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Essential Fitness Trend for 2021: Recovery

Essential Fitness Trend

Kevin Conaway, the president of HydroMassage, shares why recovery is an essential fitness trend for many reasons in 2021.

What is recovery? 

Before 2020, if you asked any fitness club owner about “recovery,” the response you got was typically pretty straightforward. Members workout, muscles get sore, and recovery was how we helped members feel better faster. It was a pretty simple concept.

In recent years, you practically couldn’t pick up any fitness magazine without reading about a variety of recovery products pro athletes use to take care of their bodies and perform better. 

This essential fitness trend caused a surge in grass-roots awareness and demand for recovery services, and health clubs quickly took note.

Whether gyms decided to add water massage beds, percussion therapy, smoothie bars, cryotherapy or any other solution, it’s really in all of our best interests to provide recovery services. Because helping members meet their health and fitness goals is at the core of what we do as an industry. 

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that when we prioritize helping members feel good, there’s also a clear path to more club visits and higher retention rates.

Recovery Expands Into Mental Wellness

However in 2021, as the industry emerges from the pandemic, recovery has evolved to take on a much broader and more important meaning. A recent study showed 56% of people admitted to feeling more stress and 51% experienced more anxiety.1

What does higher member stress levels mean to you, as a fitness club owner?

With “stress, loneliness, and burnout exploding pre-pandemic,” the Global Wellness Institute notes, “people are awakening to the importance of integrative wellness solutions.”2

Victor Brick, the owner of 75 Planet Fitness clubs, Global Wellness Summit Advisory Board member and founder of The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, shares, “Especially post-COVID, there’s never been a more urgent time for the fitness industry to emphasize healthy lifestyles with exercise, nutrition and stress relief.”

For fitness clubs, this means there is an opportunity now to position ourselves as more than exercise and “muscle recovery.”

Forward-thinking clubs are starting to consider what services can also be used to help members relax, reduce stress and improve their overall mental wellness.

Gainesville Health and Fitness is a great example. They’ve smartly positioned recovery on their website to help members “live their best life with a healthy body, mind and spirit.”3 They go on to say, “Recovery is the new face of total wellness that will transform your fitness experience beyond the ordinary.”

With this self-care-based approach, even on days when members don’t come in for a high-intensity workout, you can invite them back in to mentally recharge with a massage, a smoothie or a swim. It’s a really relevant, proactive message with clear appeal to so many people who could use a mental wellness boost right now.

So the next time you hear about recovery, stop and take a moment to think about what it can mean to your members both physically and mentally, and also how making this shift gives you an opportunity to help your club financially not only recover, but become better than it’s ever been. 

Cheers to 2021 being the year of recovery.

Kevin Conaway

Kevin Conaway is the president of HydroMassage. Reach him at info@hydromassage.com or 727.536.5566.

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