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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
HCM magazine
This year’s edition of the IHRSA Global Report which addresses performance from 2020, is a valuable record of the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, creating a benchmark from which to understand the recovery. Kristen Walsh reports for HCM
HCM magazine
Research confirms the role health clubs can play in supporting people in nurturing their mental health, as Victor Brick explains
HCM magazine
David Minton says the healthy movement industry is ten times bigger than the health club sector, and the care industry four times bigger and ask why we’re not rushing to collaborate?
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
It’s another sign that the health club sector globally is still in its infancy, with untrodden territory still to be had
HCM Magazine
Letters
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research firm Qualtrics surveyed 12,157 consumers across 15 countries in seven languages to create the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, highlighting the ways consumers are choosing to work out as we emerge from the pandemic. Jak Phillips reports
HCM Magazine
Policy
As the UK government’s social prescribing initiative gains momentum, Kenny Butler calls on the sector to step up and get involved
HCM Magazine
Interview
The co-founder of The Great Outdoor Gym Company has a vision to inspire communities to become healthy and sustainable, both environmentally and personally. She speaks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
Research
Changes to DNA which occur during exercise give protection against a wide range of diseases, according to new research from the Univesity of Copenhagen
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
The appetite for health clubs is strong among consumers and investors – to take advantage of this, operators must figure out how to meet key challenges in operationally sustainable ways
HCM Magazine
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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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

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
Latest News
UK Health clubs, gyms, hotels, pubs and other leisure businesses will all receive a 50 ...
Latest News
Fitness First UK has changed its pricing structure and is now offering a flexible membership ...
Latest News
Boutique operator 1Rebel has launched its first 1Rebel Labs Studio at its club in Holborn. ...
Latest News
The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the UK government to invest £875m in ...
Latest News
Anthony Hamilton, the father of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, is launching a fitness equipment ...
Latest News
The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
Latest News
The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for ...
Latest News
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
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Exercise has been highlighted as a crucial weapon in cancer patients’ battle against the disease. ...
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The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Are traditional gyms going to war with smart gyms?
CEO of Orbit4, Daniel Jones, says: “There’s no reason traditional gyms and smart gyms can’t live in harmony. With a little reorganisation and education, there’s a really bright future for all gyms.”
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Mediana Co., Ltd.
Mediana specialises in the manufacture of medical and health care devices, such as body composition ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym UK Ltd
Technogym offers a complete ecosystem of connected smart equipment, digital services, on-demand training experiences and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
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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