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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Gym bashing has to stop

Gym-bashing has become an annual tradition for many consumer media editors. It’s time the industry found an effective way to push back through the creation of our own powerful messaging

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
It’s not fair the valuable work done by gyms gets undermined every year / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/nd3000
It’s not fair the valuable work done by gyms gets undermined every year / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/nd3000
The industry could produce annual consumer health and fitness guidelines in good time to make the new year editions

This January has seen the national consumer media producing a larger-than-average clutch of their annual ‘don’t go to the gym’ features, with everyone from The Guardian to The Sunday Times making a case for why people can do without the gym when it comes to deciding on their new year health and wellness regime.

I wonder if all consumer media editors have ‘don’t forget to schedule gym-bashing feature’ reminders in their diaries in November, ready for the new year? It seems they must, as it happens every year like clockwork.

These pieces are pretty much always opinionated and rely on a wide range of questionable reasoning, such as the ‘fact’ that working out in a gym will ‘make you hungry’ and you’ll eat more than you need afterwards, making the whole visit ‘worthless’. Or my especial favourite – that we’re genetically programmed to be lazy and fat and to sit around doing nothing and that trying to pretend otherwise is just a waste of money.

The more credible pieces make good arguments for lifestyle change which will improve health, but even then exercise is usually very much the poor relation when it comes to the lifestyle ‘formula’ which is being proposed and is relegated to last place on the list of interventions.

Many consumers are already confused by the conflicting information coming their way from experts seeking to attract consumers to their specific discipline – or Instagram feed – and this annual onslaught is just making the situation worse.

The bigger picture is that lifestyle advice is finding an eager audience, indicating that there’s an opportunity for the health and fitness industry to get engaged with consumers as we head into the annual new year diet and lifestyle frenzy.

It’s time for the industry to respond to this need, to step up and take its place as a powerful consumer influencer.

There’s a wide-open opportunity for us to produce lively, up to date annual consumer health and wellness guidelines based on valid research and best practice. These guidelines could be released each year in good time to land on editors’ desks, ready for their new year editions. This would enable us fight our corner and show off the great options on offer.

These guidelines could then also be actively promoted by operators across the industry to create a baseline of knowledge among consumers which would act as an antidote to the anti-gym propaganda being promoted in the media.

No one would claim that gyms are the only way when it comes to activity, and the health and fitness market has broadened its remit hugely over recent years in recognition of the trend towards people taking a portfolio approach to exercise.

But for many, the gym is a valid and highly valued contributor to their personal wellness routine, offering cost-effective access to expertise, equipment and camaraderie and it’s just not fair that this valuable work is so routinely undermined every year.

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/992654_833156.jpg
'Gym bashing has to stop', says HCM editor Liz Terry, in response to pieces in The Guardian and The Sunday Times that make a case for why people can do without the gym.
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The business wasn’t getting the numbers needed, so I raised the prices by 25 per cent. It worked and we didn’t skip a beat
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Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
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Diary dates
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Locations worldwide,
Diary dates

features

Editor's letter: Gym bashing has to stop

Gym-bashing has become an annual tradition for many consumer media editors. It’s time the industry found an effective way to push back through the creation of our own powerful messaging

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
It’s not fair the valuable work done by gyms gets undermined every year / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/nd3000
It’s not fair the valuable work done by gyms gets undermined every year / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/nd3000
The industry could produce annual consumer health and fitness guidelines in good time to make the new year editions

This January has seen the national consumer media producing a larger-than-average clutch of their annual ‘don’t go to the gym’ features, with everyone from The Guardian to The Sunday Times making a case for why people can do without the gym when it comes to deciding on their new year health and wellness regime.

I wonder if all consumer media editors have ‘don’t forget to schedule gym-bashing feature’ reminders in their diaries in November, ready for the new year? It seems they must, as it happens every year like clockwork.

These pieces are pretty much always opinionated and rely on a wide range of questionable reasoning, such as the ‘fact’ that working out in a gym will ‘make you hungry’ and you’ll eat more than you need afterwards, making the whole visit ‘worthless’. Or my especial favourite – that we’re genetically programmed to be lazy and fat and to sit around doing nothing and that trying to pretend otherwise is just a waste of money.

The more credible pieces make good arguments for lifestyle change which will improve health, but even then exercise is usually very much the poor relation when it comes to the lifestyle ‘formula’ which is being proposed and is relegated to last place on the list of interventions.

Many consumers are already confused by the conflicting information coming their way from experts seeking to attract consumers to their specific discipline – or Instagram feed – and this annual onslaught is just making the situation worse.

The bigger picture is that lifestyle advice is finding an eager audience, indicating that there’s an opportunity for the health and fitness industry to get engaged with consumers as we head into the annual new year diet and lifestyle frenzy.

It’s time for the industry to respond to this need, to step up and take its place as a powerful consumer influencer.

There’s a wide-open opportunity for us to produce lively, up to date annual consumer health and wellness guidelines based on valid research and best practice. These guidelines could be released each year in good time to land on editors’ desks, ready for their new year editions. This would enable us fight our corner and show off the great options on offer.

These guidelines could then also be actively promoted by operators across the industry to create a baseline of knowledge among consumers which would act as an antidote to the anti-gym propaganda being promoted in the media.

No one would claim that gyms are the only way when it comes to activity, and the health and fitness market has broadened its remit hugely over recent years in recognition of the trend towards people taking a portfolio approach to exercise.

But for many, the gym is a valid and highly valued contributor to their personal wellness routine, offering cost-effective access to expertise, equipment and camaraderie and it’s just not fair that this valuable work is so routinely undermined every year.

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/992654_833156.jpg
'Gym bashing has to stop', says HCM editor Liz Terry, in response to pieces in The Guardian and The Sunday Times that make a case for why people can do without the gym.
Latest News
Enhanced designs have been submitted for a £42m swimming pool and waterpark complex in Derby. ...
Latest News
Arvinda Gohil has been appointed CEO of Central YMCA. Gohil joins the health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has launched a review into the NHS Health ...
Latest News
ukactive has begun a search for two additional members to join its board of directors. ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness franchise Spenga has opened two new locations as it looks to ramp up ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp has revealed that it has more than 200 new ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has launched its new Kit & Collect service, aimed at increasing secondary ...
Latest News
Teenagers' 'incessant' use of social media is radically reducing the time they spend sleeping and ...
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Wattbike has secured a deal to supply more than 30 Bupa Health Clinic sites across ...
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Leisure trust Active Nation has expanded its portfolio of budget gyms with the acquisition of ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Eleiko makes deadlifting more accessible with the Öppen Deadlift Bar
Eleiko, a Swedish weightlifting equipment specialist, is reinforcing its position in the strength and fitness market with the launch of the Öppen Deadlift Bar,
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass tops 2,000 fitness facilities on its platform
Gympass has reinforced its leading position in the corporate fitness market, topping 2,000 fitness facilities available on its platform across the UK.
Opinion
promotion
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Video Gallery
Nautilus - Glute Drive
Core Health & Fitness
Inspired by the increasing trend of glute exercises seen in various and dangerous executions in the gyms today. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Dyaco UK Ltd
Dyaco UK Limited offers a versatile range of world-class commercial, medical and home fitness equipment ...
Company profiles
Company profile: EZ-Runner Systems Ltd
With over 600 clients worldwide in Spa, Golf, Health Club, Hotel and Kids Play Leisure, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Fitness equipment
Physical Company Ltd: Fitness equipment
Exercise equipment
Eleiko Sport AB: Exercise equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Craftsman Quality Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
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TVS Sports Surfaces
TVS Sports Surfaces