Unless you’ve been living under a rock (with your phone off), you’ll be aware of the recent focus on ‘wellness’ as a more holistic approach to health and fitness, encompassing not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

Naturally, this aligns with trends in the fitness industry and by staying ahead of these trends and offering innovative services, you can make your gym an industry leader. This will attract forward-thinking members and your gym can enjoying a bunch of benefits that we’ll get into below.

We’ll explore the importance of total wellness in fitness and provide tips on how to incorporate wellness facilities into your gym and how to market them effectively to your members. By doing so, you’ll not only keep your members engaged and active but also attract new members who are seeking a holistic approach to fitness.

How you can include a wellness offering at your gym

To make this worth your while and effective enough to show results, it will take more than just chucking a sauna in the back room. There are a few areas you can add to and improve to see the most benefits.

Gym Wellness Nutrition

#1 Types of services

🧘‍♀️ Meditation classes and wellness workshops create a community of like-minded individuals who are interested in improving their mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. They could extend to sessions on breathwork, sleep hygiene, stress relief and much more. These services can also be a source of additional revenue through class fees and workshop ticket sales. In terms of outlay, you can bring in guest speakers, teachers and guides.

🧖‍♂️ Recovery facilities such as saunas (or infrared saunas), ice baths, plunge pools, physiotherapy and massage therapy can be a valuable source of revenue, as they provide members with a space to recover and rejuvenate after a workout. Not only that, but recovery facilities can be rented out to non-members or used to create recovery packages, which can generate additional revenue.

🥑 Nutrition coaching can be a valuable service for members who are looking to improve their overall health and fitness. Customised nutrition plans, meal prep services, and guidance on making healthy food choices, will result in improved health outcomes and increased loyalty. If you don’t have expertise in this area, you’ll need to make time to complete training and gain a qualification, or you’ll need to hire a qualified nutritionist.

🤸‍♀️ Alternative exercise methods such as yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and dance can all increase member engagement and help with their overall wellness. Any activity that increases the heart rate and breathing for a sustained period of time is beneficial to the fitness journey so you can offer something more than weights and cardio machines.

#2 Upskilling staff

Your wellness upgrade mission will have a far greater chance of success if your staff are sufficiently trained and educated to ensure proper implementation and delivery of recovery services.

You can upskill your existing staff using certification programs and ongoing professional development. This doesn’t just make your gym better for members – it should also help with staff retention when you show investment in their careers.

You may also need to bring in external experts for some of your offerings – especially if you want to implement them right away. This could be done by either hiring them and paying by the hour or per client or session. Or you could hire your spaces to these external facilitators and share the income generated by their service.

#3 Seamless integration with your current offerings

You probably don’t want your wellness offering to look like a tacked-on, money-grabbing separate entity. Strive to integrate the new services and features with your current gym set-up so that members can gradually make the most of them. Work out which of the wellness services complement your existing ones to find the best combinations.

You could then begin by encouraging members to participate in the complementary programs and services to ‘whet their appetites’. You could offer introductory special pricing or even free tasters for new members to encourage joining up.

There will be endless opportunities for cross-promotion and collaboration between fitness classes, personal training sessions, and recovery sessions. Promote these cleverly and heavily, with an emphasis on their benefit to the overall wellness of members.

In winter, spruik the sauna. In summer, tantalise them with the plunge pool and ice baths. Find opportunities to keep these services front-of-mind whenever possible.

Finally, be sure they can easily book and pay for these services by using all-in-one gym software like Xplor Gym  that makes bookings a breeze.

Fitness and Wellness gym

The benefits of a wellness offering

Embracing a holistic approach can benefit overall health outcomes (for members and your business) in several ways. By addressing all aspects of a person’s life, it can help individuals achieve a sense of balance and harmony, leading to improved overall health and wellbeing.

It can also help individuals identify and address underlying issues that may be impacting their health and fitness, such as stress or mental health concerns. Additionally, by focusing on total wellness, individuals may be more likely to make sustainable lifestyle changes that support long-term health and wellbeing, which is better for your gym.

Here are some great reasons to make the change:

Better member experience

Wellness and recovery services can significantly improve the overall gym experience by making it more holistic and addressing various aspects of members’ health and fitness goals. Members appreciate access to services that help them recover faster, reduce stress, and improve their overall quality of life.

Recovery amenities like massage chairs and hydrotherapy pools can help members optimise their fitness routines and athletic performance. Better results = happier (more loyal) members!

More money

By adding total wellness services and diversifying revenue streams with things like membership upgrades, package offerings, and a la carte service fees you can increase your gym’s revenue by upselling existing clients or attracting new ones.

Keep members for longer

Retention rates should increase because members are more likely to remain loyal to a gym that meets their holistic health needs and offers comprehensive support for their fitness journey. By becoming a ‘one stop shop’ for all of their wellness needs, you’ll be adding so much more value.

PLUS you’ll increase the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth advertising, which is GOLD.

Cast a wider member net

We’ve talked about the importance of diversifying your membership base . The availability of wellness and recovery services can attract new members who are specifically seeking facilities that prioritise their overall wellbeing. Marketing these offerings effectively can appeal to a broader demographic and encourage prospective members to join.

Promoting total wellness breaks down barriers and stigmas associated with fitness, making it more accessible and welcoming to a wider range of individuals. Members are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and motivation, meaning they’re increasingly likely to recommend your gym to friends and family who are looking for a supportive and welcoming fitness community.

Build a better fitness community

A positive fitness community is essential for business success. A sense of community fosters a supportive and encouraging environment where members can connect with each other and with their fitness goals. This helps improve accountability and motivation, resulting in increased member retention and referrals.

A strong community can improve member satisfaction and loyalty, as members are more likely to remain committed to their fitness journey when they feel a sense of belonging and support from your gym and its members.

Have a competitive edge

If you want your gym to stand out from the rest, you need to offer things your competitors don’t. By providing a diverse range of services that go beyond traditional fitness offerings, gyms can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract a broader audience. Wellness and recovery services can serve as a unique selling proposition and help gyms stand out in a crowded market.

Build a compelling brand story

Although you do want your gym to be a leader in physical fitness success, by promoting overall health and wellness you can cultivate a much richer brand story. It shows that your gym not only offers everything they need, but that you also care about them before and after they’ve done a workout.

You can also support them during lifestyle changes (both deliberate and otherwise). Any recovery services you offer will align with the concept of lifestyle medicine, which aids members when making healthier lifestyle choices. All of this adds to your wellness story and strengthens your brand. As a bonus, ‘wellness’ provides an endless stream of content to create, share, and comment on.

Health and Wellness in Gyms

The wrap-up…

Adopting a total wellbeing approach is one of the most effective ways to improve member retention and boost your competitive advantage. By providing an inclusive space where your members can address all aspects of their health, you’re helping them to remain committed to their wellbeing goals—emotional, mental and spiritual as well as physical. Total wellbeing means just that—your members are going to feel better in every way—and that means they’re hardly likely to ditch a gym that provides that sense of overall wellness!

From saunas and ice baths to staff training and clever marketing, there are so many ways to incorporate wellness into your current services. It’s all about considering the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of your members and working out how your gym can help.

Well… what are you waiting for?


Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 18 June 2024

Last updated: 18 June 2024