Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

NIFS Consulting: Helping Your Fitness Program Go from Good to GREAT!

Fitness management services are the foundation of our business, but did you know we also offer an array of consulting services to support communities who do not staff with us? While it isn’t quite the same as having our qualified staff on the ground daily at your community, many clients have found a consulting partnership with NIFS to be advantageous in connecting their own staff, amenities, and more with an industry expert who can provide them with the direction and resources to elevate the programs they are providing their residents.



5 Consulting Opportunities with the NIFS Experts

Here are some ways that you can collaborate with NIFS to improve your fitness and wellness offerings:

  1. Facility layout and design: As operators of fitness centers across the country, we know how to make spaces flow for improved member experience and overall function. We also have national buying power with top equipment manufacturers to bring your facility the right equipment for your users. Whether it’s a fitness center or pool, we can help you identify the right pieces of exercise equipment to incorporate into a creative and expertly designed space.
  2. Staff hiring and training: 20181024_080931-1From group fitness instructors, to personal trainers, to fitness managers, finding the right people is at the heart of what we do, and our interview and vetting process helps us find the best of the best. If you are looking for support in recognizing fitness qualifications and making the right hire for your community, NIFS can lead your interview process. We can also aid in the training process once you make your hire to get your new team member on the right path and connected to NIFS resources and programming materials.
  3. Wellness program design: Let us help you identify fresh opportunities to create purpose and intention in the lifestyle cultivated for your residents. We know how to break down the silos and bring together enrichment, health services, fitness, rehab, food and beverage, spiritual services, and more for seamless programming that is both seen and felt by your residents. Conceptually, many communities struggle with getting these key stakeholders in resident well-being collaborating with a unified vision, and we can help you bridge this into reality.
  4. Data collection and evaluation: It’s difficult to determine how effective your programs and services are and how many people you are reaching consistently if you don’t have data to evaluate. We can help your fitness staff develop an efficient system for tracking participation data, identify key benchmarks to measure and evaluate over time, as well craft SMART goals to continually strive toward program enhancements.
  5. Group fitness program design: Residents love their group fitness classes, but are you certain that your community has an array of classes to address the main components of fitness throughout the week for varying intensity levels? We have a niche for developing robust group fitness programs as well as best practices on how to market the classes, how to attract new faces, and how to keep the classes fresh so that this resident favorite at your community reaches more individuals and remains strong.

Even if your organization does not avail itself of the full range of fitness management services that NIFS offers, you can still consider consulting with us on specific pieces of the puzzle to strengthen your fitness and wellness offerings. Not sure what to expect when utilizing our consulting services?  Check out our quick read below for more information.

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Topics: fitness center design fitness center staffing program management data collection data analysis nifs fitness management nifs fitness management staffing wellness consulting

Retirement Community Fitness Centers - Is Bigger Always Better?

This post was updated on May 7, 2018.

There is a trend NIFS | Senior Fitness Center Designamong owners and operators of senior living communities toward a focus on resident wellness. The movement is based in research findings which indicate that opportunities for residents to live actively are important both to prospective residents as well as to their family members. Couple those findings with the constant news updates about how good regular exercise is for older adults and its easy to see why communities are so focused on ramping up their resident wellness programming. 

Perhaps the most visible element in a community's overall wellness program is their exercise offerings. When I consult for senior living clients on their fitness program, I am often asked if size matters when it comes to their physical space for exercise. Does it matter that their fitness center is small, with only a few pieces of equipment? Does it matter that they don't have dedicated group exercise class space? They can't afford to put in a pool - is that a problem for growing their exercise program?

 

Size isn't the only consideration.

Size is an important consideration, but it shouldn't be the only consideration. Much positive and fulfilling life can be lived by your residents in even the smallest spaces. We've worked with several clients who are small on space, but significant on providing meaningful and effective programming designed to engage rather than entertain residents. The challenge becomes accommodating as many participants as possible when your footprint is tight. Creative thinking can often help you solve issues like not enough equipment or overcrowding in exercise classes.

Where size does matter is when we're looking at the passion, personality, and skills of the individual(s) leading the exercise programming at your community. Even the biggest, shiniest, most state of the art fitness centers, pools, and other healthful spaces will become like a ghost town if there is no staff presence (or it’s the wrong staff presence) there to connect with your residents. Staff personality and capability reign supreme when it comes to a quality, compelling, and invitational programming at your community. 

[Learn More: Read our case studies on the impact of staff for a successful exercise program]

Get the size of your staffing just right.

There are a few ways you can invest in quality staffing for your exercise program:

  • You can provide your own staffing.
  • You could also consider tapping an existing partner for this service. We see therapy groups sliding into this market.
  • You can partner with a group like NIFS who does fitness center management as a core business.
Be careful about hiring your own exercise specialist; it's not rocket science, but there is likely more to hiring, training, and providing ongoing support for your new fitness manager than you realize. Also understand that if you connect with your therapy partner for exercise programming, your fitness environment and services will remain clinical in nature. Outsourcing is an option and when it comes down to weighing the full value proposition, it may not cost your community more than hiring your own fitness professional. 
 
Is outsourcing fitness center management right for your community?

There’s a lot at stake here.  Not enough staffing, or the wrong staff member(s) could poke a serious hole in what should be an uplifting, feel-good offering at your community. If you don’t have the money to spend on the bricks and mortar, make sure you have the resources to effectively operate what space you do have, or the entire investment could provide less than stellar results.

Topics: senior wellness programs senior fitness management CCRC fitness center senior fitness fitness center staffing