2009 New Year Health and Fitness Resolution Recommendations


In my last blog titled “2009 New Year’s Resolutions”, I wrote that the problem with most good intended health and fitness resolutions are that they often become derailed within a few weeks.

Below are some helpful hints to guide you and keep you and your clients on a sustaining health and fitness track in 09

Getting Started

Ø      Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better

Ø      Elderly or people with health problems should consult with their doctor before doing anything strenuous

Ø      Quit smoking – over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids

Ø      Quit or curtail your alcohol intake. A happy hour-worthy margarita (six ounces) has around 350 calories. And an eight-ounce Long Island iced tea contains a whopping 600 calories

Ø      Choose an activity you enjoy that fits your lifestyle

Ø      Set realistic goals, and tailor your program to your own fitness level

Ø      Give your body a chance to adjust to your new routine

Ø      Stay positive even though you may not see immediate results

Ø      Don’t give up if you miss a day; just get back on track the next day

Ø      Find a partner for a little motivation and socialization

Ø      Build some rest days into your exercise schedule

Ø      Listen to your body. If you experience unusual symptoms (e.g., have difficulty breathing or experience faintness or prolonged weakness during or after exercise) consult your physician

Working Out

Ø      Experts recommend at least three 20 minute sessions of exercise per week. If you are trying to lose a significant amount of weight, 5 times a week may be what you need

Ø      Make exercise part of your daily routine. Ride a bike or exercise on a treadmill while you watch TV or listen to music

Ø      If you live in a climate with little or no snow and ice, consider taking a walk after dinner each night (but not too close to bedtime)

Ø      Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Ø      Park at the far end of a parking lot and walk to the office or the mall

Ø      If you ride the bus, get off a few blocks before your stop and walk the rest of the way

Ø      Get up from your desk during the day to stretch and walk around

Ø      Take a brisk walk when you get the urge to snack

Ø      Increase your pace when working in the house or yard

Ø      Mow your own lawn and rake your own leaves

Ø      Carry your own groceries

Ø      Play outside with your children or grandchildren – it doesn’t matter so much what – catch, hopscotch, or horseshoes – just keep moving

Ø      Visit the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.www.fitness.gov website to view publications about how to design your own exercise regimen

Ø      If you work in an office building or live in an apartment complex, check to see if there is a workout room on the premises. You may be able to work out for free or at a discount

Ø      If you join a health club or gym secure a one week pass to see if this is the right facility for you

Ø      If you sign with a health club seek a month to month contract and ask the facility to waive the signing fee

Nutritional Counseling

Ø      Visit the federal government website – Federal Citizen Information Center for www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cfocus/cfweight02/focus.htm and read the section titled Consumer Focus: Combat Winter Weight Gain

Ø     Contact free local weight loss programs and center in your area for nutritional support and information

Ø     Go to www.fitness.gov for additional tips about exercise and weight control

Ø      If you are considering buying a device or product that “guarantees” weight loss with little or no effort, check with the Federal Trade Commission to see if it is really effective and safe

Make this year the year you make good on your health and fitness resolutions!

Michael Carter


2009 New Year’s Resolutions

carter_michaelAs an owner of a health club and day spa that caters to women, we look forward to the month of January. In January, we like other health clubs experience our greatest health club membership enrollment and revenue growth. In 2009 as my company enters its fifth (5th) season of existence I have had the unique opportunity of experiencing and observing the challenges and difficulties a number of our client’s have had in maintaining their New Year’s Resolutions transformative goals of losing weight and developing a consistent exercise and nutritional regimen. The problem with these transformative resolutions is they often become derailed within a few weeks.

The Data Is Alarming

When you consider our individual and countries health challenges, the need to develop and maintain a sustaining health fitness regimen is critical and crucial in addressing:

Ø      125 million Americans that live with some type of chronic condition ( a medical condition lasting a year or longer) and roughly 60 million Americans that live with Multiple chronic conditions

Ø      65% of adult Americans that are either overweight or obese, and that cost an employer an additional $450 to $2,500 a year

Ø      Obese patients that spend 77% more on medications

Ø      High blood pressure which is the leading cause of disability and death from stroke, heart attack and kidney failure

Ø      Untreated hypertension that results in 33% more sick days

Ø      Smokers that average $3,400 per year in excess medical and productivity claims

Ø      1 in 3 adults that have a lifetime risk of diabetes.  Medical claims for those with diabetes are 6 times higher than for those without the disease

Source: The 2006 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics Report

Solutions and Recommendations

So those of us in the day spa industry what are your 2009 New Year’s health/fitness transformative goals?  Is it to lose weight?  Develop a sustaining exercise regimen or to stop smoking?

In my next blog I’ll provide some helpful hints to guide you in maintaining your health and fitness goals in 2009.

Michael Carter President and Chief Executive Officer of Athena of Nashville Inc

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –>

Steps Spa Owners Should Take in Recessionary Times


In my last blog titled “In Challenging Economic Times: How Long Will a Recession Last?” I wrote that on the South Lawn of the White House on December 5, 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush Friday acknowledged for the first time that the U.S. economy was in recession.

Now I want to provide some action steps and pointers that we in the spa industry can take to combat this current economic crisis.

Action Steps and Pointers

1.      Provide Leadership – the buck stops with you. You need to make every attempt to remain positive, enthusiastic and support staff. Don’t expect your team members to deal honestly with their failures if you don’t accept responsibility yourself.

2.      Make the Tough Calls – Make the tough call on cutting unproductive personnel and unprofitable services. Evaluate and identify the A rated players and A profitable services in your organization. Rid yourself of B and C rated staff and unprofitable services. This is the time and the moment to make sure you’re mean and lean.

3.      Increase Marketing Activity – everyone in the organization is a salesperson. Stress to staff on a consistent basis the need for marketing outreach. We cannot at times determine results but we can determine activity and everyone in the organization needs to be about marketing the spa experience of your facility.  Find the means if at all possible to find and allocate capital for media buy(s) and an effective email blast during the Christmas season.

4.      Cut debt and reliance on bank funding – if at all possible eliminate or reduce debt obligations. Call your banker to negotiate a better APR on your bank loan and line of credit.

5.      Increase your community involvement – become engaged or increase your involvement in serving on community not for profit boards. Law of Karma at work here.

6.      Take care of self – exercise, eat nutritional foods and make it a priority to spend quality time with family and friends.

7.      Enhance team communication – increase your engagement in the business and institute if not in place weekly staff meetings, one on ones with senior staff and key personnel and hold quarterly all company staff meetings in order to ensure there is effective dialogue and communication on company, department and individual performance measurements and results.

8.      Intellectual and business growth development – increase and expand your business knowledge base by reading business magazines, daily newspapers, attending chamber events, joining or forming a CEO Roundtable, attending industry workshops and expo’s. To quote an old saying “You get out of it what you put in it.”

Michael Carter President and Chief Executive Officer of Athena of Nashville Inc

Challenging Economic Times: How Long Will a Recession Last?


On the South Lawn of the White House on December 5, 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush Friday acknowledged for the first time that the U.S. economy was in recession.

“Today’s job data reflects the fact that our economy is in a recession,” Bush said hours after the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent in November, the highest level in 15 years.

“This is in large part because of severe problems in our housing, credit, and financial markets, which have resulted in significant job losses.”

There’s no doubt that history will judge rather harshly Mr. Bush for his handling of the one of the worst financial crisis in 80 years. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the economy has lost 1.9 million jobs, lifting the number of Americans out of work to 2.7 million. At 6.7 percent, the jobless rate has now risen 2.3 percentage points since it bottomed in March 2007.

Most sectors of the economy are now losing jobs, including manufacturing, construction, financial firms, retailers, and the leisure and hospitality industries. Only government, education and health services managed to post job gains.

A record one in 10 American homeowners with a mortgage were either in foreclosure or at least a month behind on their payments at the end of September, according the latest survey released Friday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The percentage of auto loans that was behind by 60 days or more rose 15.9 percent in the third quarter compared to last year, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

As consumers struggle to keep up with existing debts, lenders have cut credit card limits and tightened up on extending new loans, which has further crimped spending. The collapse of the stock market has wiped out trillions of dollars of personal wealth, forcing consumers to try to increase savings to make up for those losses.

All of which is accelerating the pullback in consumer spending – the main engine of the U.S. economy that accounts for roughly two-thirds of gross domestic product. Consumption dropped 3.7 percent in the third quarter and expectation is that consumer spending will drop by 4.7% in the end of the fourth quarter.

So what action steps can as leaders of our respective companies take to address the current financial meltdown?

Read my next article on “Steps Spa Owners Should Take in RecessionaryTimes.”

Michael Carter President and Chief Executive Officer of Athena of Nashville Inc

Get Clients Ready For The New Year Of Beautycare With


We really have a tremendous opportunity to celebrate each year with promotions and marketing events that will attract new clients, while also introducing our regular guests to new services.  It’s time to create a full annual calendar of exciting monthly marketing promotions that are client and community oriented.  The most progressive full-service Day Spa Salons are more than a phenomena today, they are a successful reality!

As comfortable as we are with day spa salons and our full array of luxury services, we must truly remember that many more people have not experienced a day spa service yet!  You have to develop your day spa clientele by constantly working to expand the services provided to your regulars, while also developing promotions that will attract new first-time clients.  Creating the normal paid advertisements, discounted special services and other marketing events are just some of the methods to build day spa service sales.

Progressive day spa marketeers design something for every week and month of the calendar year to build both service and retail programs.  The following promotional concepts and ideas are suggestions to get your 2001 Marketing and promotions Calendar started.  Let’s start with the basics.

STAFF MARKETING MEETINGS: Begin with an interactive staff meeting where everyone must come prepared to share at least several of their own fresh day spa promotional ideas that will:

  • Attract new day spa service clients
  • Keep day spa regulars coming back again and again
  • Introduce regulars to new day spa services
  • Get your day spa salon team involved within the local communities
  • Generate community excitement without the need for constant ‘paid advertisements’
  • Build personal and day spa salon team sales
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Create ongoing FUN Team Spirit

Keep these meetings set up as informal discussions, so everyone has a chance to suggest new ideas.  Tell everyone that each month two staff members will be placed in charge of a promotional activity promoting various day spa services and products.  During the meeting, create a big DAY SPA PROMOTIONS LIST written on large sheets of paper, posted on the wall.  Never criticize any idea during this interchange.  The manager and the entire staff should help work on each promotional event, yet it is up to the two designated staff members, to supervise the event no matter how big or small.  Attempt to get everyone involved, one month at a time. Start properly by making each promotional activity a true team event, not something you assign or create for the staff.

MONTHLY PROMOTIONAL CALENDARS: Target a major special theme or prospective new clientele base every month of the year, even if you have one, two, three or four events per month.  If you have not done this before, start slowly with one promotion per month, ramping up to multiple retail and service promotions by mid-year.  Here are just a few calendarized ideas to get you started:

  • January New Year – New You Total Beautycare Makeover Events
  • February Sweetheart Specials & Couples Events
  • March Spring Aromatherapy Celebration & Lady’s Club Events
  • April Easter Fundraising & Spring Celebration Events
  • May Special Mother’s Day Events & Prom Packages
  • June Graduations & Father’s Day Specials
  • July Summer Fun In The Sun Promotions
  • August Back-To-School, Teacher & Sorority Events
  • September Fall Fashion Events & TV Talk Shows
  • October Fall Back – Into New Day of Beauty & SpaWorks Events
  • November Business Women’s Specials & Programs
  • December Holiday Gift Certificate & Gift Basket Promotions

Larry H. Oskin

President of Marketing Solutions

Email: MktgSols@MktgSols.com