It’s true – some people LOVE cold weather. They thrive in it, invigorated by the zingy freshness of it all. Then there are those of us that shut down over the cold months, struggling to leave the house when all we want to do is hibernate under a pile of blankets. 🐻

As the seasons change and temperatures drop, gym attendance often sees a noticeable decline. Understandably, members may find the comfort of a warm home more appealing than braving the cold to visit the gym. This seasonal slump can lead to reduced member engagement and even cancellations. However, with the right strategies, you can keep your members active, motivated, and engaged throughout winter, ensuring high retention rates while still attracting new members. Read on for some actionable tips to make your gym the hot place to be over the cold months.

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere

One of the best ways to tempt people from their warm, comfortable homes is to ensure that your gym feels like a welcoming retreat from the cold. A cosy and inviting environment can make a big difference in encouraging members to keep up with their fitness routines.

Cosy interiors

First impressions matter. Enhance your gym’s ambience with warm lighting, comfortable seating areas, and seasonal decor. A cosy interior can make members feel at home and they’ll be more inclined to visit regularly. Maybe even add a heater in the reception area for a toasty warmth on entry. Don’t make it too warm though – you don’t want your members to work up a sweat before they work out! 😋 

Warm beverages

Ah, the simple pleasure of having a chat over a cuppa. Offering complimentary hot drinks like tea, coffee, chai, or hot chocolate can be a simple yet effective way to make members feel appreciated and encourage them to stay longer. This small gesture can create a welcoming, community building atmosphere and enhances member satisfaction.

Winter gym

Winter retention tips

Keeping your members engaged and motivated during winter requires a blend of creative promotions, engaging activities, and fresh content. Here are some practical tips to help you retain your members during the colder months:

Special promotions

Winter is an ideal time to offer special promotions. Consider discounts on long-term memberships or referral incentives that encourage current members to bring friends. ‘Limited time’ offers can create a sense of urgency and attract new sign-ups.

Themed events

Hosting themed events can add excitement and variety to your members’ routines and injects a sense of fun into gym-going. Consider winter-themed classes such as “Winter Wellness” or “Rainy Day Yoga.” These events not only keep current members engaged but also attract new participants looking for a unique fitness experience.

Community events

Organising community events can foster a sense of belonging and motivate members to stay active. Consider hosting indoor activities such as trivia nights, cooking classes, or wellness workshops. These events can help members connect with each other and with your gym on a deeper level.

Fitness challenges

Introduce winter fitness challenges to keep your members motivated. Events like “30-Day Winter Warrior” or “Rainy Season Fitness Challenge” can encourage members to stay consistent with their workouts. Offering rewards for completion, such as gym merchandise or free personal training sessions, can boost participation.

New classes and services

Winter is an excellent time to introduce new classes or services to shake off the frost and re-energise members. Try adding high-energy indoor activities like spinning or HIIT classes to keep members engaged. You could also offer wellness services, such as nutrition workshops or mental health seminars, to provide a comprehensive approach to member wellbeing.

Motivational content

Inspire people to say active even when they’re scrolling in bed! Regularly post motivational content such as success stories, workout tips, and healthy recipes through blogs or social media. Engaging content can keep your gym top-of-mind and provide members with the encouragement they need to brave the cold.

New workout plans

Offer members new workout plans tailored to the winter season. Whether it’s indoor-friendly routines or plans designed to build strength and endurance during the colder months, providing fresh and effective workouts can reignite your members’ enthusiasm.

Gym marketing

Continued engagement

Staying connected with your members during winter is crucial. Leveraging digital platforms and technology can play a significant role in maintaining engagement. Here’s how to do it effectively:

Leveraging digital platforms

Let technology take over the boring, time-sucking tasks! Using marketing automation software can help streamline and automate personalised communication. Targeted messages can keep members informed about upcoming events, new classes, and special offers, while automated reminders for class bookings and membership renewals ensure that your members never miss out.

Powering exceptional experiences

The right partner will help you deliver stand out service and build memorable experiences. All with less heavy lifting for you and your team. A gym software partner like Xplor Gym.

Request a personalised Xplor Gym demo

Virtual classes

Sometimes it’s not just cold weather keeping people at home. Torrential rain, damaging winds, snowfall, road closures due to storm damage; there’s plenty of things that can prevent a gym visit. Offering virtual classes is an excellent way to keep members engaged from the comfort of their homes so they don’t lose momentum. Live-streamed workouts, on-demand fitness videos, and virtual personal training sessions can provide flexibility and convenience, making it easier for members to stay active regardless of the conditions.

Enhance your virtual offerings with Xplor Gym


Xplor Gym offers a comprehensive virtual fitness solution, including live coaching, personal training sessions, and a vast on-demand workout library to keep your members engaged and motivated, no matter the weather.

Gym Community

Building a sense of community

Never underestimate the power and benefit of social connections. Creating a strong sense of community within your gym can significantly enhance member loyalty and engagement. By providing opportunities for members to connect with each other, you can foster a supportive and motivating environment.

Social events

Organise regular social events where members can interact outside of their workouts. Events like trivia nights (always popular), movie screenings, or even themed potluck dinners can strengthen the bonds between members and create a sense of belonging.

Group challenges

Group fitness challenges can encourage camaraderie and healthy competition. Whether it’s a team-based challenge or a buddy system for regular workouts, these initiatives can motivate members to stay committed and support each other – and that extra accountability always helps.

Online forums

Creating online forums or social media groups for your gym can provide a space for members to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer support. These digital communities can enhance member engagement and foster a sense of community, even when members are not physically present at the gym.

The wrap up…

Winter doesn’t have to signal a downturn in gym attendance and member engagement. By creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, implementing special promotions, hosting themed events, organising community activities, introducing new classes and services, leveraging digital platforms, and building a strong sense of community, you can keep your members motivated and connected throughout the colder months.

Using tools like Xplor Gym to streamline communication and offer virtual classes can further enhance engagement and retention. Remember, a proactive approach during winter can lead to a more dedicated and enthusiastic member base all year round. Don’t leave your members out in the cold—keep them warm, motivated, and engaged with these actionable strategies.

Article by Xplor Gym

First published: 21 May 2024

Last updated: 21 May 2024