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Incorporating hiking and boxing into this year’s fall programming.

The Great Outdoors

During the pandemic, many fitness enthusiasts turned to the outdoors while gyms and facilities were closed and social distancing was encouraged. And as the fall season approaches, this trend is predicted to continue – especially in the form of hiking.

A recent study conducted by RunRepeat with data from AllTrails – the largest hiking and trail-specific navigation app – explored the effect COVID-19 had on hiking by analyzing 7,927,354 activities logged on the app since January 1, 2016.

Here are the key findings:

  • The number of hikes logged in 2020 was up 171.36% compared to 2019.
  • The number of individual hikers in 2020 increased 134.7% compared to 2019.
  • The number of hikes logged per user increased by 52.12% in 2020 compared to the total for 2016-2019.

The study concluded more app users are logging more hikes than ever and presuming new hikers started and continue to hit the trails throughout the pandemic, these new hikers are moving faster than seen over the past few years.

It is predicted members will be seeking programming this fall that supports being outside. Try organizing meet-ups for members at the head of a local trail, or set up a virtual hike through the free AllTrails app for members to participate on their own time.

Benefits of Boxing

To some members, boxing can appear more intimidating than beneficial. But the key to promoting your facility’s boxing program is marketing the benefits. And if your facility currently doesn’t have a boxing program, maybe it should.

While boxing has been viewed as an aggressive form of exercise, it has more recently been viewed as a fun way to challenge one’s mind and body – a perfect exercise for those seeking more whole-person health.

In a recent article by Healthline, the following science-backed benefits are outlined:

  1. Heart Health. Boxing is viewed as a form of HIIT, also associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, and can improve one’s aerobic fitness.
  2. Weight Loss. High intensity boxing training has been shown to decrease body fat and improve overall body composition more than other activities like brisk walking.
  3. Whole-Body Strength. Most people may think punching power only comes from the shoulder, but the act of throwing a punch involves the entire body.
  4. Improves Balance. Boxing has been used as a method to treat Parkinson’s disease — a debilitating neurological disease that affects the body’s ability to perform complex movements. As the disease progresses, it increases a person’s risk of falling. Learn more about the Rock Steady Boxing program at the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana.
  5. Decreases Stress. Research has observed mood improvements among those who practice boxing training.
  6. Lowers Blood Pressure. One study found a significant reduction in blood pressure when comparing a HIIT boxing program to a moderate intensity cardiovascular training program.

In conclusion, when promoting a boxing program to your members, be sure to market the benefits including improved heart health, body composition and strength, as well as lower blood pressure and weight loss.

Want to highlight unique fall programming at your facility? Email brittany@peakemedia.com.

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Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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