Does your Program Offer Variety

Take a look at your class schedule. If 70 percent of it is dominated by step classes, you’re inviting boredom and denying your members the opportunity to grow. Many students are searching for ways to keep their workouts fresh and improve their training. You can help them accomplish their fitness goals by providing them with an aerobics schedule that will meet a variety of training needs and interests.

Broaden your vision and be willing to become educated about different modes of exercise. Fitness is more than cardio. Programs like water fitness, yoga, ball stability, tai chi and stretching are filling the gaps left by traditional aerobics classes to create a total fitness menu.

Look at the demographics of your community. Are there large segments of the population you’re not reaching? We tend to think of seniors, children and expectant mothers right away as special markets, but have you considered a program for AIDS patients, women recovering from breast surgery, the disabled or people with addictive behaviors? As we enter a new century, health clubs across the country are taking on a new role as partners with the health care industry and offering special classes to assist with various types of rehabilitation and preventive care.

Obviously, this necessitates a specialized staff with professional certifications. Check with the hospitals and doctors in your community to see what health needs are prevalent in your area, what programs can be developed and how you may work with them on a referral basis. Many physicians are recognizing the need for health promotion services provided by competent personnel, and you may be able to meet that need.

Look beyond the four walls of your aerobics room for possible class sites and ideas. Dynamic walking, which is popular in the San Francisco area, takes students outdoors and through various phases and levels of walking. Students go from basics to pace walking to speed, as well as hills and power walking.

Consider offering a sunset stretch class in a nearby park or an in-line skating class around a roped-off area of your parking lot. Not only will you be offering your members something fun and different, but you will draw attention to your program by being in the public eye. For added publicity, make sure your instructors wear the club logo.