The typical lull in gym attendance, exercise adherence, and fitness motivation during the holidays doesn’t have to be true for your facility. While shorter days, holiday plans, and family obligations provide ample excuse for skipping some workouts, as fitness and wellness professionals, it is our job to help our community maintain motivation and stay committed through the winter weeks. Use the suggestions below to help keep your users engaged.
Keeping your community engaged might not necessarily mean your users need to come in just for a workout. You can maintain the social cohesion between community members by hosting special events, like speaking engagements or a happy hour. The holidays are also a perfect time to come together to raise money with a charity event or gift fair. Invite members and local businesses and give your users the opportunity to shop, socialize and get their sweat on while giving back during the holidays.
Your users are likely busy with family and friends over the holidays, so why not invite them into your facility? Offer free guest passes or “buddy passes” during the holidays, even if the visitor is from out of town. You’ll maintain your connection with existing users, give your users accountability, and potentially bring in new clients at the same time. This extra perk will only serve to make your users more committed.
Friendly Competitions or Challenges
Creating special challenges or competitions with specific start and end dates and pitting users against each other in a light-hearted and productive way is a proven tactic for keeping users engaged and successful. Encourage users to commit to a certain number of visits, burpees, pull-ups, etc. to earn a reward, or award the winners with the fastest or best result. Fitness should be fun, so really lean into that.
Short challenges with simple guidelines during the holiday months can keep the attention of your users without overwhelming them.
Your community doesn’t have to be on-site to stay connected. Offering digital workouts that your users can do at home or anywhere with their family and friends not only allows them to participate in special challenges and fitness events, but it is also a great way to add value to your offering and show that you are dedicated to your members’ success during the holidays.
There are several ways your facility can stay relevant and valuable to your community during the holidays. What’s most important is to remain available, provide an inclusive place for fun and fitness, and provide value with digital workouts and buddy passes. And, equally important, be there for your users when they are ready to get back at it in the new year.
Habla, W., Muller, P. Experimental evidence of limited attention at the gym. Exp Econ 24, 1156–1184 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-020-09693-5