LIV North has been working exceptionally hard to keep their members motivated and engaged since the shut down in March. The various virtual challenges created by the LIV North team were in addition to continuing to deliver virtual LIVE and recorded classes every day through our LIV X app, creating virtual newsletters, delivering instagram content and staying in direct contact with members and clients. The success achieved through these virtual challenges was tremendous. Themes for the challenges touched on all aspects of health and wellness including mental health, physical health and social connectedness. The LIV North team was able to adapt events originally designed as an ‘on site/in person’ experience and turn them into virtual formats. Not only did existing members participate, their families, friends and coworkers were also drawn in to create a new level of interest and activity.
Through social media, LIV North’s team were able to bring together members and keep them engaged. Stephen Grey put together the very successful Goofy Plank Challenge and My J Workout through Instagram and Facebook for the Schwartz/Reisman Centre and Prosserman JCC (located in Toronto). The Goofy Plank Challenge saw over 500 posts/stories between Instagram and Facebook. 250+ people across North America, representing over 30 cities, then came together to attend a Live Plank Party as a finale to the month long challenge.
Not only were team members leveraging social media platforms more, they also began to use training apps like Strava to provide programming. As an example, team members created a well received For Fun Virtual 5K with an accompanied 5K Training Plan to help participants train.
LIV North’s Facility Manager, Curtis , at St. Clair College ran a challenge called 5 Things/5 Day. It challenged members to complete 5 tasks for 5 days. These tasks focused on 5 dimensions of wellness such as Physical – be active for 30 minutes, Social – connect (virtually) with a family member, loved one or friend, mental – read for 20 minutes, occupational – ensure your workspace is tidy before you start work for the day and environmental – get outside for 15 minutes.
Whereas in Calgary our City Centre manager put together a Stay Connected Challenge in which each week had a different task of connection: Personal connection, community connection, social connection, physical body connection and real world connection (i.e. unplugging from technology). They also put together a 20 in 30 Challenge: a physical activity challenge where a participant needed to get a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise for 20 days in the month of April. Lastly they did an Around the World in 20 days: a wellness challenge on social media where people had to complete a task related to an international location. Every task related to 5 pillars of wellness: physical; mental; financial; social and community/spiritual.
For Shaw Centre, our team created a Fitness based word search, The Word Search Workout. Participants were then encouraged to create their own workout from the exercises that were found in the word search. The Everyday Challenge in May, saw members and friends completing one activity every day by following a calendar that was made available through a weekly Newsletter. Exercises and activities were presented through daily videos so that participants could follow clear and safe directions. The daily challenges in May were specifically connected to Mind and Body, to shine a spotlight on May’s Mental Health Week.
These are just a small sampling of the challenges that can be created to keep members engaged and active as a community outside of the walls of any fitness centre.
Fitness centres only need imagination, creativity and a social media presence to capitalize on the popularity of offering challenges to keep members engaged. One could consider adding a charitable component as well for an even better way to promote their business and make a difference to the community.