Recovery: 2018’s Hottest Fitness Trend
The value and demand for recovery services has been gaining steam in 2017. The increased demand also presents a unique revenue opportunity within health clubs seeking to expand or differentiate themselves from competitors. From passive to active — and everything in between — recovery methods help our bodies rest, repair and re-stabilize from the physical and mental stresses of daily movement, work demands and overall life balance.
The Old and Proven
Many health clubs and spas already provide some form of traditional recovery services including massage, swimming, sauna, steam and yoga. Cardio machines can provide an active form of recovery, however are not often marketed as such.
The New and Shiny
The boom of franchise and independent studios focusing on relaxation and recovery is not a coincidence. Old-school sauna boxes have evolved into personal, infrared pods, and at the opposite end of the thermometer lies cryotherapy. These, along with emerging technology such as vacuum and compression, focus on boosting circulation to accelerate repair and recovery. Add to that meditation pods, float pods, dry salt booths and other forms of relaxation, and it’s clear recovery methods go beyond targeting the elite, high-performing athlete.
Who Needs Recovery?
Well, everyone does. Originally, it was believed the high-performing athlete was in most need of recovery. The American Council on Exercise and other fitness certification organizations teach the critical role of rest and repair for those engaged in high-intensity fitness activities. Without proper amounts of recovery, athletes are at risk of injury or may simply plateau in performance. However, there is now growing awareness the non-athlete also benefits from recovery. The Mayo Clinic and other medical organizations have long touted the negative effects of stress. From digestive issues to insomnia, excessive stress not only affects your mood, it physically affects your body. For those who work or live in a fast-paced or high-stress environment, recovery is also a growing necessity.
Opportunities for Health Clubs
Bottom line is health clubs already have a captive audience. Members join to improve overall health. By expanding services to include recovery, there is an untapped opportunity to increase retention and revenue simultaneously. But how?
- Determine available space. This will drive the recovery services you can offer within your club setting. From single treatment rooms to group class spaces, assess the total under-utilized space you have available to integrate this new service.
- Determine available budget. With numerous options from buying equipment outright to paying monthly license and leasing fees, calculate the available budget for initial investment and recurring fees.
- Assess the demand. Who is your audience. Are your members primarily older and retired or younger and more active? Your membership profile will dictate the recovery method you select.
- Package and promote it. Provide creative ways to package recovery services with existing services. Extend a discount to new members to create the habit early in the fitness program adoption phase.
Tight on budget? There are still creative ways to establish yourself as the industry expert. Partner with nearby businesses offering recovery services and cross-promote each other. Provide education seminars on recovery. Use in-house staff to conduct hands-on recovery workshops. For clubs already offering recovery services, consider floor plan refinements to group these services in one convenient area.
In 2018, the demand for rest and recovery services will accelerate with continued increases in its awareness, availability and variety. This presents an opportunity for health clubs to further drive retention and revenue and provide a complete spectrum of wellness solutions to an already captive audience.