After 30 years working in the Fitness Industry in Australia the last 18 months have proved to be the most challenging, says Jane Kilkenny.

Over the years I have seen many fads and trends come and go, but the impact of the Covid pandemic will have a long lasting impact on our industry. Despite the fact that we are still in the midst of the battle, I believe there are a few key lessons we need to take on board to ensure our survival in the years to come.

5 Key factors for Personal Resilience:

  • Take care of yourself first. Keep up your exercise and healthy eating regimes. Focus on your personal wellbeing and keep your loved ones close. It’s time we take some of our own
  • Don’t waste energy on the news and politics. Get the facts you need and tune out the rest of the noise.  Unfortunately many of the decisions of our politicians are questionable right now but frustration and anger will do little to solve the issues. Focus on positive things within your direct control.
  • Develop your business and your skills. As a business owner we spend too much time working “in” our business as opposed to “on” our business. Use this time to advance your skill set, undertake some professional development or explore some new opportunities that may arise.
  • Acknowledge the tough days. Some days you will feel deflated and feel like giving up. Our industry has certainly taken a beating. On those tough days take it easy on yourself and don’t make any major decisions affecting your future. Remember that there is a way forward for our industry and find the positive opportunity that comes your way.
  • Reach out for support. We are always stronger when we stand together to support one another. Fitness Australia has provided tremendous support and advice during this crisis. Strong leadership is what we need and their advocacy and guidance has been invaluable. In an industry where we have often struggled for unity now is the time to change this as we have a unique opportunity to improve our reputation and service quality.

5 key factors for Business Resilience:

  • Support your team: Having a great team around you is crucial for success so make sure your team are coping well with the current situation. Keep in regular contact, provide advice and support when needed and just a friendly note to say “Hi” can change a day and give someone a smile.
  • Support your clients: Keeping in touch with clients and members is so important. Whatever your business model it is essential to provide support and guidance for your clients. Keep them engaged and motivated with online workouts or home programs that will ensure they keep moving and maintain a healthy outlook.
  • Set your standards high. Clients will be looking for an improvement in services and quality. Make sure you focus on constantly improving your service offering and also the quality of your equipment and facilities.  Hygiene standards must be prioritised.
  • Engage in industry best practice standards. We all know there are varying standards of service and facilities in our industry. The best way forward is to ensure that we are always aspiring to be a positive role model for healthy living. Be the change you want to see in our industry as we grow to support more Australians on their health and fitness journey.
  • Accreditation will drive growth. Improving our industry standards through accreditation will ensure that we enhance our reputation with all sectors. This will also enable us to play a larger role in supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians. We know the benefits of a  healthy lifestyle so lets raise our standards and leverage our industry to a place of respect and health leadership in our communities.

In summary the past 18 months have only strengthened my resolve to be a positive force for change in our industry. The forced business closures in lockdown with governments questioning our integrity and existence has been incredibly challenging. But when we truly believe in the value of the services that we provide we must take responsibility to move our industry forward. If we learned anything at all in the past 18 months it is that we can never take our health for granted. It’s up to us to lead the way for the physical and mental health of Australians

To watch Jane speak to our CEO, Barrie Elvish regarding how to stay motivated and energised amongst adversity, please click here !