HCM Issue 4 2022

Page 60

Research

AUTOMATICITY

Creating exercise habits that stick Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members

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Issue 4 2022 ©Cybertrek 2022

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’m generally not a jealous person, but as someone involved with health and exercise research, I must admit to being somewhat envious of the dental profession. How did dentists manage to convince the vast majority of us to according to the recent Global brush our teeth twice a day Fitness Report (www.lesmills. without even thinking about com/global-fitness-report). it? Imagine if we could do that And with the latest Google data with movement and exercise? showing search-indicated demand Bryce Hastings This habitual approach to dental for gym memberships is at sustained hygiene and other such routines is all-time-highs, there’s significant growth known as automaticity – something we do potential for operators as COVID restrictions automatically without thinking about it or recede and clubs return to full capacity. going through a conscious decision-making But creating an exercise habit that sticks process – it just seems to happen. remains a challenge – one the industry Activities with high levels of automaticity happen has yet to truly crack. The stats remind us even when we face obstacles, so just imagine if that a vast number of new exercisers fail we could all approach exercise in the same way. to establish a long-term fitness habit. The pandemic has prompted consumers to As someone who has the same mentality reprioritise their health, with 50 per cent of towards exercise as brushing my teeth, I’ve long people now focusing more on their wellbeing, been fascinated by the prospect of cracking the