If you are considering just buying a few weight machines and a few stationary bikes or treadmills and saying, "We have a fitness center in our community"... think again!
Residents are now looking for a much more diversified experience that meets their personal fitness needs. This means you will need to cater to everyone from the yogis to the cardio bunnies to the power lifters - and everyone in between.
Whether you have a brand new fitness center or a program that has been around for quite some time, upgrading and enhancing what you already have can help make your community's fitness program cater to everybody.
The following are some great tips and advice on where to start with upgrading your fitness program and making the most of what you have to offer your residents in terms of fitness and health:
Consider A Sauna & Hot Tub:
If you offer a swimming pool (most home owner's associations do) consider adding a sauna and a hot tub to the area. Many people enjoy using the sauna to "detox" and sweat out toxins in their bodies. Others will love to use the hot tub after a hard workout in the gym as they relax their muscles and recover before their next workout.
Invest In "Healthy" Vending Machines:
Many companies are now making vending machines that offer healthier snacks to people than just chips and candy. Consider even upgrading your current machines to include things like 0 calorie unsweetened bottled tea or bottled water. Try snacks like baked rather than regular chips or whole grain snacks or even peanut butter crackers or nuts and sunflower seeds in your vending machines. People who are trying to eat healthier will appreciate the added options to grab something on the go, either during a workout or on their way to work or running errands with the family.
Consider A Playground:
If you don't already have a playground on the premises, it's a great addition for families with children. It allows children to have a safe space to play and activities to do. It can help get the kids out of the house and keep them physical and active as part of your "fitness community", starting from a younger age. Make hiking and walking trails stroller/wagon/etc. friendly (i.e. no uneven surfaces so the children are safe while out and about with their parents, etc.) so kids can join their parents while they are walking, hiking, biking, or doing other fun outdoor activities nearby. Also, offering more family oriented parent/child classes and even fun activities like basketball or tennis for kids (if facilities are available) can help even the youngest members of the community stay engaged and active and families will appreciate the options to include their children in their fitness routines as well!
Check The Age Of Your Equipment:
Many residents will want newer equipment in the gym at their recreation center. The newer machines will tend to offer more fitness features (i.e. offering different cardio program settings/a variety of weight settings, a variety of different difficulty levels, measure heart rate, tell a user calories burnt [many do it based on entered height/weight/age in newer machines], etc.) than older machines. Residents are paying to use the fitness facility, so they want their money's worth in newer machines. If your machines are more than 10 years old or in poor repair, consider investing in upgrades.
Consider Outdoor Space That Can Be Used For Workouts:
Consider outdoor areas that the community offers that could be used as additional fitness resources. This can include water aerobics in the pool or even hiking or biking on local nature trails that surround the property. Offering other fitness opportunities such as tennis courts or a basketball court provide residents with a fun, competitive activity that they can do to stay in shape.
Provide a variety of scheduled activities and at least on a monthly basis to allow residents to plan ahead for what activities or classes they want to attend. Having the schedule out a couple weeks before the calendar starts can help residents plan ahead to ensure that they are aware of what activities will be occurring.
Consider Offering Lessons:
Complimentary lessons held on a monthly/quarterly/etc. basis are a perk many residents will love to take advantage of. Whether it's offering sports lessons at facilities located on the property such as basketball lessons or tennis lessons or even something like bocce or shuffleboard, people love learning new things and finding more ways to stay fit. Lessons on how to use new fitness equipment in the recreation center is also worth considering. Almost all residents are going to be interested in something if you offer opportunities to get involved and consider what might appeal to different groups of your tenants.
These are a few great ideas that community associations can consider including in their health/fitness programs that are offered to residents. Residents will appreciate the options and the variety of ways to stay fit and healthy while also having choices as to what appeals to them. Finally, remember, when considering a fitness program for your community association, you must think of what various populations in your area will be interested in. Older folks might be interested more in Zumba or Pilates classes or water aerobics and learning how to play bocce or shuffleboard than in hardcore weightlifting programs. Young crowds might enjoy basketball and tennis lessons. Families might enjoy "parent and child" classes where the whole family can get fit and have fun together. Offering something for everyone will be a key to helping you ensure that your community association's fitness program is comprehensive and useful for all residents.
For more information on how to create a more comprehensive community fitness plan that appeals to all residents in your community, GrandManors can help contact us.