In today’s world, it’s important for everyone to have access to the same amenities, regardless of ability. This mentality is especially important in the fitness space. There aren’t many gyms set up for the needs of people with physical disabilities. According to online polls, 81% of people with disabilities don’t feel comfortable in fitness spaces like gyms and health clubs.
If you want to turn the tides and create a space where everyone can work out, here are four tips to help you create and promote an inclusive gym.
Distribute flyers to attract more members
Since many people with disabilities don’t feel comfortable in fitness spaces, they might not seek out a new gym. You’ll need to tell them that your gym is different with flyers and advertisements. And one of the best ways to spread the exciting news of your inclusive gym is with fitness flyers.
Whether you want to hang your flyers around town or post them on social media (or both), they’re a great way to showcase your new gym and all the inclusive services it has to offer. Since you’re busy setting up your new gym, templates are a great way to design professional-level flyers without needing professional-level design skills.
There are plenty of free fitness flyer templates on websites like PosterMyWall. Simply browse through the hundreds of templates, choose the one that best fits your gym, update the information, and you’re ready to print or post. It’s that simple!
Train your staff to be more disability confident
One of the reasons people with disabilities don’t feel comfortable in fitness spaces is because of the staff. Personal trainers and other gym workers are typically more comfortable working with abled people. They understand how the machines work for the average person and might not know how to provide helpful workout tips for those with disabilities.
To make everyone feel more comfortable in your gym, be sure to train your staff to be more disability confident. Teach them how people of different ability levels can use specific pieces of equipment and ability-specific workouts to suggest. With more knowledge comes more confidence. Your staff will be more helpful to your clientele, and your members will be more comfortable around your staff. Win, win!
Hire a more diverse staff
People always feel more comfortable around people who understand their situation. The key to starting an inclusive gym is to hire a more diverse staff. You want team members of various demographics, backgrounds, and physical abilities to ensure all your members are well represented.
Not only does a more diverse staff make members with disabilities feel more comfortable, but they can also help you develop new programs specifically for people of different ability levels. For example, if you hire someone who lost the use of their legs, they can help you develop fitness programs for people in wheelchairs, making your gym that much more accessible to everyone!
Promote your gym on social media
Hanging flyers around town is great, but there’s somewhere you can promote your inclusive gym that’ll reach many, many more people. Did you know around 70% of Americans use some form of social media? If you want to spread the word about your gym, social media is a great place to start!
First, you need to choose a platform that best fits your customer base. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in the world, but Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok are all great platforms to promote your inclusive gym. The more platforms you use, the larger your audience base.
Once you have your social media accounts up and running, it’s important to schedule regular posts to keep your gym top of mind with potential customers. You don’t want them to forget about you! If you run low on content, you can always save your fitness flyers as PDFs and upload them to your social media accounts to share more specific information online.
Many social media managers forget about one of the most important parts of social media: to be social! Don’t forget to respond to comments and direct messages to answer peoples’ questions and provide more personalized information about your gym. It’s also a good idea to like and comment on others’ posts. The key is to engage with people online, so they can engage with your business. Social media marketing is all about being social. It’s in the name!
Make fitness more accessible
The fitness industry hasn’t been very friendly to those with disabilities. That’s why it’s important for you to effectively promote your inclusive gym and remind those who may not be as physically able that there is indeed a space for them to feel welcome and comfortable.
The best way to start and promote your inclusive gym is with fitness flyers, proper staff training, hiring diversity, and harnessing the power of social media. You’re doing great work! Spread the word and let more people know about your inclusive gym with these helpful tips.