the health and fitness sector. The fact that older people often like to exercise late morning also provides a good use for the club during the quieter periods.

Overlooked audience
The over 50s is a hugely diverse market with many segments, and it is not true that older people can’t afford memberships. According to ukactive’s Reimagining Ageing report, 70 per cent of the nation’s wealth is held by individuals aged over 50 and, in 2017, this cohort spent £320bn. However, they are generally unused to spending their money on their health, so it can be difficult to change their mindset.

To bring older people into facilities, operators will need to make sure they have well designed workouts, which are both fun and social. Staff also need to be appropriately trained: no one wants to be patronised by someone who is 40 years younger and has no empathy regarding their mobility or health issues.

“It’s really important to take a soft, nurturing approach. You can’t be pushy, because they can easily become stubborn and rebel,” says Kira Mahal, founder of Motivate PT. “We match our older clients with PTs who have some life experience and are able to relate to them more. Usually we find the tipping point in motivation comes when they feel the benefits, whether that be finding it easier to get out of bed, or noticing that a pain has started to dissipate.”

A few operators are already starting to design clubs with older clients in mind, including Lanes Health Club in Sussex; eActiv’s Health Lounge which is designed to feel like a lounge, and Tony de Leede’s latest venture, Club W, which has been curated to appeal to women over 50.

Fitness ambassadors
“As people get older, they like a chat and crave community, conversation, connection and comfort, and this is the environment we try to provide at Club W,” says de Leede, who has gone to great lengths to remove any form of ‘gymtimidation’. For example, the word exercise is never uttered, instead terms like activity and mindfulness are used.

The club has places to chat and relax and the workout experiences are all delivered virtually and in bite sized chunks, from five to 20 minutes. During a visit, people might do a bit of pilates, some tai chi, have a massage, listen to a short lecture, sit in an O2CHAIR to breathe deeply and have a chat. “It’s like a health buffet,” he says.

Rather than employ fitness instructors, Club W employs hosts who talk to members and even accompany them to classes. This is backed up by the use of fitness ambassadors: enthusiastic members who are given free, or heavily discounted memberships, in return for buddying up with newbies.

“Young people look for a tribe, older people look for community. You are much more likely to turn up to exercise if you have made the appointment to meet someone,” says de Leede.

Behaviour change
Employing older staff is important if operators are serious about attracting older people into clubs, as they need to see people they can relate to. So could de Leede’s idea of recruiting enthusiastic members as hosts and paying them in workouts become a new industry trend?

Active IQ believes older members can be great evangelists for the industry and, in response, has designed a qualification to formalise this role. The Level 2 Certificate in Promoting Community Health and Wellbeing takes 60 hours to complete and equips trainees to help influence behaviour change in terms of getting active, giving up smoking and improving eating and drinking habits.

“People in their 50s, 60s and 70s can make a significant impact as a fitness motivator, able to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle and bring a mix of life experience, empathy and personal insight into how it feels to be exercising in older age,” says Active IQ managing director, Jenny Patrickson.

“Clubs looking to recruit older fitness motivators will likely find them already working out in their gym: offering a little advice to others and welcoming new people. A poster in the changing room could be just the nudge they need to get more involved.”

Recruiting older staff and volunteer hosts is a really easy way of making your club more inclusive, and if the head of PT at Future Fit Training, Paul Swainson, is to be believed, it should be getting easier to find them. He has noticed an appetite among baby boomers to quit their jobs and re-train as fitness professionals.

Role models
“These corporate runaways have a lot to offer in the industry in terms of creating a more inclusive environment and providing a role model for members of all ages: younger gym members are completely inspired by seeing someone in their 60s looking fit,” says Swainson. “Also, older trainers bring life experience to their work, which is very valuable.

“Having faced, and overcome, various issues in terms of staying active, they are in a great position to advise clients on how to overcome their barriers to success. Plus, those coming from high-powered executive jobs also bring fantastic organisational, management and IT skills with them.”

However, welcoming older people into clubs does throw up a few challenges, especially if they are very elderly, suffer from a long term condition, or have mobility issues, which is why CIMSPA has launched the new professional standard, The Working with People with Long Term Conditions Professional Standard.

UPSKILLING instructors
“This is the product of our consultation across the health and sport sectors,” says CIMSPA’s head of education, Colin Huffen. “It provides practitioners with the framework of skills and knowledge required to work with people with single long-term conditions, or at risk of developing a long-term condition and people who present with co-morbidities.”

Serco Leisure has also recently introduced a new CIMSPA-accredited one day workshop designed to upskill instructors on how to better understand the motivations and goals of older people. Developed along with Life Fitness Academy, the course covers workout design and the interpersonal skills needed to make sure the class is fun and social.

“In later life, it’s key that people maintain their quads, as these have a huge impact on reducing falls, and improving balance in general,” says Paul Street, national health and fitness manager at Serco Leisure. “Our workshop looks at the science behind these kinds of issues, enabling staff to develop individually focused programmes.”

Move it or Lose it also trains instructors to work with elderly people, including chair-based exercise programmes. They have been designed according to feedback from thousands of attendees who say they want the session to be about chatting and laughing as well as the health benefits.

“The friendly atmosphere and ability to socialise, as well as exercise, is key to getting older people to attend week after week,” says Move it or Lose it CEO, Julie Robinson. “The exercise session includes flexibility, aerobics, balance and strength (FABS) and the part they most enjoy is the exercise to music, which is really motivational.

Preventative care
As our society ages, the government is committed to spending £300m to support sectors to develop opportunities to reorient the structure of society and the health and fitness sector needs to be part of the solution. According to NHS advisor, Sir Muir Gray, as the population ages and the government sets out its preventative care strategy, getting older people exercising will be the key to the survival of the NHS.

Reaching this market will involve designing appropriate workouts led by suitably qualified people. There is a strong business case to do so, and also a simple reason: the sector could add years to people’s lives, prevent them becoming housebound and keep them living independently. What could be more rewarding?

Read our feature on ageing and fitness from Sir Muir Gray in the February 2019 issue of HCM

Kira Mahal, Motivate PT
"We match our older clients with PTs who have some life experience and are able to relate to them more"
Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ
"People in their 50s, 60s and 70s can make a significant impact as a fitness motivator, able to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle "
Julie Robinson, Move it or Lose it
"The friendly atmosphere and ability to socialise, as well as exercise, is key to getting older people to attend week after week "
Move It or Lose It trains health and fitness instructors to 
work with older people
Move It or Lose It trains health and fitness instructors to work with older people
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/394015_730853.jpg
Older people are less likely to exercise, making them more prone to developing long-term health conditions. How can fitness providers reach people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and above? We take a look...
People
The issue holding things back is not GPs’ lack of belief in the power of physical activity – it’s the lack of a quality offer they can refer to. We need to look at the supplier side, so all GPs have access to a good quality provider of exercise
People
We want to develop the next generation of health and wellbeing centres, offering a mix of clinical, physical and emotional wellbeing services
People
As clubs with swimming pools and health and beauty facilities, the low cost model wasn’t going to work for us, but the clubs weren’t as high-end as David Lloyd clubs either. Our first intervention was to win over the staff and encourage them to act as though it was a high-end club
Features
Statistics
While Sweden (21.6 per cent) and Norway (21.4 per cent) have the highest ratios of fitness club members relative to the total population, Ukraine (2.9 per cent) and Turkey (2.6 per cent) have low penetration rates, which could indicate potential for growth
Features
Retention
Are you optimising HIIT for your members, or are they put off by the pain? Abigail Harris looks at research into ways to better support members towards a positive outcome
Features
Flooring
With the increase in popularity of functional training, the floor is increasingly becoming a piece of equipment in itself. Kath Hudson investigates
Features
Retention
There’s no one thing that will fix your member retention, but clarity of mission, a strong culture and an eye for data will drive significant change. Kate Cracknell reports from this year’s Retention Convention
Features
HCM Celebs
In the name of work, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has undergone impressive physical transformations for film roles such as Thor in The Avengers and Marvel films. Inspired by the public’s interest in his workouts, he’s now created a health and fitness app called Centr that utilises the expertise of his team of world-class experts
Features
Innovation
Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates cusapero
Features
Active ageing
The older people get, the more likely they are to have a long term health condition. But getting ill is not an inevitable consequence of getting older, so targeting the over 50s market could bring about multiple wins. Kath Hudson reports
Features
Strength
Do you need strength training kit that fits a smaller space? Julie Fisher takes a look at the options
Features
Research
New research from Deloitte China and IHRSA shows the market for health and fitness in India is starting to grow, as Kirsten Walsh reports
Features
Software
New technology is transforming the way the health and fitness industry functions and interacts with customers. Liz Terry catches up with operators around the industry for an update
Features
Analysis
Features
Promotional Feature
Promotional feature
EMS training is a great opportunity to differentiate your offering in a crowded fitness market. The kit requires very little space and the business model can be extremely lucrative - Phil Horton, miha bodytec
Latest News
Women's fashion magazine Stylist has entered the fitness market by opening a female-only boutique studio ...
Latest News
Creating opportunities for older people to get physically active represents a major driver for growth ...
Latest News
Australian fitness franchise F45 has secured deals to open sites in emerging markets across the ...
Latest News
The Bannatyne Group has completed a £750,000 redevelopment of its latest acquisition, the historic Cookridge ...
Latest News
Corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass has secured additional financial backing believed to be around US$300m ...
Latest News
Three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Draymond Green has opened his first Blink Fitness gym ...
Latest News
Ukactive has set out on a membership consultation, asking for views on how the not-for-profit ...
Latest News
Northumbria University (NU) has set out to uncover in detail the important role that structured ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: New London PT facility partners with Eleiko
WE11, a luxury co-working studio for wellness professionals, is a stunning facility with a fully equipped gym, treatment rooms, changing rooms and The WE11 Lounge.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix unveils Glute Trainer
At this year's FIBO fitness equipment giant Matrix debuted a host of new products and innovations, including the Glute Trainer.
Opinion
promotion
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
I’ll be honest - it feels a bit funny writing an opinion piece in an aggregator special when, fundamentally, I can’t really say that I work for an ‘aggregator!’
Opinion: Let's distinguish new market entrants by those that add value and those that don't
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is the world’s largest privately-held marketer and distributor of commercial fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Will to Win
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
26-27 Jun 2019
Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2019
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Diary dates

features

Active ageing: Age concern

The older people get, the more likely they are to have a long term health condition. But getting ill is not an inevitable consequence of getting older, so targeting the over 50s market could bring about multiple wins. Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Older people look for more connection, community and conversation in the gym
Older people look for more connection, community and conversation in the gym
CIMSPA says there’s been a significant rise in the number of people with three or more health conditions from 1.9 million in 2008 to a predicted 2.9 million in 2018

Two thirds of the NHS budget is currently soaked up by the treatment of long term conditions and the overlap between such illnesses and age is huge, as the proportion of people living with a health condition increases by 10 per cent every 10 years.

However, although health decline is often assumed to be an inevitable part of old age, this doesn’t have to be the case. Analysis published by the British Medical Journal showed that poor health is closely related to a drop in fitness, so if people actually stayed active they would be less likely to get ill.

Getting people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s physically active could have massive wins all round: saving the NHS billions; giving more people extra healthy years of their life and generating new audiences and revenues for the health and fitness sector. The fact that older people often like to exercise late morning also provides a good use for the club during the quieter periods.

Overlooked audience
The over 50s is a hugely diverse market with many segments, and it is not true that older people can’t afford memberships. According to ukactive’s Reimagining Ageing report, 70 per cent of the nation’s wealth is held by individuals aged over 50 and, in 2017, this cohort spent £320bn. However, they are generally unused to spending their money on their health, so it can be difficult to change their mindset.

To bring older people into facilities, operators will need to make sure they have well designed workouts, which are both fun and social. Staff also need to be appropriately trained: no one wants to be patronised by someone who is 40 years younger and has no empathy regarding their mobility or health issues.

“It’s really important to take a soft, nurturing approach. You can’t be pushy, because they can easily become stubborn and rebel,” says Kira Mahal, founder of Motivate PT. “We match our older clients with PTs who have some life experience and are able to relate to them more. Usually we find the tipping point in motivation comes when they feel the benefits, whether that be finding it easier to get out of bed, or noticing that a pain has started to dissipate.”

A few operators are already starting to design clubs with older clients in mind, including Lanes Health Club in Sussex; eActiv’s Health Lounge which is designed to feel like a lounge, and Tony de Leede’s latest venture, Club W, which has been curated to appeal to women over 50.

Fitness ambassadors
“As people get older, they like a chat and crave community, conversation, connection and comfort, and this is the environment we try to provide at Club W,” says de Leede, who has gone to great lengths to remove any form of ‘gymtimidation’. For example, the word exercise is never uttered, instead terms like activity and mindfulness are used.

The club has places to chat and relax and the workout experiences are all delivered virtually and in bite sized chunks, from five to 20 minutes. During a visit, people might do a bit of pilates, some tai chi, have a massage, listen to a short lecture, sit in an O2CHAIR to breathe deeply and have a chat. “It’s like a health buffet,” he says.

Rather than employ fitness instructors, Club W employs hosts who talk to members and even accompany them to classes. This is backed up by the use of fitness ambassadors: enthusiastic members who are given free, or heavily discounted memberships, in return for buddying up with newbies.

“Young people look for a tribe, older people look for community. You are much more likely to turn up to exercise if you have made the appointment to meet someone,” says de Leede.

Behaviour change
Employing older staff is important if operators are serious about attracting older people into clubs, as they need to see people they can relate to. So could de Leede’s idea of recruiting enthusiastic members as hosts and paying them in workouts become a new industry trend?

Active IQ believes older members can be great evangelists for the industry and, in response, has designed a qualification to formalise this role. The Level 2 Certificate in Promoting Community Health and Wellbeing takes 60 hours to complete and equips trainees to help influence behaviour change in terms of getting active, giving up smoking and improving eating and drinking habits.

“People in their 50s, 60s and 70s can make a significant impact as a fitness motivator, able to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle and bring a mix of life experience, empathy and personal insight into how it feels to be exercising in older age,” says Active IQ managing director, Jenny Patrickson.

“Clubs looking to recruit older fitness motivators will likely find them already working out in their gym: offering a little advice to others and welcoming new people. A poster in the changing room could be just the nudge they need to get more involved.”

Recruiting older staff and volunteer hosts is a really easy way of making your club more inclusive, and if the head of PT at Future Fit Training, Paul Swainson, is to be believed, it should be getting easier to find them. He has noticed an appetite among baby boomers to quit their jobs and re-train as fitness professionals.

Role models
“These corporate runaways have a lot to offer in the industry in terms of creating a more inclusive environment and providing a role model for members of all ages: younger gym members are completely inspired by seeing someone in their 60s looking fit,” says Swainson. “Also, older trainers bring life experience to their work, which is very valuable.

“Having faced, and overcome, various issues in terms of staying active, they are in a great position to advise clients on how to overcome their barriers to success. Plus, those coming from high-powered executive jobs also bring fantastic organisational, management and IT skills with them.”

However, welcoming older people into clubs does throw up a few challenges, especially if they are very elderly, suffer from a long term condition, or have mobility issues, which is why CIMSPA has launched the new professional standard, The Working with People with Long Term Conditions Professional Standard.

UPSKILLING instructors
“This is the product of our consultation across the health and sport sectors,” says CIMSPA’s head of education, Colin Huffen. “It provides practitioners with the framework of skills and knowledge required to work with people with single long-term conditions, or at risk of developing a long-term condition and people who present with co-morbidities.”

Serco Leisure has also recently introduced a new CIMSPA-accredited one day workshop designed to upskill instructors on how to better understand the motivations and goals of older people. Developed along with Life Fitness Academy, the course covers workout design and the interpersonal skills needed to make sure the class is fun and social.

“In later life, it’s key that people maintain their quads, as these have a huge impact on reducing falls, and improving balance in general,” says Paul Street, national health and fitness manager at Serco Leisure. “Our workshop looks at the science behind these kinds of issues, enabling staff to develop individually focused programmes.”

Move it or Lose it also trains instructors to work with elderly people, including chair-based exercise programmes. They have been designed according to feedback from thousands of attendees who say they want the session to be about chatting and laughing as well as the health benefits.

“The friendly atmosphere and ability to socialise, as well as exercise, is key to getting older people to attend week after week,” says Move it or Lose it CEO, Julie Robinson. “The exercise session includes flexibility, aerobics, balance and strength (FABS) and the part they most enjoy is the exercise to music, which is really motivational.

Preventative care
As our society ages, the government is committed to spending £300m to support sectors to develop opportunities to reorient the structure of society and the health and fitness sector needs to be part of the solution. According to NHS advisor, Sir Muir Gray, as the population ages and the government sets out its preventative care strategy, getting older people exercising will be the key to the survival of the NHS.

Reaching this market will involve designing appropriate workouts led by suitably qualified people. There is a strong business case to do so, and also a simple reason: the sector could add years to people’s lives, prevent them becoming housebound and keep them living independently. What could be more rewarding?

Read our feature on ageing and fitness from Sir Muir Gray in the February 2019 issue of HCM

Kira Mahal, Motivate PT
"We match our older clients with PTs who have some life experience and are able to relate to them more"
Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ
"People in their 50s, 60s and 70s can make a significant impact as a fitness motivator, able to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle "
Julie Robinson, Move it or Lose it
"The friendly atmosphere and ability to socialise, as well as exercise, is key to getting older people to attend week after week "
Move It or Lose It trains health and fitness instructors to 
work with older people
Move It or Lose It trains health and fitness instructors to work with older people
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/394015_730853.jpg
Older people are less likely to exercise, making them more prone to developing long-term health conditions. How can fitness providers reach people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and above? We take a look...
Latest News
Women's fashion magazine Stylist has entered the fitness market by opening a female-only boutique studio ...
Latest News
Creating opportunities for older people to get physically active represents a major driver for growth ...
Latest News
Australian fitness franchise F45 has secured deals to open sites in emerging markets across the ...
Latest News
The Bannatyne Group has completed a £750,000 redevelopment of its latest acquisition, the historic Cookridge ...
Latest News
Corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass has secured additional financial backing believed to be around US$300m ...
Latest News
Three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Draymond Green has opened his first Blink Fitness gym ...
Latest News
Ukactive has set out on a membership consultation, asking for views on how the not-for-profit ...
Latest News
Northumbria University (NU) has set out to uncover in detail the important role that structured ...
Latest News
A majority of mothers do not exercise because it makes them feel guilty about not ...
Latest News
Fitness giant Les Mills has launched three new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City ...
Latest News
Wellness industry technology platform Mindbody has appointed Phil Coxon as managing director of Mindbody Europe. ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: New London PT facility partners with Eleiko
WE11, a luxury co-working studio for wellness professionals, is a stunning facility with a fully equipped gym, treatment rooms, changing rooms and The WE11 Lounge.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix unveils Glute Trainer
At this year's FIBO fitness equipment giant Matrix debuted a host of new products and innovations, including the Glute Trainer.
Opinion
promotion
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
I’ll be honest - it feels a bit funny writing an opinion piece in an aggregator special when, fundamentally, I can’t really say that I work for an ‘aggregator!’
Opinion: Let's distinguish new market entrants by those that add value and those that don't
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is the world’s largest privately-held marketer and distributor of commercial fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Will to Win
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
26-27 Jun 2019
Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2019
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Diary dates
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