emerging fitness technology

At-Home Wellness is Now Easier Than Ever

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

When most people think of getting or staying healthy, they probably picture a line of treadmills at the gym or bulky weight equipment. However, it’s easier than ever to stay fit and track results from your home. You don’t even need a ton of extra space to develop a full-body wellness routine and monitor your success. Best of all, as technology develops it’s more accessible than ever. Here are a few fitness technology essentials to build your wellness routine.

Tech to Monitor Progress and Track Results

It can be difficult to understand just how much progress you’ve made if you never measured where you started. Here are a few items to replace the tracking you would get with a personal trainer or the gym:

Smart Scale

A smart scale does more than just monitor weight. They can also determine body composition, including muscle and body fat percentages as well as bone mass and water percentage. For those who are looking to gain muscle and not just lose fat, or are worried about a weight plateau, a smart scale is a vital upgrade from the traditional bathroom scale.

Additionally, smart scales use bluetooth to sync results to your phone so you can track progress over time. They’re even smart enough to track multiple people, so one scale can help the whole family stay on track. And many smart scales can sync directly to your other fitness devices for a holistic view of your health and fitness.

Fitness Trackers

Combine the smart scale with a wearable fitness tracker to see the whole picture of your fitness journey. Some of the most popular wearables are the Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge, which each include a heart rate monitor and automatically track workouts. Newer versions of each are also waterproof. However, the two high tech watches have key differences to keep in mind when deciding between them.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is first and foremost a smartphone companion, which works primarily with Apple devices. It comes with the Nike+ app, Apple Activity app, and can work with a number of additional fitness apps on the app store. The newest iteration also includes an ECG application in addition to the standard heart rate monitor, heart rate sensor, and step counters.

However, its best features are not fitness related, like Apple Pay, Siri, and a number of touch screen apps available through your iPhone. The Apple Watch is a great pick if you’re looking for an everyday wearable that also happens to track fitness – and if you don’t mind spending a bit more.

Fitbit Charge

Meanwhile, the Fitbit Charge puts smart fitness first, with its incredible 7-day battery life, built-in sleep tracker, and 20+ goal-based exercise modes. The newest version includes GPS to automatically track workouts, and the Active Zone Minutes feature monitors your heart rate and alerts you when you’ve reached your target heart rate zone during a workout.

The Fitbit Charge isn’t a fully-fledged smart watch, however. While you’ll get call and text alerts to your synced device, you can’t access any apps that do not come with the device. The display is smaller and monochrome, as it puts function above form; the screen shape fits the wrist beautifully while the LED screen is easy to read even in direct outdoor light.

Whichever fitness tech you choose, you’ll be glad to have your activity tracked in real time and remove the extra work logging your next workout.

Build Out Your Home Gym

Now that you’re ready to track your workouts and results, let’s dive into how you can turn your living room into a full-body home gym. Most virtual classes don’t require any equipment, but you may want to invest in some resistance bands, dumbbells, and a yoga mat that you can stash away when not in use.

Fitness Classes

There are more online fitness classes than ever and for a fraction of the cost of in-person fitness classes. When choosing your digital training sessions, try to choose ones from a reputable source and not just what pops into your YouTube feed. You want to know that who is building the routines knows how to avoid injury and properly demonstrate activities

Here are a few popular choices that you can stream or cast to devices like Roku and smart TVs:

  • The OrangeTheory YouTube channel (Free): When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down studios, OrangeTheory rose to the challenge and began publishing daily full-body workouts for their members. Today, there are dozens of daily workouts plus extra challenges. However, there is a chance that they could remove these videos once restrictions are lifted and gyms return to full capacity.
  • The Peloton App ($12.99/month): You don’t have to own the pricey home bicycle to access Peloton’s comprehensive app. You’ll get access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, including outdoor running, strength training, bootcamp, yoga, and meditation. Non-peloton stationary bike owners often use a tablet to ride with the classes; however, without a Peloton you won’t be able to participate in challenges or the leaderboard.
  • Daily Burn ($14.95-$19.95/month): Daily Burn offers a wide range of fitness videos, from beginner classes and dance workouts up to HIIT and advanced strength training. Its live Daily 365 videos are like joining in on a group workout class, which pump up the motivation and keep your daily workouts fresh.

Meet with a Personal Trainer

Just because you’re not going to a gym doesn’t mean you can’t work with a personal trainer to achieve your goals. With personal training, you’ll have an expert by your side to monitor your metrics and help develop a targeted workout routine and even an eating plan. You’ll be able to make the most out of all the fitness technology above while focusing on the results you want to see.

For personal trainers looking for the best tech to improve their business operations including scheduling, billing, and client management including fitness assessments, try the EZFacility app for Personal Trainers. You’ll save time and be able to spend more energy focusing on your clients.

2021 guide to off-ice hockey training

Off-Ice Hockey Training Guide for 2021

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Whether your rink isn’t up to full capacity yet or if you just want a change of scenery, there are plenty of ways off the ice to prepare for your next hockey game. Try out one of these dryland training routines next time you want a break from your hockey facility.

Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before and cooldown and stretch after you work out to avoid injury and get the most out of your efforts.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric training is great for honing the muscles that exert a lot of force in a short period of time. It helps hockey players improve strength and agility. This allows them to be able to change direction quickly, get quick bursts of speed, and build endurance.

Try integrating the following plyometric exercises into your training program:

  • Jump squats and squat jumps
  • Box jumps
  • Lateral skater jumps
  • Clap push ups
  • Lunges and reverse lunges
  • Tuck jumps
  • Squat thrusts

Balance and Coordination Exercises

The great thing about hockey is that so many skills are transferable on and off the ice. Try these exercises with your hockey stick and a ball to increase hand-eye coordination:

Hand Swap

Grab your hockey stick with one palm up and one palm down, keeping the stick level in front of you. Then, change your hand positions as quickly as possible.

Throw/Catch

Simply find a wall and throw a ball at it and catch it as it returns. For more of a challenge, try standing on a wobble board to also work your core while improving coordination. If you have a partner to work with, try having one throw the ball while the other person rebounds using their hockey stick.

Walking Squats/Stickhandle

While stickhandling a ball, slowly walk forward and bend into a squat. As you squat, the ball will travel further from your body. Control the ball as you rise out of the squat, walk backward, and squat again.

Stickhandle Wobble Board

Stand on a wobble board as you stickhandle. As you grow more proficient, alternate standing on only one foot as you do this.

Core Conditioning Exercises

Every hockey player knows that the sport requires your whole body to be at its best to succeed. Not only do physically fit players perform better, but incorporating conditioning exercises also helps prevent injuries. Try incorporating the following outdoor activities into your hockey training:

  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Soccer

Off-Ice Stickhandling

Of course, as a hockey player you’ll want to work on your stickwork, whether on or off the ice.

Narrow and Wide

Start by working a ball in a narrow pattern, then widening before narrowing again. Try making up your own cadences and combinations to focus on quick changes and maintaining control.

Side/Front/Side

Start by stickhandling on the backhand side, then moving to the front, and finally moving to the forehand side. You can then reverse back through the stages.

One Leg

Follow the pattern above while standing on one leg, then alternating to the other.

One Hand

Try stickhandling the ball with one hand to gain strength for when a situation happens on the ice where you only have one hand on the stick. Alternate hands to gain control using either hand.

Join Your Team

While there are numerous exercises you can do alone, nothing beats learning just how your hockey team works together. Practice passing from different angles and directions to learn how to react when a pucl comes at you in a game. Build muscle memory in your forehand and backhand passes by working together.

Ice Rink Management

Do you manage an ice rink and need to be able to schedule ice times, training, and classes? Manage everything from your skate rentals to your snack bar and everything in between with the simple to use EZFacility software for ice rinks.

How to Craft the Perfect Yoga Studio Marketing Plan

Own a Yoga Studio? Use This Marketing Plan

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As you look ahead to the new year, it’s the perfect time to make a plan for success. Setting goals and finding ways to measure the business impact of your marketing will help you to find out what is and isn’t working for your studio. You’ll be able to optimize your efforts to get the most out of your time and money investments.

In this post, we’ll share ideas on what to include in your yoga marketing strategy to attract new students and keep your current students engaged.

Choose Your Marketing Strategies

You’ll find that there are dozens of avenues you can take to market your yoga studio. So where do you start? It’s important to mix both digital marketing and offline marketing to reach the widest possible audience. You’ll find that it’s easier to track ROI and reach your target audience with digital, but offline marketing provides the opportunity to build deeper bonds within your local community which can lead to lasting relationships.

Offline Marketing Strategies

If you haven’t already, consider joining your local chamber of commerce and connecting with other small business owners. When you go to networking events and present your business, offer special chamber-only discounts to try out your classes. Collaborate with like-minded local businesses (health food stores, nutritionists, massage therapists) to create wellness packages. Brainstorm ways to reach the employees of a business, such as by offering a short seminar of yoga poses to do throughout the workday.

Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing allows you to launch a marketing campaign more quickly with much more nuanced tracking—whether you’re looking at email opens and clicks or social media follows. The most common digital marketing strategies for small businesses include:

  • Website and blog posts
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing

Managing all these channels and spending time to create content for each will be a huge time investment, which is why it’s so important to make a plan around how you’ll handle each one. The first step to success is to find a system to manage all your accounts in one place, making it easier to handle posting and updates.

For instance, with EZFacility for yoga studios, your website and marketing tools are in the same system that manages your studio, so it’s easy to jump from one task to the next. Plus, the simple email builder includes pre-designed templates, so you spend less time focused on the details and more time reaping the rewards. And, EZFacility websites are fully responsive and search engine optimized so you’ll be found online.

Once you have your social media, email, and website accounts in one place, you can create your marketing plan. Here’s how to get started for each channel:

  • Website and Blog: Create a content calendar outlining which topics you want to cover on your blog and when you want them to go out. Consider promotions you may run around holidays and special events and work backwards to plan when you need each article to be written and edited in order to be published before you need the content for email campaigns and social media posts.
  • Social Media Marketing: Similar to your blog calendar, you’ll want to plan exactly when you’re posting different kinds of content on social media to keep your feed fresh and interesting. Talk to your yoga teachers to see if they would be open to creating a post a week for the business. And think of a unique hashtag for your students and members to use to share content that you can re-post from your brand account. Finally, make your content work harder for you. Don’t be afraid to post the same content to both Instagram and Facebook—they’ll reach different audiences depending on where your customers spend more time.
  • Email Marketing: Whenever someone comes to a yoga class at your studio, be sure to collect their contact information so you can reach out and stay top-of-mind. Share special promotions, referral deals, and class schedules and updates to keep new and old members alike abreast of what’s happening at the studio. To keep your updates interesting, consider also developing a monthly newsletter including member spotlights, trainer interviews, and links to your blog.

Focus on What’s Working

When you’re running a small business, it’s vital to make the most out of the time and money you invest into the business. While it’s important to diversify your marketing efforts to reach people both online and offline, you also should spend the most time on the areas that are providing you with the most value.

Maybe sharing yoga poses on Instagram is driving engagement among existing students but isn’t driving new people to practice yoga at the studio as much as your website. You’ll want to keep up your Instagram presence, but maybe pull back on the time you spend interacting with other accounts and put that time towards building your SEO.

With EZFacility, not only will you be able to manage the day-to-day operations of your studio including membership, payment processing, and teacher scheduling, but you’ll also be able to see promotion engagement, lead conversion rates, and referral reports. Find exactly what is working for your individual business and hone your efforts where they count. With these tools, you’ll be able to build the perfect yoga studio marketing plan for your business.

5 Ways to Accomplish Your 2021 Fitness Goals

Simple Fitness Mindset for the New Year

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If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthier, you’re not alone. About half of the people who made a resolution going into 2021 are planning on exercising more, losing weight, and eating healthier. For people who are looking to focus on their health for their 2021 resolution, we want to offer some tips to help you stick to your goals and feel great all year long.

1. Prepare for Success

Before you enroll in that weight loss program or splurge on pricey exercise equipment, do some homework to determine where you’re currently at, what your goals could look like, and how you’re going to work towards them.

First, talk to your doctor about what you want to achieve. They’ll be able to recommend where to start based on where you are physically and mentally. They may also refer you to a dietician to help you develop healthy eating habits and a diet plan you can stick to.

Next, consider talking to a personal trainer to develop a workout routine. With your trainer, you can set realistic goals to work towards and break down smaller benchmarks for success along the way.

2. Create a Plan

Based on what you’ve discussed with your doctor, dietician, and trainer, you’ll be able to schedule your activities to integrate wellness into your life, rather than treating it as an afterthought. This will make it more likely that you’ll treat health and fitness as part of your lifestyle, and you’ll be more successful at staying on track.

Dedicate a time every week to meal plan, grocery shop, and prep your meals for the week. Set your schedule with your trainer and block time off for your activities. Whether it’s an hour-long yoga class or a fifteen-minute lunchtime walk, treat these appointments as non-negotiable. If you’re starting out with shorter exercise blocks, getting in the habit of blocking this time for yourself will help you in the future as they get longer.

3. Involve a Friend

It can be intimidating to tell a friend about your goals, especially when they’re around weight loss. But involving another person in your journey can be the best way to improve accountability and provide support when you need it most. Whether you have someone who wants to play tennis with you once a week or someone who you can just text for some encouragement when you’re feeling down, leaning on your social circle is one of the best ways to achieve success. 

4. Don’t Overdo It

When you’re starting out, it’s common to feel motivated to go all-out. But just because you’re focused on your fitness goals doesn’t mean you should lose sight of the process. After all, you want to be building better habits that result in a healthier lifestyle—not to run a 5k once and never run again. Pushing too hard or making too many big changes at once are a surefire way to cause burnout and a return to your old ways. Plus, over-exercising before you’ve set the foundation can lead to serious injury. Keep in touch with how you’re feeling to build up to where you want to be.

5. Be Realistic

The best way to reach your goals is by making them achievable. After all, if you reach your goal, you can always set new ones! But setting an unattainable initial goal can result in discouragement and lead you to give up too soon. Again, work with professionals to decide what goals can look like for you. Maybe it’s to run a 5k, lift a certain amount of weight, or bike a certain trail by the end of the year. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to avoid injury and prioritize how you feel—both mentally and physically.

5 Ways to Easily Improve Yoga Studio Profitability from EZFacility

5 Ways to Easily Improve Yoga Studio Profitability

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You probably started teaching yoga because of a passion for yoga. But, any small business owner knows that profitability is the key to be able to continue doing what you enjoy. In this article, we’ll help you to find ways to become a successful yoga entrepreneur so you can get back to focusing on your students and your practice.

More than Teaching Yoga

Running a yoga studio is more than scheduling classes. A yoga studio owner also acts as a hiring manager, finance department, and customer service manager. You also need to focus on student satisfaction to keep loyal students coming back while also reaching new clients.

At the end of the day, students come to classes that are conveniently located, fit within their schedule, and that have teachers they enjoy. While you may not be able to control the location – unless you own multiple yoga studios – you can cater to other needs.

Hiring Yoga Teachers

When hiring your team, choose yoga instructors from different backgrounds and practice areas. Then, vary the class schedules so that your clients can try different yoga teachers on different days. When a yoga teacher is a good fit for a student, you have a great chance of building loyalty and keeping that student coming back week after week. By hiring different types of instructors, you’re more likely to find a great fit for more students across your schedule.

Developing Yoga Instructors

As you know, in yoga there’s always room for improvement – and not just for your students. Be sure to offer your instructors the time and flexibility to attend teacher training and development classes. Not only will you help improve your instructors’ capabilities, but you will also become a more prestigious organization. With a focus on quality, you can even eventually increase class prices without facing a decrease in membership.

Diversifying Revenue Streams

Many people who love teaching yoga may cringe at the business speak around revenue streams. But, offering products and services aside from only yoga classes is a great way to help your bottom line.

Carry necessities that new students may need like yoga mats, yoga blocks, towels, and water bottles. Offer branded yoga apparel so your clients can share your business name wherever they go. You can use a service like Bonfire that prints shirts when they get ordered so that you don’t have to invest in carrying inventory. And don’t forget to publicize gift certificates to make it easy for your students to gift classes to their friends.

Consider launching an online pay-to-access library of class videos to let members practice even when they aren’t in the studio. Or, offer private workshops and one-on-one training to let students take practicing yoga to the next level.

Finally, partner with other small business owners to offer packages. Sell bundles with local nutritionists, life coaches, masseuses, and other health service providers. Creating a referral network is a great way to share like-minded customers and grow your business.

Focus on Building a Successful Yoga Business

To take the stress out of managing your yoga studio, running a successful business focused on profitability is key. That means you need to keep the back office running smoothly, including class scheduling, collecting membership dues, and managing payroll and staff.

With our yoga studio software, managing the business side of your studio is a breeze. You’ll even get a branded mobile app to let students book classes, text the studio, and update payment information. You’ll finally get to step back from manually managing admin tasks and get back to doing what you love.

Navigate Personal Training During a Pandemic with our Guide from EZFacility

Navigate Personal Training During a Pandemic with our Guide

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways. Fitness professionals are one group that have been hit the hardest by gym closures and stay at home orders. The fitness industry has had to adapt to day-by-day changes to operating protocols. Some governors have ordered all gyms to close while others only limit hours. And regardless of what the local government allows, you need to keep your clients’ safety and comfort as your top priority.

With ever-changing health news, personal trainers need to make a plan to keep their business growing through the pandemic. Read our guide for personal training during a pandemic.

Provide Distance Training

The key to training from afar is by curating an exercise experience that gives real value to your clients. Anyone can find workout guides through websites, but people come to you for personalized help with their goals.

  • Cardio: Monitor cardio performance with a mix of services like Strava and FitBit. Offer new ideas to help mix up cardio by doing research on nearby biking and hiking trails.
  • Weight Training: Collaborate with your client to find out what is possible at their home. If they don’t have weights, are there items around the house they can use for at-home strength building? Deliver some resistance bands to help build strength without taking up a lot of space.
  • Flexibility: Create a YouTube playlist for each week with new routines or create your own videos to use across all of your clients.
  • Performance Monitoring: Use a personal training software to schedule one-on-one appointments with your clients to act as a resource for them. Ask not just about physical performance but also find out how they’re feeling. By offering additional support, you can help them stay motivated and focused on their goals.

Offer Training at a Gym

For those who are in areas with open gyms and fitness centers, making your clients feel safe and comfortable is key. Talk to your gyms owners to ask about their safety protocols for the gym and locker rooms before you bring your clients. Ideally, they will limit the number of people allowed at any one time and increase their cleaning routines.

While working with your clients, do your part to make sure that you and they are wearing a mask and social distancing at all times. Thoroughly clean machines and weights at every step.

With the increase in remote work, your clients may have more flexibility around their schedule. Find out if they can change their training sessions to coincide with the gym open hours that are the slowest.

Even if your fitness club or local gyms reopened, you should keep an eye on public health updates to monitor COVID cases in your area. You may want to switch to outdoor exercises, distance training, or at-home bodyweight exercises if you or your clients feel unsafe.

Host Group Fitness

Outdoor group fitness classes are a great way to build community in a safer space. Find a park with plenty of open space and ask your clients to bring an exercise mat. Space everyone out at least 6 feet apart before allowing attendees to take off their masks.

Lead the group in cardio, flexibility, and body weight exercises. You’ll see an increase in motivation and camaraderie when your clients have others to keep up with and compare themselves against.

You can even consider creating a private Facebook group for your clients to connect with one another. They’ll encourage one another to attend and help you get everyone excited for the next training session.

Stay Connected

2020 offered new challenges to fitness professionals across the industry. Even if you have a gym open near you, your clientele may not be ready to go. But it’s still possible to connect with your clients and efficiently manage your business even while we have to keep our distance.

Keep your business running smoothly with a personal training app that allows you to manage contacts, text your customers, and assess clients. Request a demo to see what EZFacility can do for your business.