15 Apr 2024 HCM Handbook
 

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Health Club Management Handbook - A ray of sunshine

Editor's letter

A ray of sunshine


While energy prices and the cost of living continue to make trading tough, we’re confident the fitness industry will keep adding value to members’ lives.

Research shows people laugh five times more when they’re with others than when they’re alone shutterstock / Kzenon

It’s possible to be overwhelmed by the challenges the universe has been throwing at us all over the last few years, but among the disruption, the health and fitness industry is offering chinks of light and hopefulness in achievable daily doses.

The growth of group exercise is notable, given people’s hunger for social contact and being able to work out together is a huge driver of health club attendance.

Research has shown that feeling awe helps people fight mental illness, while also lengthening lives and working out in a group is one way of experiencing this.

Collective effervescence is its sociological term – that energy and harmony you feel when experiencing something with others.

During the past three years there have been so many contributing factors to the mental illness tsunami we’re seeing in societies all around the world, but the lack of face-to-face time and companionship has certainly made it even harder for many people to cope with the tough times.

Research shows people laugh five times more when they’re with others than when they’re alone and those little social connections, such as smiling at strangers and exchanging pleasantries with the health club reception team, have been proven to be incredibly important for our health, wellbeing and longevity. Loneliness kills.

By just offering up the space for people to do communal exercise, the industry is doing a massive service for humankind and one of my top predictions for 2023 and beyond is that group exercise – and the resulting collective effervescence – will be pushed to ever more exciting places.

Fast exercise, gentle exercise, walking groups, mindfulness practices, lectures and events... I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Kath Hudson
editor, HCM Handbook
@kath_hudson


Originally published in HCM Handbook 2023 edition

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