by Dan Young, Owner and CEO
Performance Food Centers
According to Wikipedia, “the United States Census Bureau considers a baby boomer to be someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964.” At least 76 million American babies were born in that time period.
The boomers represent a significant portion of our population and possibly a greater part of your membership. This demographic doesn’t even take into account 39+ million Americans that are over 65! Together, they make up close to 40% of our population. Let’s face it, America is getting older and seniors may quickly become the majority of your club’s population.
To a large extent, these generations are responsible for much of the cultural change that we have witnessed in recent history; i.e. the civil rights movement, environmental movement, the women’s movement, etc. You may even be witnessing it right now with the “Organic Movement.”
Nobody wants to get older and when the initial signs of aging become apparent, they start searching for other alternatives to correcting their ailments, reverse disease and improve the general quality of their lives. Our seniors in larger numbers are signing up at health clubs and they are beginning to get their diets right. They simply want to find the answers and you as a health club owner are a perfect place for them to look.
My Core Belief
I met a gentlemen hiking in Colorado; he was 74 years old. As we summited at 14er, he told me that when he was 65 he couldn’t walk from his golf cart to make a putt without stopping to catch his breath a couple of times. He was on the verge of an irreversible chronic disease – emphysema. He decided to take possession of his life and change things. He began exercising and eating right. Slowly, he replaced his weak cells with stronger ones until finally; he totally reversed his downward slide. Today he’s hiking mountains in Colorado and doing centuries on his bike.
This process of cellular exchange is called Physiological Dynamics as coined by Dr. Michael Colgan. “Improved nutrition must wait on nature to renew whole bodily systems before effects can show.” We are built with 75 plus trillion cells and each cell is continually dying and being replaced throughout our lifetime. Virtually every cell is replaced every 9-12 months.
Okay, so let’s add it up. You have an aging population that will do anything and everything not to get old and you have the human body that is willing to respond if given the chance. Perhaps the Fountain of Youth is right under our noses?
You are already providing the exercise part, now start a program where your boomers and seniors are finding the information that they need to improve their lives, and then give them access to healthy food options that will facilitate the change.
It’s really quite simple. If you have a juice bar, then create an environment where folks can congregate. We’re all gregarious by nature. You will need tables and chairs and places to access the educational materials that they will grow to depend on. If you don’t have a juice bar, you can still post educational materials in a Nutrition Zone and sell some shelf stable healthy snacks. It all works!
Just imagine the buzz of excitement and the ripple effect in your club if your most senior members are reaching their goals faster than those young whipper-snappers.