Below is an article published in the National Fitness and Trade Journal Spring 2015 edition featuring Exergame Fitness and how we are helping fitness clubs and organizations across the U.S. fix sales and retention through targeting kids and families.
“I don’t wanna go to the club! It’s boring and there’s nothing for me to do there!” Parents with kids under the age of fifteen hear that protest countless times when trying to get the family to the gym. Most facilities have policies severely limiting those under the age of fifteen from using the fitness center. And while most places have a daycare for toddlers and young children, those who are seven to fourteen are in no-man’s-land telling parents and club owners “I don’t want to be with the babies”.
And what is it that these kids want? According to Hayden, age 10 from Wilmington, Delaware “We just want a place to play, have fun with our friends, and get some energy out.” Playing games is every kid’s passion, whether through sports, video games, or impromptu running around. The problem is most clubs don’t have a place for kids to do that; and that’s a serious issue for two reasons. First, kids don’t like going to the gym, making it difficult for their parents to get the most of their membership (thus leading to cancellations). And second, because of this disconnect to the club, those kids won’t want to join themselves once they turn the appropriate age. From very early on, they develop a dislike for going to the club, which can be catastrophic for your business.
Creating that space and bridging that gap between kids and the health club is Exergame Fitness’ expertise. Exergame Fitness is the worldwide leader in providing facilities like YMCAs and Health Clubs with the best interactive fitness equipment and turnkey room solutions designed to engage seven to fourteen year olds in physical activity by merging technology with gaming and adding a dose of fitness. This concept isn’t exactly new, but it has finally been perfected.
Ed Kasanders, founder and CEO of Exergame Fitness, recalls the early years within the industry, “At the time, there were only a few products to choose from so we had to be creative with our programming and product placement to create that engaging space and make the program sustainable.” In fact, the interactive gaming industry was riddled with poorly made products in its infancy, and Exergame Fitness made a commitment to only sell the top of the line products trusted to hold up in a club environment. “We’ve had our share of trial and error too,” says Kasanders, “but the industry and technology have improved immensely, and our commitment to excellence has not changed. There are now dozens of products to choose from. Our specialty is partnering with our customers and designing a space that fits with their needs, goals, and budget while supporting them with the best products and programming so they can create that interactive fitness space for their members and families.”.
Since the initial idea of exergaming in 2003, the company has developed what they call the Exergame Youth X Room for kids ages 7 – 14. The idea behind the turnkey room package is that it’s a stepping stone area for kids where they can immerse themselves in interactive fitness, acclimating to the club environment and developing the healthy routine of coming to the club because they WANT to – not because they have to.
The Youth X-Room is a complete system that comes with all the interactive fitness equipment, scoreboards, data tracking, room graphics, reward system and more. The equipment is heavy duty commercial grade and incorporates a major component of fitness such as working on speed, agility, quickness, reaction time, sensory perception, strength, cardio, balance, cognitive capability and more. The variety and game-play make it so engaging that often kids don’t even realize they are getting a working out. After playing a nine inning baseball game on the Exerbike – a commercial grade recumbent bike connected to an XBox where one has to pedal for the controller to work – one kid realized he had biked seven miles and hadn’t known! His mother said: “I can’t even get him to ride his brand new bike down the driveway!”
As technology has grown in its capabilities, so have the types of products available for interactive fitness as well as the number of clubs installing Exergame rooms. Each year between fifteen and twenty thousand students come to the Chicago Bulls Sox Academy with their school to spend the day in the Exergame room. And Exergame Fitness products and rooms can be found at hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. and internationally in JCCs, health clubs, and other institutions.
Adds Kasanders, “We’ve worked with some fantastic leaders in the fitness industry who are always on the cutting edge and looking to improve their member experiences including Midtown Athletic Club, UFC Gym, California Family Fitness, and Sport and Health.”
Because of Exergame Fitness’ longstanding history in the interactive fitness industry, they know which products are worth the investment and which are not. They get to see firsthand at the Chicago Bulls Sox Academy which products will stand up to the wear and tear and rough use of thousands of kids yearly. And they know how to create the perfect solution for your facility.
To learn more about Exergame Fitness and how they can help your facility build membership and retention now and for the future, contact them at:
Toll Free: 1-877-668-4664