A recent study has linked excess weight and body fat to increased risk of severe COVID-19 and COVID-related death.
Another recent study reported that Canadians grew increasingly sedentary during the pandemic.
Over the last year, social-media platforms have been cracking down on or banning ads promoting weight loss.
And you, as a gym owner, know that your business has had its ability to help people become or stay fit reduced by pandemic-related measures since 2020.
It’s no wonder the pandemic seems endless.
But at least you have another opportunity to help people get through it.
I won’t make this column political and get into the finer points of pandemic management, economics, “body shaming,” social media and gym ownership. Instead, I’ll just highlight an opportunity for you:
People are hearing more and more about how excess weight and body fat are tied to poor health and risk of death. But they aren’t being given an exact, step-by-step plan to drop those pounds.
That’s where you come in.
Data and Real Solutions
First, your references:
1. Dec. 8 New York Times article: “The Coronavirus Attacks Fat Tissue, Scientists Find.” Key quote: “The coronavirus appears to be able to evade the body fat’s immune defenses, which are limited and incapable of fighting it effectively. And in people who are obese, there can be a lot of body fat.”
2. “ParticipACTION: 2021 Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults.” Key quote: “Compared to their typical behaviour prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 61% of adults indicate spending somewhat or much more time in front of screens.”
3. Harvard Health Publishing article: “Did We Really Gain Weight During the Pandemic?” Key quote: “39% of patients gained weight during the pandemic, with weight gain defined as above the normal fluctuation of 2.5 pounds. Approximately 27% gained less than 12.5 pounds and about 10% gained more than 12.5 pounds, with 2% gaining over 27.5 pounds.”
Let’s be real: People have been told that excess weight is associated with negative health effects for years. A lot of them don’t seem to care. That will not change even as more research lays out the exact relationship between COVID and obesity.
But some people are going to want to lose weight and body fat after reading that New York Times article. Without your voice, they’re going to be led astray by all the stupid powders, wraps, cleanses and extreme diets that fill the internet.
Don’t let a prospective client in your area waste time and money on some “thermal-nuke fat-destroying weight-loss band” that retails for $19.99.
Instead, tell local people how they can actually drop pounds and fat, and give them realistic expectations instead of empty promises. Then invite them to come in and talk to you about coaching.
Do This Today
As new research rolls out, your job is to put it in perspective for people and link it to corrective measures. Avoid the urge to say “I told you so.” Say that privately to other gym owners only, curse your ignorant politicians in your head and then move on.
To get the message out, write a blog you will also send to your email list. Here’s a simple structure:
- The New York Times reported on a new study on excess weight and COVID (link to the article).
- We specialize in sustainable weight loss, not gimmicks. We can help you.
- Here’s a sample plan (provide an example of a very basic fitness and nutrition coaching plan for weight loss).
- This is what it can do (insert brief client success story with real results). Feel free to present two stories.
- Here’s how to find out more about a personalized plan that will work for your goals and lifestyle (link to No Sweat Intro booking page).
I wouldn’t expect a huge flood of new clients the second you hit “publish.” People already know that excess weight is an issue. But every time an article or study like this comes out, a few local people are going to start googling. You have a chance to share your expertise with these people. And if you can connect with any of them—even one—you’ll change a life and keep money away from peddlers of snake oil.
So it’s well worth 20 minutes to tap out that blog. And it’s worth another 20 minutes to offer perspective any time similar articles show up in the news.
Remember: The news will only tell people the plane is heading into the mountain. You need to tell people exactly how to pull out of the nosedive.