They say sometimes a fire built on a hill will bring interested people to your campfire. Many fitness and health facilities have reached out to us regarding what to do during the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The most important mindset to have is to want to connect with your facility members and be a resource for them.

While some members will physically stay away from your gym, fitness facility or health club, embrace becoming an “entity without walls” and extend your reach to your community beyond the confines of your facility. Here are some facility management ideas to ensure you remain successful during this challenging time.

collection of home gym equipment

Facility Management Ideas During COVID-19

  1. Reassure members and guests who continue to visit your facility that you have heightened cleaning and sterilization procedures and encourage them to appropriately wipe down equipment after use to protect other community members.
  2. COMMUNICATE your efforts consistently via social media as well as signage throughout your facility.
  3. Increase daily staff to perform additional cleaning. If members see staff consistently cleaning they will be reassured of their safety as well as be reminded to wipe down fitness equipment themselves.
  4. Create virtual fitness or health programs. Many clubs are investing in web cameras that can broadcast classes and be remotely joined by members who choose to stay at home. This keeps your members connected and in use of your services if they choose not to physically enter the facility. An Active Entities client in New York has sold over 50 weekly virtual fitness packages to cabin-feverish community members who’ve heard of their virtual programming!
  5. Offer “fun” live video sessions. Health clubs that can film in kitchens are offering fun 45-minute healthy cooking classes while others film segments with special guest virtual interviews. In these times of social distancing, communication is critical. Encourage communication without physical interaction by inviting your members to join in group chat sessions.
  6. Produce a weekly e-newsletter to your members with fun facts, suggestions for safe indoor activities, as well as suggestions on how to use household items as fitness equipment to help members stay active when gyms are closed and people are encouraged to isolate.

    Add in fun features such as recipes, fitness word searches, club trivia, “spotlight members” who send funny pictures of themselves in creative home gyms they’ve set up, and other creative ideas to engage your members and keep them connected to your business.

  7. Create virtual training opportunities at your clients’ homes. Professional trainers can virtually direct workouts at their homes, creatively utilizing household items or exercise bands to simulate workouts they do in the gym.
  8. Create Zoom remote classes for kids. It’s as important for kids to stay active as it is for parents to feel the relief of having their kids occupied and productive in a safe environment. With many schools engaging in remote classroom work, the need for kids to stay active has never been more important.
  9. Offer virtual meditation and mindfulness techniques and classes.These are challenging times and it is uncertain how long this state of emergency will last. Leading remote relaxation and mindfulness programs for your community will reinforce your brand while providing needed resources for relaxation or staying active.
  10. Have a re-entry game plan for members for when the crisis is over. Your members will be eager to come back to your gym, fitness facility, or health club upon the conclusion of the crisis. Have new programs and re-entry pathways established for members and future members so that their experiences will be even better than they remembered. Use the “down time” productively with your staff as you prepare for the spring and summer.
It is said that out of adversity comes opportunity and for fitness facilities, there are great opportunities to positively impact members during these difficult times. As we know from experiencing long Massachusetts winters, people who are confined often experience negative feelings from lack of physical activity and engagement. Help your members through self quarantining and social distancing and embrace being their resource for healthy activity. Be creative and consistent with your communication and help ease community restlessness through reinforcing the benefits of keeping active.