While there’s often a lot of focus on fitness when it comes to maintaining optimal health and wellbeing, nutrition can often be a forgotten part of the equation.
For many gym owners and fitness professionals it’s easier to focus on exercise because, let’s face it, that’s their passion.
But starting a nutrition program can lead to more than just a boost in smoothie consumption for your clients - they can also benefit your business for the long term.
Why nutrition programs are important
A nutrition program is an organised campaign that aims to educate clients on optimal ways of eating to maximise health and achieve their individual wellness goals.
Similar to a fitness challenge campaign they can be run on social media through a sequence of engaging posts, inspirational content and recommendations created in partnership with experts. They can also include in-person events such as workshops and meet-ups.
Other benefits of running a nutrition program for your business could potentially include:
Types of nutrition programs
We all know how important a good diet is for maintaining optimal weight and general wellbeing, but often it’s hard to separate fact and fiction in an era where health claims are a dime a dozen.
Studies have shown that diets don’t work for most people and that when people do diet most put the weight back on within a year.
Experts now agree that longer term lifestyle changes are better at improving a range of health outcomes, including maintaining a lower bodyweight.
Despite what we may have been told historically about the simple rule of calories in vs calories out - the reality is much more complex and can be different for each individual.
The best way to support clients in their journeys, whether it’s weight loss or general wellbeing, is to encourage a lifelong passion for healthy, delicious food that’s been minimally processed.
With this in mind, some ideas around different types of nutritional programs could include:
A post-pandemic detox program
Forget the old fashioned juice-cleanse or cabbage soup detox diets. In a post-pandemic world which saw spikes in both anxiety levels and alcohol consumption, a gentle recalibration could be perfect for your clients wanting to break some habits they’ve picked up in the past couple of years while also being kind to themselves and their bodies.
A 2022-friendly detox program could involve encouraging clients to reduce processed foods, alcohol and added sugar while spotlighting nutrient-dense whole foods which have been shown to improve both physical and mental health.
Women, especially those of childbearing age, have been shown to have different nutritional needs to men and are more likely to be low in a range of micronutrients, including iron, folate and calcium.
Focussing your nutrition program on women’s nutrition can be a great way of fostering a supportive network for your female clients, providing lifelong nutritional education and helping them to reduce their risks of adverse health conditions.
Mediterranean diets focus
Experts have long touted the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for reducing likelihood of developing serious and chronic diseases - but not many people actually know how to implement this way of eating into their everyday lives.
Enlisting the help of a nutritionist to help your clients embrace this way of eating could be a fantastic way of encouraging lifelong health and wellbeing.
How to start a nutrition program at your gym or studio
Once you’ve decided what kind of program is best suited to your clients it’s time to set the plan into action:
1. Set your goals
Setting out the goals of your program, and linking them to your broader goals for your business, before you begin will enable you to have the best chance of running a great campaign.
For example, you could aim to reach a certain level of engagement with your social media posts, or to sign up 10 new clients.
2. Find an expert
The first thing to avoid when running a nutrition program is making claims or giving advice without first getting the assistance of an expert such as a licensed nutritionist or dietitian.
As a fitness expert you know about exercise, but claims around diet and nutrition are best left to the professionals.
What works for you might not work for everyone and you could risk the health of your clients if you don’t follow the advice of a qualified expert.
Furthermore, engaging with experts in the field is a fantastic way to broaden your professional network as you connect with others in the health industry.
3. Decide on your approach
Will your nutrition program be run over social media only? Or will it encompass in-person events such as cooking classes and sharing meals?
Consider the main demographic within your client base you want to engage with and focus on what might attract and engage them.
Do you want to appeal to seniors? If so, then an in-person event could be appealing where a meal can be created and shared at a local venue.
For younger demographics such as yogis they might be more open to an online-only program where they can share their engagement with their social media followers.
4. Engage with clients
Clubworx’s range of marketing tools will make it easy to engage with clients over a variety of platforms including email and SMS.
Employing the use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram will also help reach interested clients - this is also a fantastic way of increasing leads as they share their experiences with their online network.