Gym member, and nutrition client engagement during the holidays is one of the toughest things to navigate as a gym owner. People legitimately get busy with work events, school events, and gathering with friends and family. Instead of relying on their nutrition coaching, and gym membership to help hold them accountable, multiple clients use “this time of year” as an excuse to take a break from their health and wellness goals. Their physical activity goes down, their food choices become poor, and their overall lifestyle lacks focus on long term health goals.
As gym owners, and nutrition coaches, we need to find ways to motivate nutrition clients, and gym members during this busy season to stay on track, and maintain focus with their healthy habits. In this blog post we will highlight three tips to help increase client motivation, and keep nutrition client engagement high during the holidays.
Why Is It Important To Increase Client Engagement During The Holidays?
Open communication, accountability, and ongoing support are crucial for helping nutrition clients, and gym members maintain a healthy lifestyle. The last thing we want to see is our once engaged membership lose progress because of the stigma associated with a few days in the year.
It’s important to keep our clients engaged for a few reasons:
Maintain Health And Nutrition Goals
The holiday season often brings, a chaotic schedule, an abundance of tempting, indulgent foods, plus added opportunities to consume alcohol. Engaging with clients, and providing accountability helps motivate clients to focus on their health, and nutrition goals.
Health goals are important for several reasons:
Prevent Weight Gain: The holiday season is often associated with calorie-dense foods. By maintaining focus on health goals, clients are more likely to make conscious choices, which can prevent excessive weight gain.
Promote Long-Term Health: Consistency in healthy eating habits is key to maintaining long-term health. Ignoring health goals during the holidays can lead to setbacks that are harder to recover from in the long run.
Stress Management: The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. Prioritizing health outcomes can serve as a positive outlet for managing stress. Regular physical activity, and balanced meals can help alleviate some of the emotional strain.
Prevent Emotional Eating: Emotional eating can be triggered by holiday-related stress, loneliness, or other emotions. Helping clients recognize, and address emotional eating patterns will promote a healthier relationship with food.
Setting a Positive Example: Clients who prioritize healthy strategies during the holidays serve as positive role models for friends and family. This can inspire others to make healthier choices as well.
Building Resilience: Staying committed to health, even during challenging times like the holidays, helps create resilience and reinforces positive habits. It demonstrates that clients have the capability to make healthy choices in any situation.
Avoiding Guilt and Regret: Straying too far from “healthy” during the holidays can lead to feelings of guilt and regret. Staying on track helps clients identify as healthy and allows them to avoid these negative emotions.
Enhancing Overall Well-Being: A focus on health goals goes beyond physical health. It encompasses mental, emotional, and social well-being as well. Prioritizing health during the holidays contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
Consistency is key when it comes to achieving any goal. By staying engaged with clients during the holidays, you help them establish a routine that includes healthy eating habits, and exercise. Encourage them to keep their nutrition coaching sessions, and fitness routine. Doing so will help the client progress during this time of year, rather than feel setbacks.
Client Retention Leads To Business Success
Selfishly our business must succeed. Keeping clients motivated using simple client engagement tools primarily helps them, but also helps the gym owner, and nutrition coach stay in business. If clients are not partaking in our services our business will suffer.
4 Tips To Increase Gym Member & Nutrition Client Engagement During The Holidays
Remember that nutrition client engagement means more than just providing meal plans, and doing biometrics. Client needs vary but offering several types of engagement opportunities outside of the wellness clients individual coaching sessions, and group classes for gym members will provide additional guidance clients can practice during “this time of year.”
Here are some of the engagement types we suggest to help support clients and keep them on track.
Tip #1 - Host A Holiday Nutrition Talk
Nutrition talks are a great way to get in front of people to educate them on nutrition, and wellness strategies.
Nutrition talks keep the topic of nutrition at the forefront of peoples minds creating engagement
They help support people by providing information that can be applied to their life in order to help them live a life of health and wellness
Nutrition talks set you up to the be the expert, solidifying the legitimacy of your program to current members, and potential new clients who get wind of your program
They are also a great way to get leads for your program. By offering the nutrition talk free to both internal members, and externally to your community, you will likely gain some new followers
Tip #2 - Host A Holiday Meal Prep Swap
Meal planning, and prepping is an activity many people struggle with. Additionally, a person will be more successful if they are prepared. Organizing a gym wide meal prep swap has been a proven method of helping nutrition clients, and gym members eat healthy. They get to sample a variety of different recipes they may not normally make for themselves, and they are set up for a weeks worth of lunches or dinners.
Here is how a meal prep swap works…
Set a date for the swap. (We usually do a Sunday afternoon for an hour.)
Create a google sheet to have people sign up for the meal prep swap
On sign up form get their name, phone number & the recipe they are making
You can provide a list of recipes to choose from, or you can allow people to make whatever they like. The requirements are:
It has to be a healthy recipe (low saturated fat, no ultra processed ingredients)
They have to make 5 servings
The ingredients, and macro breakdown per serving must be provided on each container
People bring there prepared meals in & set them on a huge table. Everyone participating each grabs a different meal from the table of prepped meals.
All participants should walk away with 5 different meals as long as there were at least 5 people who participate
Tip #3 - Host Gym Wide Mini Fitness & Nutrition Challenges
This isn’t the same as the nutrition challenges you run a couple of times per year. These mini challenges are completely different. We are talking about short events where people can engage for a week or so, then be eligible to win a prize.
Here are some ideas:
Create a bingo card that includes fitness, and nutrition challenges. You can even include a couple of spots that will help grow the gym like, leave a GOOGLE review, invite a friend to a nutrition talk, or tag us on social media in your sweaty selfie. When someone completes an entire line they get BINGO. Winners of BINGO get a prize like a gym shaker bottle, a shirt, or if you have partnerships with local businesses, you could get them involved to donate prizes.
12 Days Of Fitness
12 Days of Fitness is a great way to get the entire gym involved in fitness! Each day, during the 12 days, members complete 4 tasks. If they complete all 4 tasks each of the 12 days, they get a prize!
Tasks should be associated with fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle. An example could be each day a person has to:
Get in 30 minutes of movement
Drink 1/2 their body weight in water
Eat veggies with 2 meals per day
Say a kind word to one person each day
These are just examples, you can make the mini challenges whatever you would like them to be as long as they are related to fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Seems to simple right!? Well, simplicity wins in many situations. If your gym members aren’t getting to the gym, and your nutrition only clients aren’t working out, it seems like a win to me! Incentivize them to at least get their steps in!
Offering a prize for a certain number of steps per day can really help engage, and motive clients. It could even be set up on a tiered system so that a couple of people will get a prize. The highest tier could be between 10k – 12k steps, middle tier could be 8k – 9,999k steps, and the low tier could be 6,000 – 7,999 steps. If people aren’t getting in 6k steps, then they get no prize.
Make the prizes for the upper tier better than the prizes for the lower tier. Again think of community partnerships. If you don’t have any, it’s not to late to develop at least 1 before December.
Tip #4 - Member Checkins or Goal Setting Sessions
There is not better way than to engage with your members than a one on one session. Meeting with someone individually helps build trust, and camaraderie. If you haven’t read our blog on member checkins, often called member goal setting sessions, then I highly suggest you do.
Adding this to your task list as a gym owner is highly important. They are seen primarily as a retention strategy, but are also used to increase engagement, and as a revenue source. Many times an upsell happens out of these sessions.
During the holidays the best outcome would be for these sessions to help your clients to stay engaged. Planning out their new year “resolutions” would be a good practice during these holiday session. Additionally it would be a great way to highlight the upcoming new year nutrition challenge if you are running one.
Just because the holidays are synonymous for motivation to slow, and wellness to diminish, it doesn’t have to be that way. Gym owners, and clients can find success during “this time of year”. Gym member and nutrition client engagement will remain high if you implement a simple plan.
After reading this blog, make a plan for yourself. Have a staff meeting, get your coaches involved, and come up with some fun ways to keep members working out, and not eating like savages during the holidays this year!