3 Ways Your Gym Can Be a Refuge
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown off everyday life for your gym, but also for your gym’s members and the community around you. With this perspective in mind, you can find ways to help your community with your gym while benefiting your business at the same time. It’s an example of coming together to move forward collectively. Here are three ways your gym can become a refuge for the community.
Provide Social Support and Community
For the past few months, people have faced a lot of isolation from other people. This lack of social engagement can be harmful in many ways, including the loss of:
- Emotional support
- Comfort from human touch
- Help coping with stress
There are so many benefits of social support for people, including improvements to mental health, self-esteem and physical health.
Your gym has the opportunity to bring back a form of social support to the people in your community. Even with adaptations and precautions for safety, you can bring people back together into the same room instead of them staying separated within their own homes. As many people in the community may still have instability in other areas of their lives, which impacts their normal forms of social engagement, you can provide an ongoing source of companionship, stability and social support.
You can also facilitate and promote this social support by creating special activities designed to encourage in-person social engagement. For example, do get-to-know-you classes and something like an encouragement bulletin board that celebrates your members.
Gyms are a great source of stress-relief for many reasons. They provide exercise, mental health boosts, social support and a refuge from home that can all release stress. This is an important benefit of the gym, especially during this difficult time when people need stress-relief more than ever.
You can encourage the stress relief of the gym more than usual by creating a relaxing atmosphere. You can adapt this idea to fit your gym. Some gyms make their entire building have a less intense and more calming atmosphere through features like softer music and lighting, and more gentle encouragement with less yelling. Alternatively, you could provide calm times at the gym, a designated relaxation area and/or stress-relieving classes like gentle yoga, meditation and power-nap sessions.
Provide Charitable Contributions
Another way to be a refuge is to find ways to help people in your community through charitable contributions. As a local business or local site of a larger gym system, your gym has the opportunity to bring people together and provide support. You can adapt the idea to fit your gym, your community and the types of charitable efforts that fit your preferences or your brand. Through charitable activities, you can both help those in need while giving an emotional and social boost to those who are helping.
Here are some examples of ways your gym can help others:
- Collect donations to help people who are struggling
- Run a fundraiser
- Provide free or low-cost gym services to local charities or people who fit certain criteria
- Encourage your staff and members to volunteer together toward a local charity or project like our Sally Strong service project
- Host a socially distanced event with a charitable focus
In addition to making your gym a refuge, these three focuses provide people in your community with a benefit of going to the gym in person instead of working out at home. You can turn this into an opportunity to bring people back and get your business moving forward again.