Editor’s letter
Uniting exercisers of all types

Identifying exerciser motivation helps operators to tailor their services to their members, but does highlighting the different reasons why people work out do more harm than good?

By Dr Lauretta Ihonor | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 3


Results from a recent poll of 2,000 women landed in my inbox this week. The top line? ‘More women now work out for wellbeing than weight loss.’ It’s a trend we’re seeing more and more of as the recognition of the mental and physical health benefits of exercise continues to grow across the globe.

It’s undeniable that physical activity has so much more to offer than just weight loss, but is our eagerness to spread this message making those who do want to exercise for weight loss feel somewhat vilified?

An industry expert recently told me that weight loss is now considered a ‘dirty’ phrase that few consumers wish to align themselves with. Many, she said, now use the phrase ‘get healthy’ when they really mean ‘lose weight’.

Research by Leisure-net appears to support her claim. As reported by Leisure-net’s director Mike Hill (see HCM August 2017, p78), findings from the company’s past surveys have shown that members of the public tend to under-report their desire to exercise to improve body shape.

At a time when obesity remains the second most common cause of premature death in Europe – smoking is number one – it feels absurd that overweight individuals who are admirably striving to lose weight should feel embarrassed to admit it.

So what can we, as an industry, do to remedy this?

While understanding member motivation is essential for health clubs seeking to better tailor their offerings to members, perhaps more can be done to avoid categorising exercisers in marketing materials. Instead, all reasons for getting active could be equally championed.

After all, as long as a person is physically active on a regular basis, he or she will reap the wide spectrum of benefits exercising has to offer, regardless of his or her primary intention. Heart health improves in those who run to improve their mood, just as physical fitness increases among overweight individuals who cycle to lose weight.

By encouraging safe and non-excessive exercise, regardless of intention, we may be able to unite exercisers of all types in a common goal of improving their lives through physical activity. And achieving this unity may be the change that’s needed to inspire action among those who currently feel like fitness is a movement they can’t identify with.

 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
24 Nov 2020 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine

Features List



SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2018 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Uniting exercisers of all types

Editor’s letter

Uniting exercisers of all types


Identifying exerciser motivation helps operators to tailor their services to their members, but does highlighting the different reasons why people work out do more harm than good?

Dr Lauretta Ihonor
Building muscle and losing weight are common reasons for exercising Photo: shutterstock.com

Results from a recent poll of 2,000 women landed in my inbox this week. The top line? ‘More women now work out for wellbeing than weight loss.’ It’s a trend we’re seeing more and more of as the recognition of the mental and physical health benefits of exercise continues to grow across the globe.

It’s undeniable that physical activity has so much more to offer than just weight loss, but is our eagerness to spread this message making those who do want to exercise for weight loss feel somewhat vilified?

An industry expert recently told me that weight loss is now considered a ‘dirty’ phrase that few consumers wish to align themselves with. Many, she said, now use the phrase ‘get healthy’ when they really mean ‘lose weight’.

Research by Leisure-net appears to support her claim. As reported by Leisure-net’s director Mike Hill (see HCM August 2017, p78), findings from the company’s past surveys have shown that members of the public tend to under-report their desire to exercise to improve body shape.

At a time when obesity remains the second most common cause of premature death in Europe – smoking is number one – it feels absurd that overweight individuals who are admirably striving to lose weight should feel embarrassed to admit it.

So what can we, as an industry, do to remedy this?

While understanding member motivation is essential for health clubs seeking to better tailor their offerings to members, perhaps more can be done to avoid categorising exercisers in marketing materials. Instead, all reasons for getting active could be equally championed.

After all, as long as a person is physically active on a regular basis, he or she will reap the wide spectrum of benefits exercising has to offer, regardless of his or her primary intention. Heart health improves in those who run to improve their mood, just as physical fitness increases among overweight individuals who cycle to lose weight.

By encouraging safe and non-excessive exercise, regardless of intention, we may be able to unite exercisers of all types in a common goal of improving their lives through physical activity. And achieving this unity may be the change that’s needed to inspire action among those who currently feel like fitness is a movement they can’t identify with.


Originally published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 3

Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd