Over the past year The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, a retirement community in Sarasota, Florida achieved an increase in wellness participation from 16% to remarkable 46% of the entire population! We sat down with Andre, the community’s wellness director to find out how they’ve accomplished this feat and what they’re doing to keep the momentum going.
HUR: Your community decided to install new fitness equipment in order to increase resident wellness participation. Is that what’s happened?
Andre: Yes, and to a much greater degree than we could have hoped for. The numbers speak for themselves. The industry standard for participation in a well-run fitness program is 20%, and we were around 16% before upgrading to the HUR equipment. Today, 46% of our 400 member community is actively involved in fitness and strength training. So, we’ve blown that standard out of the water.
In fact, over the past year, the daily activity in the fitness center has increased by 125%! Even better, we’ve seen a 181% increase in the number of ACTIVE strength training users each month. Before upgrading to the HUR equipment, there would be a few hours in the afternoon with no one in here. Now, the strength training area of the gym is never empty.
One of the most incredible things is that so many more women in our community are engaged in strength training. The number of women who consistently log-in to the HUR SmartTouch system and move through a strength training circuit is up 80% from last year. That’s huge!
HUR: What is it about the difference between the equipment you had before and the HUR equipment that’s driving such a massive increase?
Andre: I think it’s a combination of factors. A lot of people in our community, especially women, had never strength trained in their life. They might have come in for fitness classes or to use the cardio machines, but they weren’t interested in strength training because the traditional weight training machines we had were intimidating and difficult to use. The very idea of using them provoked a lot of anxiety in many of our residents.
After upgrading to HUR, instead of feeling anxious about strength training, residents tell me how much they look forward to it! They love that there is no guessing involved. The system guides them through everything so they know exactly what exercises to do, how many reps, and what the resistance level should be. The machines even adjust automatically so they don’t have to move the seat or load any weights. It’s given them confidence because they don’t have to worry about whether or not they are doing it right.
Not only are they feeling better, they’re encouraging their friends to get into the gym as well!
“I stopped strength training on the old pin select weight equipment because it was uncomfortable and difficult to use. Not only is the new HUR equipment easy to use, but being able to have easy access to my data, so I can see my progress, helps keeps me motivated. ”
~ Mary, resident at The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch
HUR: Is there anything you and your staff are doing to encourage the social element of showing up at the gym and working out?
Andre: Absolutely. We know it’s important to keep that momentum going. At the moment, we have a big map of the Appalachian trail on the wall of the fitness center. Everyone who wants to participate is given a passport that we stamp with a “thumbs up” stamp when they come in for a workout. With each stamp, they get to move a marker that represents their progress a bit further down the trail. When they complete the entire trail, we give them a t-shirt. Not only is it one more way to create physical markers of their progress, the t-shirt becomes a badge of honor. They can wear it in our community, and everyone knows what it means.
Another thing that we’ve just started is awarding residents with a t-shirt when they’ve reached 24 hours of strength training. The t-shirts say “Glenridge Fitness All Day Long. I’ve reached 24 hours of strength training.” My staff and I keep track of who’s reached that 24-hour mile marker and surprise them with a shirt. It’s a great way to show them that we notice their hard work and want to celebrate their progress with them. And, just like the Appalachian trail t-shirts, wearing them is badge of honor in our community.
Because more of our residents are strength training, they are feeling better. They have more energy and want to get involved in more physical activities. We are responding by creating more opportunities for them to do just that. For example, two weeks ago we started a women’s golf group and the women who’ve joined all claim that they are hitting the ball with more power than they’ve had in years.
“HUR exercise equipment has been a catalyst in our active aging community. You cannot walk through our campus without meeting one of our HUR users!”
~Andre, Wellness Director at The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch
HUR: That’s great! As a community, do you feel you’ve received the ROI (Return on Investment) from the HUR equipment?
Andre: Honestly, even though HUR machines are a significant investment, it was kind of a no brainer. We had a room full of equipment that wasn’t getting used because it wasn’t a good fit for our population. It’s kind of like playing rock music to a group of people who really love classical. They’re just not going to get into it.
Our old equipment wasn’t what our residents wanted or needed. The strength training area of our fitness center went from being a ghost town to one of the busiest places on our campus.
Having HUR machines is also very attractive to prospective new residents. It sets us apart from every other senior living option in the area and is an important factor in new residents’ decision to move into our community. They see how it works and are blown away.
There’s simply no question about whether the decision was worth it. It’s proof that we now have the right product for the people we serve. It’s 100% delivered.