Who Knew? Watching TV Can Promote Fitness!
Nobody would ever argue that sitting and watching television would make anyone more fit. But there is one area where watching high-quality television can actually promote greater fitness, and that’s when TV is combined with exercise itself. Increasing numbers of sports and fitness centres are finding that installing television sets in their facilities creates all kinds of benefits both for their customers and for their bottom lines.
Here are the top five reasons you should consider offering high-quality television programming to your fitness centre customers.
1. Breaking up the boring routine
After a while, even the best and most dynamic workout routine becomes exactly that — routine. Giving your customers the option of watching television while they lift weights, run on a treadmill or use any other equipment helps make every workout session unique and more interesting.
In fact, there is good evidence that watching TV while you work out can help you do so for longer periods, with less boredom and even at higher levels of intensity. It’s because of something the experts call disassociation — the ability to distract yourself from unpleasant tasks so they seem less difficult. A study in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science found that people who had access to music and personal television with 62 changeable channels exercised longer and came to the gym more often than those who only listened to music or who watched television with four non-changeable channels. A more recent study at the University of North Carolina concluded that “an individual could utilize music and video in combination as a method to perceive significantly less exertion when engaged in vigorous intensity exercise.”
2. Viewing options can be matched to exercise goals
Encourage your customers to use television programs to help them achieve their exercise goals. For example, adding extra calorie-burning minutes to a treadmill run could be as simple as choosing a longer show to watch. Athletes who want to incorporate high-intensity bursts into their routines can bump up their pace during commercial breaks. And watching different kinds of shows throughout the week can break up the repetition factor and encourage people to vary the length, intensity and other dynamics of their exercise routine.
3. Equipment is better and more convenient than ever
Lightweight plasma television sets matched with HD PVR receivers means you can deliver the high quality television programming your customers want. Installation is easier than ever with adaptable solutions that can easily integrate with your existing wiring and infrastructure.
4. Good content makes it easier to get to the gym
One Toronto technology strategist quoted in the New York Times recently said the only way she could drag herself out of bed for her early-morning marathon training sessions was by knowing that the next episode of the popular drama “24” would be waiting for her. “I would quicken my pace when the show got exciting,” Marjorie Kramer said. “Kiefer Sutherland was like my running partner.”
The flip side of this coin is that people do not have to choose between watching their favourite show or exercising — they know that the evening news or the latest episode of their favourite sitcom is waiting for them to watch as they work out, giving them an added incentive not to skip their workout.
5. It’s perfect for the after-workout cool down or social get together
Fitness centre operators with after-workout facilities such as a lounge or juice bar know that these can be some of the highest-margin elements of their business. Having live television programming on offer will encourage your customers to stay longer, interact with other club members and purchase more products. You can even make your sports club a destination for special-event programming like playoff games or the Olympics.
The bottom line: It’s good for your bottom line
Anything that brings your customers into your fitness centre more often, keeps them there longer and makes them happier and more satisfied while they are there has got to be good for your bottom line.
If you are a fitness centre owner, how do you use television programming to help your customers improve their use of your facility? If you are a fitness centre customer, how do you use television to make your workout routine better? Shares your experiences with us in the comments section below.