Fitness Industry Insights:
Focus on Community
As the fitness and wellness industry continues to evolve, the concept of “community” is becoming increasingly important for consumers. The 2023 Wellness Index conducted by MindBody surveyed 17,000 people and found that many individuals want their gym to serve as a “third place” – a destination not only for physical fitness but also for socializing and building community.
This desire for community is particularly significant as we emerge from the pandemic. Many people have had limited social interactions outside of their homes, and studies have shown that loneliness can negatively impact physical health (1)(2). As a coach, catering to this desire for community can help create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for your clients, improving their overall fitness and wellness experience.
Here are a few ways you can foster a sense of community within your gym or coaching practice:
- Create a space for clients to congregate before or after their sessions. This could be a lounge area or a designated socializing space.
- Introduce clients to each other during the crossover between sessions.
- Provide small amenities like protein drinks, coffee, or kombucha for clients to enjoy pre or post-workout.
- Super simple: provide universal chargers for clients to recharge their devices (it shows you care and creates the opportunity for clients to interact with other clients and staff).
- Make sure the front desk team greets and interacts with clients when they come and leave (it will provide your clients with a sense of belonging and comfort)
- Host functions for clients to meet at, like a group flexibility class or social gathering.
By taking steps to foster community within your gym or coaching practice, you can not only improve your clients’ overall fitness and wellness experience but also attract new clients who are looking for a sense of belonging and community.
- Tiwari, S. C. (2013). Loneliness: A disease? Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(4), 320-322. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.120536
- Derbyshire D. Loneliness is a killer: It’s as bad for your health as alcoholism, smoking and over-eating, say scientists. Health mail online, updated 9:36 GMT. 2010. Jul 28, [Last accessed on 2013, Feb 22].