And How to Cater to an Aging Population of Gym-Goers
Seniors make up 40% of the U.S. population, and this demographic is steadily growing. Baby boomers spend more on health care and personal care than any other age group. Most of them know that regular exercise is crucial for their health and improved quality of life. However, many older adults are still put off by standard gyms and avoid attending them.
Here are the top five reasons that seniors tend to avoid big-box gyms.
Millions of people are alienated by big-box gyms and boutique fitness due to health, lack of experience, or low motivation.
The classes and equipment available at these gyms often cater to a young and fit segment of the population. This leaves baby boomers struggling to keep up or compete with younger gym-goers.
This could even create a sense of competition that might push them to exceed their limitations and get hurt. Or, it could lead to shame and fear of judgment if they lack the ability that the other gym-goers possess.
Classes designed for members with limited experience or capabilities create an inclusive environment that encourages everyone to participate without fear or intimidation. Coaches with specialized training can also generate more confidence among your senior members while ensuring their safety during exercise.
2. Support and Guidance
Many baby boomers looking to begin exercising may not have exercised in several years, or perhaps at all. They may be at a loss for where to begin.
Fear of injury can be a huge roadblock on the journey to getting healthy, especially to those who may have pre-existing health concerns. Baby boomers might need more personalized assistance to get them on track, but the costs of personal training can be daunting.
Allowing members to move at their own pace will create a better experience and prevent injury. Encourage members to ask questions and get involved with their health plans!
3. Health-Focused Goals
Often, people 55 and older are looking to join a gym due to one or more health concerns. These can include obesity, disease prevention, balance, endurance, preventing the need for surgery, reducing medications, or increasing functional movement.
Many gyms advertise their services as helping with weight loss to get that “bikini body.” Some gyms might boast a “calorie-blasting” exercise program or promote a detox juice cleanse. These goals simply don’t align with why baby boomers seek out gyms and may make them feel unwelcome or ashamed.
By focusing on better health rather than better bodies, you will encourage community members to get moving for the right reason. You will also show them that your business is safe, welcoming, and health-oriented. Exercising then becomes an enjoyable activity rather than a chore or obligation that we do out of guilt or shame.
4. Fitting In
Comparison to others is one of the largest barriers keeping the older generation from going to the gym. Many seniors also use their exercise routine as a way of getting out and meeting new people. If they do not feel a sense of community at the gym they go to, they might lose motivation to keep going back.
They might feel unable to make personal connections at a gym filled with young adults training for marathons and high-intensity group classes. Providing members with the opportunity to meet other people with similar goals will create a sense of community that keeps people coming back.
5. Medical Limitations
60% of adults in the United States and Canada experience some sort of chronic disease. Heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, COPD, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other health concerns can dictate an individual’s ability to exercise safely.
Clients may need additional guidance to address specific health concerns. Often, seniors and those experiencing chronic diseases would benefit from a specific and individualized exercise plan.
Exercising with a chronic disease can be dangerous if not properly supervised. For many people experiencing these limitations, working out at a big box gym with heavy equipment and little to no supervision can be dangerous.
A better alternative is a smaller gym that offers supervision from trained staff and provides individualized work out plans based on each members’ ability.
Attracting Baby Boomers to Your Business
There is a strong need and desire for baby boomers to attend gyms and exercise more. We need to focus on the goals of the aging population and factor in health concerns that come with age.
The 55 and up population needs exercise just as much, if not more than younger generations. As this segment of our population grows, we need to be thinking of innovative solutions that bring healthy habits and chronic disease solutions to this demographic.
SPRINGWELL Exercise Clinic has identified this need and is leading the way in clinically supervised exercise. With a profitable and predictable business model, the SPRINGWELL franchise allows motivated franchisees to bring this revolutionary concept to their own communities.
Interested? Schedule a call with us here to learn more about the SPRINGWELL opportunity.Tags: Exercise, fitness, fitness trends, franchising, gyms, health, seniors