healthy habits

Creating Healthy Habits Part 4: Five Ideas to Use in Your Gym Today

Everyone at the gym - owner, coaches, members - should be working to develop healthy habits! Here are five beneficial ideas to launch in your gym today.

Emily Beers
December 22, 2023
TL;DR
Everyone at the gym - owner, coaches, members - should be working to develop healthy habits! Here are five beneficial ideas to launch in your gym today.

In parts one, two and three of this series, we’ve been looking at how to build healthy habits for you, your coaches and your gym community. In case you missed the , check them out here:

And yes, the healthy habits prescription might look different for you as a gym owner than it does for your clients. But ultimately, we all need the same things. In order to thrive, we need physical fitness, solid nutrition, quality sleep and sound mental health.

Creating healthy habits in your gym
Creating healthy fitness, nutrition, sleep and stress habits will benefit you, your coaches and your gym community.

In light of this, everyone in your gym can embark on a similar journey to building lasting habits. As the leader of your community, you’re in the perfect position to initiate the first step. Here are five ideas to kickstart in your gym today!

Launch These Healthy Habits Initiatives Today.

1. Build a Habit Board.

Instead of a PR board, consider introducing a habit board in your community. This can be a physical board at your gym. Or even a virtual one if you train clients remotely.

Each month, everyone (you, your coaches and members) chooses a new habit to commit to. Ideally, these actions are small, manageable and measurable. Examples include eating at least one vegetable each day or working out a certain number of days per week. It could even be more specific, like attending early morning classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Each person posts their habit on the board for accountability and tracking. The ideal outcome is that at the end of the year everyone has built 12 new healthy habits (one each month). Once these habits are no longer an effort, they become second-nature and part of a regular, healthy routine.

2. Encourage Progress Tracking.

As you likely know from your own fitness journey, people are more likely to be compliant - and motivated - when you’re tracking progress. And this isn’t just true for your back squat. It applies to healthy habits as well.

One easy way to keep track of your progress is to use the new Habit Tracking tool in PushPress Train. Create a fun, friendly competition using the new Challenges feature and build a customized leaderboards so everyone can follow the fun.

Tracking gym progress for improved retention
Encouraging members to log workouts and track progress can improve accountability and retention.

3. Create a Check-In Culture.

For many of your clients (and possibly even coaches), simply showing up to work out three or four days a week would be a win. And our data shows that clients who show up 12 times or more monthly have just a two percent chance of canceling the following month. In fact, that percentage increases substantially with each drop in monthly visits. To the point where, if a client comes in just once per month, they have a 20 percent chance of canceling the following month.

The easiest way to help people keep showing up and staying committed is to create a check-in culture. As PushPress founder Dan Uyemura says, checking in creates a culture of focus that keeps people accountable to their commitment.

“You need to engineer experiences that reinforce the actions you want them to take,” explained Uyemura.

This includes you and your coaches. How many times have you thought you might join in for the 5 p.m. class, but then your plan gets derailed? You’re working on a social media post or you need to work on a new gym challenge, so you bail. If you were registered and checked in, and everyone was expecting you, might you consider closing your laptop to join the class?

4. Celebrate Attendance.

Once you’ve created a check-in culture, you have the key gym metrics to start celebrating member wins.

For example, milestones like 100 or 250 classes are a great opportunity to recognize a member’s commitment to their physical healthy habits. Not only do they feel seen, the accountability is valuable. And it adds an element of fun that will also help you increase gym member retention over time.

Pro Tip: Use PushPress Grow to automate milestone celebrations. For more information on how you can save time while driving member retention, book a demo with our team today!

5. Prioritize Sleep and Mental Health.

When it comes to healthy habits, diet and exercise are generally the two areas we focus on most. But have you ever tried to work out on no sleep? Or how productive can you be at work if your stress levels are through the roof?

Improving mental health and reducing stress
Reduced stress and adequate sleep are important for your optimum health, and that of your members.

The truth is, for many of us, sleep or mental health concerns can hold us back from progress more than diet and exercise. This can especially be true for you as a gym owner or for your coaches. You may have healthy diet and fitness habits dialed in, but if you can’t dial down the stress, it can be detrimental.

If this is you, your first actionable habit might be to put your phone away when you get home from the gym. Committing to unplug from email and social media might result in a better night’s sleep. Next, you could replace your phone time with a healthier habit, like a nightly walk, guided meditation or journaling.

In Summary: Everyone in Your Gym Benefits.

When it comes to the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, the role of habits cannot be overstated. The daily choices we make regarding fitness, nutrition, sleep and mental health contribute significantly to our overall well-being. Gym owners and coaches, as facilitators of positive change, are in a unique position to influence and guide clients toward adopting and maintaining these habits.

As Mike Giardina, Senior Manager of Health Education with CrossFit, said, “All the science behind behavior change is present within the walls of a well-operating CrossFit affiliate.”

Gym owners, coaches and members can all benefit from consciously and consistently taking baby steps to build habits that become routine over time.

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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