Preventing fitness instructor burnout and injuries

Employers across many different industries need help finding and hiring enough employees. The hiring crunch affects everyone, from childcare facilities to restaurants to YMCAs and fitness centers. For fitness centers, this means that their instructors may be spreading themselves thin. Having enough fitness instructors during January and February is critical, as a surge in individuals embarking on their New Year’s resolutions visit their local YMCAs or fitness centers. People are more motivated after the holidays to live a healthier lifestyle.

Having enough instructors is crucial to meet this heightened demand, providing personalized guidance and support to newcomers. Adequate staffing ensures that everyone receives proper attention, instruction, and motivation, whether a novice or a seasoned fitness enthusiast. If there aren’t enough instructors to teach the typical class load, how can they handle the increased demand? Employees may be pushing themselves to teach and participate in too many classes. This behavior can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and, in some cases, serious injuries.

Unfortunately, fitness instructors don’t see injury as a real risk. In this case, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. So, what can an organization do to keep their instructors safe and healthy?

Fitness Instructor Safety Tips

  • If necessary, decrease the number of classes offered if there aren’t enough instructors available. While this can be frustrating for patrons, it’s better to offer fewer classes and keep instructors healthy than push them to injury.
  • Have managers check in with instructors each day to see how they’re feeling and if they need a break or to teach a different class that day.
  • If you have multiple locations, rotate instructors between them to allow for breaks and the opportunity to teach different types of classes.
  • Make sure instructors are keeping their intensity low while teaching. If they’re pushing themselves too much that increases their injury risk. 
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