To give you an idea of just how big wellbeing and self-care have become in the last few years, take a look at Apple’s App Trend of the Year for 2018. Yes, you guessed, it – self-care. It’s become big business not only for people who’ve dedicated their careers to it but also for app and tech developers, business owners and HR departments – and it’s quickly becoming an essential lifestyle choice for all of us.
As well as the obvious mental health benefits, this means big things for gym owners all over the UK. An essential element of self-care is keeping the body healthy while focusing on positive mental health practices at the same time. In the busy world of supplying insurance, we could certainly do with a good bit of wellbeing from time to time, so we looked into how it works and how it can benefit our valued clients.
Why is everyone talking about wellbeing and self-care?
According to research by the NHS, mental health problems amongst the population have been steadily increasing for the last 30 years. Subsequently, workplace wellbeing programmes have become more prominent, filtering down from large organisations and into small and medium-sized businesses.
There’s no suggestion that wellbeing and self-care have become alternatives for medical treatments and prescribed medication, but their combinations are certainly preferable for avoiding the point whereby medical attention becomes necessary. Furthermore, when combined with physical wellbeing, people have a perfect triangle of achievable care, and a formula for good health, long-term.
The British Chamber of Commerce acknowledges not only the importance of wellbeing and self-care but also their intrinsic link to good physical health. With more people involved in what they refer to as ‘sedentary work’, like sitting at a computer for long periods (admittedly like we insurance professionals do), employers have been keen to encourage staff to develop a better, all-round-healthier, home/life balance.
How gyms can really jump on board with the trend
With employers and app developers alike all encouraging people to take better care of their mental and physical health, gym owners can expect to see a few more members through their doors. In fact, according to a study published by the BBC, the physical health side of things is actually much more important to a busy employee than something like a dedicated meditation room, or equivalent, in the workplace.
This makes sense when you think about it. No matter how relaxed you get in the workplace, you’re still very much at work. Therefore, for every meditation break, there will remain numerous tasks and emails floating around in the conscience, whereas the gym is an immediate escape to another location. Furthermore, as you will know, it’s easy to focus on what you’re doing while you’re exercising (sorry if it’s not quite like that while you’re actually working in the gym, though!).
However, by encouraging the same self-care and wellbeing practices in your gym that your clients may be practising themselves or learning at work, you’ll have another layer of customer service they can buy into. You may already run yoga classes, or maybe Pilates, where a focus on breathing works in a similar way to meditation – but what about applying that practice elsewhere, too?
Something as simple as a series of posters in the changing rooms or strategically positioned around the gym could promote positive self-care and wellbeing practices, too. You can encourage gym users to focus on their breathing, get more sleep, consume less caffeine – and explain how this, in itself, is self-care and can lead to better mental wellbeing.
While many regular gym users may already know a great deal about how physical and mental wellbeing are linked, there will no doubt be others who aren’t aware of how one affects the other, and so forth. Also, what about new members?
While you’re inducting them, and perhaps calculating their body composition and exploring their goals, have they mentioned any particular ‘stressors’ in their life? Lack of sleep, for instance, or pre-work anxiety? Some people won’t realise that, by learning to focus on muscle groups and form while exercising, they can channel this into achieving better emotional health elsewhere.
Combine physical and mental well-being services
Shape highlights an intriguing trend in big box gyms, whereby clients are encouraged to “linger longer” in order to benefit from restorative pre-and-post-workout care. This also gives people the opportunity to mingle, meet others, and discuss progress with staff – another opportunity for you to learn what your clients are experiencing in life, both physically and emotionally, right now.
The gym is the ultimate place to achieve a positive balance with both. Verywell Mind is one of many wellbeing sites promoting the positives of self-care and its beneficial effect on both physical and emotional health. You could approach the concept by packaging self-care as what your clients can do to ensure the work they put in at the gym has the ultimate impact.
Even if you’re no expert yourself, then, and your client is not receiving the same advice in the workplace, you can promote the likes of meditation, self-reflection and emotional awareness – and then discuss the client’s progress on their next visit. If you’ve met a freelance mobile wellbeing expert while networking, you’ve got the opportunity to collaborate on a little marketing together, too.
Even if you haven’t got the right facilities to provide dedicated wellbeing classes (meditation included), a big part of self-care is mindset – and you’re no doubt already an expert when it comes to that! Therefore, in the same way that you inspire your clients to push themselves physically, you can guide them towards not punishing themselves mentally, too.
Don’t forget to do a little bit of self-care on yourself along the way. To ensure ultimate peace of mind when it comes to protecting your business, call our team today to discuss your gym insurance. We might not be experts in self-care and wellbeing just yet, but we certainly know how to help you take care of your business. Call us on 020 8655 0444 or click here for a quote today.