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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor’s letter: The mind-body connection

Improved mental health – from a post-workout feelgood buzz right through to the prevention and treatment of depression – is a huge benefit of physical activity. So why is the health club sector being so slow to pick up on this?

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Equinox’s HeadStrong class: Designed to target stress
Equinox’s HeadStrong class: Designed to target stress
By 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of premature death and disability globally. So what are you offering in your club for that?

By the year 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of premature death and disability globally. This the WHO statistic quoted by Colin Milner, CEO of the ICAA, in his interview on page 34. And he asks the question: “What are you offering in your club for that – what life balance programming, what social programming? We spend so much money on cardio equipment, and yes, cardiovascular disease is a major health issue – but there are some real basics that clubs are missing.”

Milner is absolutely right: improved mental health is such a fundamental benefit of exercise – we all know how much better and more positive we feel after a workout – yet somehow the vast majority of health club operators have failed to harness its potential to bring in a whole new raft of members.

This in spite of robust evidence that backs up what we innately know: recent Rutgers research, for example, which shows that combining meditation with exercise (30 minutes each, twice a week) reduces the incidence of depressive symptoms by as much as 40 per cent in just two months.

The good news is that things are starting to change, with operators such as Nuffield Health in the UK leading the way. At the end of September, Nuffield Health acquired cognitive behavioural therapy business CBT Services, enabling the not-for-profit healthcare organisation to add an emotional wellbeing provision to its growing list of health and wellbeing services. The new service – comprising cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling and general psychological therapies – has been designed to provide coping skills and support for those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression and will be available to all, regardless of a gym membership.

Speaking to HCM, Nuffield Health CEO Steve Gray acknowledged that “few people do emotional wellbeing very well” in the fitness sector, in spite of the fact that “emotional health is just as important as our physical health”. He added: “You need to bring fitness, nutrition and emotional wellbeing together to create a bespoke response for the individual. That sort of personalised, holistic approach is, I believe, the biggest opportunity in the health and fitness market at the moment.”

Other operators are also starting to latch on to this. Not all will be able to go in at the treatment end of the scale like Nuffield Health, which through its hospital heritage has the credibility to do so. However, a small but growing number of operators are incorporating elements of mindfulness and meditation into their offering – Equinox, for example, with its HeadStrong class, which targets stress by working body and mind in equal measure.

As consumer expectations of health clubs move away from fitness provision alone and towards a broader wellbeing agenda, this sort of offering will be key. Indeed, when HCM spoke to industry consultant Bryan O’Rourke recently, he predicted that mindfulness “will become a trillion dollar industry in the next few years”.

So, as Milner so rightly asked: What are you doing about that in your club? What life balance programming are you offering? What approaches have you made to local businesses to provide stress management programming for their employees? Schools are even introducing mindfulness sessions – could you deliver these?

And if that’s too big a first step, why not test the waters by simply marketing the benefits of exercise differently? Consider focusing not on distant fitness or weight loss goals, but on how people feel straight after their workout. I firmly believe the immediacy of this benefit will keep people coming back for more.

Kate Cracknell

[email protected]

@healthclubkate

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/167143_254838.jpg
Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve mental health. So what is your health club doing about depression?
Kate Cracknell, Editor, Health Club Magazine,Kate Cracknell, depression, Nuffield Health, Colin Milner, cognitive behavioural therapy, Steve Gray, Bryan O’Rourke, Equinox
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features

Editor’s letter: The mind-body connection

Improved mental health – from a post-workout feelgood buzz right through to the prevention and treatment of depression – is a huge benefit of physical activity. So why is the health club sector being so slow to pick up on this?

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Equinox’s HeadStrong class: Designed to target stress
Equinox’s HeadStrong class: Designed to target stress
By 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of premature death and disability globally. So what are you offering in your club for that?

By the year 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of premature death and disability globally. This the WHO statistic quoted by Colin Milner, CEO of the ICAA, in his interview on page 34. And he asks the question: “What are you offering in your club for that – what life balance programming, what social programming? We spend so much money on cardio equipment, and yes, cardiovascular disease is a major health issue – but there are some real basics that clubs are missing.”

Milner is absolutely right: improved mental health is such a fundamental benefit of exercise – we all know how much better and more positive we feel after a workout – yet somehow the vast majority of health club operators have failed to harness its potential to bring in a whole new raft of members.

This in spite of robust evidence that backs up what we innately know: recent Rutgers research, for example, which shows that combining meditation with exercise (30 minutes each, twice a week) reduces the incidence of depressive symptoms by as much as 40 per cent in just two months.

The good news is that things are starting to change, with operators such as Nuffield Health in the UK leading the way. At the end of September, Nuffield Health acquired cognitive behavioural therapy business CBT Services, enabling the not-for-profit healthcare organisation to add an emotional wellbeing provision to its growing list of health and wellbeing services. The new service – comprising cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling and general psychological therapies – has been designed to provide coping skills and support for those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression and will be available to all, regardless of a gym membership.

Speaking to HCM, Nuffield Health CEO Steve Gray acknowledged that “few people do emotional wellbeing very well” in the fitness sector, in spite of the fact that “emotional health is just as important as our physical health”. He added: “You need to bring fitness, nutrition and emotional wellbeing together to create a bespoke response for the individual. That sort of personalised, holistic approach is, I believe, the biggest opportunity in the health and fitness market at the moment.”

Other operators are also starting to latch on to this. Not all will be able to go in at the treatment end of the scale like Nuffield Health, which through its hospital heritage has the credibility to do so. However, a small but growing number of operators are incorporating elements of mindfulness and meditation into their offering – Equinox, for example, with its HeadStrong class, which targets stress by working body and mind in equal measure.

As consumer expectations of health clubs move away from fitness provision alone and towards a broader wellbeing agenda, this sort of offering will be key. Indeed, when HCM spoke to industry consultant Bryan O’Rourke recently, he predicted that mindfulness “will become a trillion dollar industry in the next few years”.

So, as Milner so rightly asked: What are you doing about that in your club? What life balance programming are you offering? What approaches have you made to local businesses to provide stress management programming for their employees? Schools are even introducing mindfulness sessions – could you deliver these?

And if that’s too big a first step, why not test the waters by simply marketing the benefits of exercise differently? Consider focusing not on distant fitness or weight loss goals, but on how people feel straight after their workout. I firmly believe the immediacy of this benefit will keep people coming back for more.

Kate Cracknell

[email protected]

@healthclubkate

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/167143_254838.jpg
Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve mental health. So what is your health club doing about depression?
Kate Cracknell, Editor, Health Club Magazine,Kate Cracknell, depression, Nuffield Health, Colin Milner, cognitive behavioural therapy, Steve Gray, Bryan O’Rourke, Equinox
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Hybrid fitness platform FitLab has closed its Series A financing, bringing total capital raised to ...
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Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence ...
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At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, ...
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The Workforce State of Mind Survey, now in its second year, has begun to gather ...
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2021 has been dubbed the year of the ‘Great Resignation’, with numerous people in the UK reassessing their career path.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Quoox throws down the gauntlet in fitness software arena
An increasing number of gym and studio owners are realising that the days of them needing six, eight or 10 pieces of expensive, disjointed and barely adequate software to operate their business is a thing of the past.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
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Featured operator news: Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington breaks ground ahead of new Rainham Leisure Centre
Everyone Active has got the New Year off to a flying start as it begins work on the brand new Rainham Leisure Centre.
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Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Les Mills
Company profiles
Company profile: FunXtion International BV
With our digital member solutions, branded app and branded virtual classes your clients can now ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Venueserve Fitness
Venueserve Fitness is an easy-to-use, low-cost web- and mobile online exercise platform, already being used ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: The premium touch
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Bilborough, Nottingham
Bilborough College
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
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Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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