What motivates us to exercise regularly? Has your gym figured out the right hook to lure new members? Well, the answer to what truly inspires us to sweat it out might surprise you. Continue reading to discover how incorporating themes of mental health and wellness into your advertising campaign may boost membership sales.
Reason #1: Exercise kicks the blues to the curb.
As most long-term fitness buffs know, a little exercise goes a long way to reducing feelings of sadness. But for many individuals, exercise is worse than feeling bad. It’s doing something they’re bad at, while feeling lousy. Who wants that?
Yet research reveals regular exercise can actually prevent depression. According to a study in JAMA Psychiatry, as little as 2.5 hours per week of brisk walking lowers the risk of depression, compared with folks who forego the fitness activity. Even individuals who achieved less than the recommended amount felt better. This multi-study analysis with more than 191,000 participants concluded that about 11.5 percent of depression cases could have been prevented. So how about letting people know they’re not imagining it? Even the simplest exercise makes a difference.
Reason #2: Americans rely on exercise to feel better overall.
While actual physical exercise produces a host of physiological benefits that can make someone feel better — from increased blood flow to positive hormonal responses — the average person is more attuned to their emotional rather than physical response.
Mental/emotional well-being is the main reason for exercising, according to Mintel Group Limited’s “Exercise Trends – US – 2021” report. In fact, a full 78% of respondents cited this.
This strong percentage corresponds with Mintel’s other finding that digital fitness platforms — i.e., exercising alone — have not replaced gyms. People still want to be around other people. But instead of taking being together for granted, individuals now understand the value of a good morning salute. Of smiles from strangers. Of exercising in a communal setting.
So while building and maintaining their physical fitness is still a primary goal, the concepts of personal time, accountability, and socialization become vital components of their overall mental health.
This complex formula is especially embraced by older and aging fitness fans since COVID-19 illustrated the relationship between age, disease, and vulnerable mental states.
Reason #3: Exercise becomes a positive coping mechanism
For most of modern psychology, mental illness was seen as a physiological disease to be addressed with with a spectrum of tools, including medicine. Recently, and the pandemic accelerated this vision, groups such as the Global Wellness Institute have studied the connection between appropriate coping mechanisms and mental illness. Coping skills are the behaviors used to manage mental health. Exercise, meditation, and lifestyle choices all rank as healthy coping skills.
They’ve found good coping mechanisms can make it easier to manage difficult mental health problems. Conversely, even individuals without mental health issues may deteriorate emotionally if they don’t have the right coping skills when faced with a big problem, such as the pandemic.
Reason #4: We are concerned about our own mortality.
In a surprising outcome of a study done in Canada, researchers found messaging (a fancy word for advertising slogans) that used illness or death were more effective in producing responses than traditional, familiar ones such as obesity, financial cost, or social stigmas.
In addition, and surprisingly, the messages inspired more goal-setting and motivational behavior than traditional ones.
Promote mental, as well as, physical wellness
Please understand. We are not suggesting you should offer mental health services within your gym. That’s a whole different discussion. But if your advertising were to show prospective clients how your gym can make them feel better on a psychological, as well as physical level, you might find a boost in ad response. And attract in a new group of people – those interested in enjoying the community and culture you’ve worked so hard to build.
Our gym management software is priced to grow with your gym. We never take a percentage of sales, our flat monthly rate is based on membership, and we provide ongoing customer service to ensure you use our software to its best advantage. Call us today for a free demonstration on how we can lower your software management costs and free up more of your time and capital. Or tell us your perspective by becoming a guest on our “Gym Owner’s Podcast,” hosted by Anthony Pasquale, our #1 sales guy!