How to Create Wellness-Based Programs, Part 2

Putting together a wellness program is not as hard as you may think. If you are having problems thinking of an idea, go with one of the national monthly health observances. For example, September is Healthy Aging Month, and because so many of our clients are looking for the fountain of youth, let's start here. When we think of healthy aging, what are some key words that come to mind? Anti-aging, the power years and positive aging, just to name a few. But how can we create a wellness program that will grab the attention of members? Let's break it down by using a few segments of the wellness wheel:

Fitness/nutritional wellness.

This one is easy because everyone is already coming to the gym to get in shape. How about offering a nutrition lecture titled "The Anti-Aging Diet" and discussing how nourishing the body from within is key to keeping skin looking young and the body from deteriorating from diseases such as cancer and diabetes? To help boost smoothie sales, you could offer smoothie samples in a lecture that includes key anti-aging ingredients such as berries, almonds or wheat grass juice, to name a few.

Emotional wellness.

Stress is a huge aging factor. It not only wrinkles our skin and grays our hair, but it is also the No. 1 reason why so many of us are visiting our health care providers. Stress causes heart attacks, strokes, cancer and many sleepless nights. Start a "Lights Out by 10 p.m." sleep challenge and reward everyone with a travel pillow for being able to get to bed early.

Environmental wellness.

What are you doing in your facility to help promote environmental wellness? Recycling is a good way to start, but we are talking about how this will help our members age well. Offering skin screenings or facial mapping are ways we can see how the environment is damaging our skin. It can be a humbling experience for so many of your members.

Be sure to think about how to incorporate other aspects of wellness, such as spiritual, intellectual, social and financial wellness, into the month, too.

The Marketing Plan Marketing plans are critical to marketing success. There are many types of marketing plans, but most include the following concepts:

* Define the program.

* Set marketing objectives by using goals, then assess your efforts.

* Describe the target audience.

* Create a communication strategy for promoting the program.

* Create a marketing budget, and determine a price and a break-even point.

* Stay consistent and re-evaluate if needed.

Here are some questions to ask when marketing the program:

* What is the specific behavior you want to impact?

* What specific audience do you want to target?

* Will this audience identify with the need to change its behavior?

* What objections might the target audience have to changing its behavior? How can you overcome those barriers?

* What promotion methods will be most effective with your target audience?

* What are your competitors doing?

Don't forget to write a brief summary of the program. This will help employees hype up the program and become familiar with it without having to spend time reading all the details.

The Evaluation Process There are two types of evaluation: internal and external. External evaluation is completed by the participants. Internal evaluation is completed by the team involved in creating the wellness program. The internal evaluation includes reviewing the goal and objectives, measuring the success and failures, and discussing the requirements for success in the future. You then take the scores of the external evaluations to measure how successful the participants viewed the program. Both evaluations should be completed within 30 days after the program has ended.

Creating wellness programs offers an exciting way to get members off the treadmill and explore their inner being. Besides, who doesn't want to learn ways about how to stay and feel young?

Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, is the Program Coordinator and an instructor for Educational Fitness Solutions, Inc., Professional Certificate in Women's Personal Exercise Training and Wellness. She has a diverse fitness background with over ten years of industry experience in campus recreation, corporate wellness, and the commercial health club setting. To learn more about her program, visit:

This article was published on 25 Apr 2009 and has been viewed 2003 times
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