Creating a Connected Fitness Experience


It’s human nature to seek connection, and the latest technology makes it possible to stay more connected to our families, friends and interests than ever before. But as a campus rec professional, how can you use technology to connect with students and let them know about all the exciting things that make your facility stand out? The truth is modern technology is far more powerful, flexible and simple than you might think.

A New Digital Landscape. It’s essential to understand the digitally connected world in which many students were raised. Mobile devices are loaded with apps that drive connection with family, friends and even strangers. Massive multiplayer online video games have developed their own unique worlds and cultures to connect. Our favorite sports teams are in the palm of our hand, whether we’re streaming, checking stats or competing in fantasy leagues. Students can navigate the interfaces of this digital world fluidly, and they expect technological literacy from the people they interact with in their lives. But with all of this diverse technology, how do you maximize its effectiveness?

Educating Yourself. The first step in connecting with students is developing an understanding of the technology you’ve invested in already. Think about the way you use your smartphone as an analogy. How many apps remain unused? Can you confidently say you know everything it can do? Understanding your fitness center’s tools will help you spread your message, letting students know about special events, small group training, new equipment and programming. If you discover gaps in your knowledge when it comes to your technology, your equipment provider can be a valuable source of information. Certain providers even offer websites full of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your investment.

Leveraging Digital Connections. With a solid understanding in place, you can use the technology at your fingertips to connect with current and prospective students. Many of today’s fitness solutions include integrated connectivity that makes it easy to get started. Better still, certain console interfaces emulate the mobile devices students use daily, even offering access to their favorite apps. This means exercises can be prescribed and tracked by trainers through wearables and the equipment being used. Using a customized, uniform workout tracking network to run fitness challenges can help you get more students involved, and establishing reward and referral programs can help you boost both engagement and acquisition. This is just the beginning of what you can do with modern fitness technology. By exploring and experimenting with the technology already in your facility, you can discover virtually endless ways to connect with the students you serve.


Ashley Haberman is the U.S. marketing manager at Johnson Health Tech North America, the parent company of Matrix Fitness. He can be reached at or visit


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