In its early stages, fitness recovery appears to be a growing priority as fitness enthusiasts seek ways to enhance and supplement their overall health and fitness experiences.
Experiences such as floatation therapy, vitamin therapy, infrared saunas and more are on the must-try lists of those in the know and offer a way to grow your fitness business, further support and connect with clients while adding value to their membership.
Read more: Creating a pricing strategy for your gym
Here’s what you should know:
Fitness recovery strategies are methods and practices designed to help individuals recuperate and rejuvenate after physical exercise, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall well-being.
These can be anything from stretching and massaging to hi-tech offerings of cryotherapy or hyperbaric chambers and everything in between.
These strategies can aid in everything from reducing inflammation and lactic acid buildup, lowering the chances of injury, to simply aiding recovery before their next fitness adventure.
Keen to know what kind of fitness recovery services are out there? We've compiled a list of offerings to consider for your fitness business. Keep in mind that we recommend all services be undertaken by experienced professionals with relevant qualifications.
An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light, which is experienced as radiant heat. Unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you, infrared saunas heat your body directly. These saunas are designed to create a milder and more comfortable environment compared to traditional saunas, while still providing many potential health benefits.
Potential benefits of using infrared saunas may include:
Sweating induced by infrared sauna use may help the body eliminate toxins and heavy metals through the skin.
Infrared saunas are known for promoting relaxation and stress reduction. The heat helps relax muscles, and the experience can be calming.
The heat generated by infrared saunas may lead to increased blood flow, which can potentially improve circulation and cardiovascular health.
Some people use infrared saunas to alleviate muscle and joint pain. The heat may help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation.
Infrared saunas may contribute to improved skin health by promoting circulation, increasing collagen production, and encouraging the elimination of toxins through sweating.
While not a primary method for weight loss, some individuals use infrared saunas to support weight management efforts. The increase in heart rate and sweating can potentially contribute to calorie expenditure.
Float therapy, also known as sensory deprivation or isolation tank therapy, is a relaxation and wellness practice that involves floating in a tank filled with saltwater at body temperature. The goal is to create an environment that minimizes sensory input, providing a unique experience of bweightlessness and promoting relaxation. Float therapy typically takes place in a specially designed sensory deprivation tank or floatation tank.
Potential benefits may include:
The calming environment of the floatation tank can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. The absence of external stimuli allows the nervous system to enter a state of deep relaxation.
Floating in the buoyant saltwater may aid in muscle recovery and relieve tension. Athletes and individuals with muscle soreness often use float therapy to enhance recovery.
Some people report improved sleep quality and a sense of deep relaxation after float therapy sessions.
The sensory deprivation experience may help clear the mind and enhance creativity. Some individuals use float therapy as a tool for problem-solving and creative thinking.
Float therapy has been explored as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Cryotherapy refers to a therapeutic technique that involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures for a short duration.
There are different forms of cryotherapy, but one of the most common is whole-body cryotherapy, where individuals enter a specialized chamber for a brief exposure to very cold air.
Cryotherapy saunas use extremely cold air to cool the entire body. However, these saunas are typically more open than chambers, allowing the head to remain outside during the session.
Potential benefits of cryotherapy may include:
Cold exposure can help decrease inflammation and swelling, which may be beneficial for individuals recovering from injuries or managing inflammatory conditions.
Cryotherapy may provide pain relief by numbing nerve endings and reducing pain signals.
Athletes often use cryotherapy to aid in muscle recovery after intense workouts. The cold may help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
Cold exposure can cause blood vessels to constrict and then dilate once the body warms up, potentially improving circulation.
Some proponents suggest that exposure to cold temperatures may increase the metabolic rate, potentially aiding in weight management.
Some individuals report feeling more alert and experiencing mood improvements after cryotherapy sessions.
A hyperbaric chamber is a sealed environment that allows an individual to breathe in pure oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure. The basic concept behind hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to increase the amount of oxygen delivered to the body's tissues, which can promote healing and provide other therapeutic benefits.
Key features of a hyperbaric chamber include:
The chamber is pressurized with compressed air, and the pressure inside can be adjusted to levels higher than atmospheric pressure.
While inside the chamber, the individual breathes in 100% oxygen. Breathing pure oxygen under increased pressure allows for higher concentrations of oxygen to dissolve in the bloodstream, promoting oxygen delivery to tissues.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is typically administered under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals in a clinical setting. The duration and frequency of sessions can vary based on the specific medical condition being treated.
While hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven effective for certain conditions, its use should be prescribed and monitored by qualified healthcare providers.
A hot and cold plunge pool is a facility often found in therapeutic settings, such as spas, fitness centers, or rehabilitation centers. It involves alternating between hot and cold water immersion for various health and wellness benefits. This practice is sometimes referred to as contrast hydrotherapy or hot-cold immersion therapy. The two pools are typically adjacent to each other, and individuals move between them to experience the contrasting temperatures.
The alternating exposure to hot and cold water is thought to have several potential benefits:
Alternating between hot and cold water can stimulate blood circulation, which may have cardiovascular benefits.
The cold plunge pool is often used to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness after intense physical activity, while the hot plunge pool helps to relax muscles.
Some proponents suggest that hot and cold immersion may support immune function through the stimulation of circulation and the potential release of certain substances that affect the immune system.
The relaxation induced by the warm water and the invigorating effect of the cold water may contribute to stress reduction.
Intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy involves the administration of vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous drip.
This method allows for higher concentrations of nutrients to reach the cells more quickly compared to oral supplements. IV vitamin therapy has gained popularity for various reasons, including potential benefits such as:
By bypassing the digestive system, IV vitamin therapy delivers nutrients directly to the bloodstream, allowing for faster and more efficient absorption.
Some individuals may have difficulty absorbing certain vitamins and minerals through the digestive tract. IV therapy can provide a more direct and effective route for these nutrients.
IV vitamin therapy often includes fluids, providing hydration along with essential nutrients. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are dehydrated.
Some people use IV vitamin therapy for an energy boost, as it may contain B-vitamins, which play a role in energy metabolism.
Certain formulations may include vitamins and minerals that are believed to support immune function.
Athletes and individuals seeking faster recovery from strenuous physical activities may use IV vitamin therapy to replenish nutrients and support overall wellness.
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field. PEMF therapy involves the use of electromagnetic fields to improve overall health and well-being. This therapy has been used for various medical and therapeutic purposes, and it's often considered a form of energy medicine.
The basic principle behind PEMF therapy is the application of electromagnetic fields to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and improve cellular function.
PEMF therapy devices generate electromagnetic fields that can penetrate the body's tissues. These fields are typically pulsed, meaning they vary in intensity and frequency over time.
The electromagnetic fields used in PEMF therapy are believed to interact with the cells of the body, influencing cellular processes. This includes effects on cellular energy production, ion transport across cell membranes, and the release of various signaling molecules.
Advocates of PEMF therapy claim that it may have various health benefits, including improved circulation, enhanced cellular repair and regeneration, reduced inflammation, and pain relief. Some also suggest benefits for sleep quality, stress reduction, and overall well-being.
Many gyms and fitness businesses have had to adapt and pivot immensely in recent years due to the impacts of the pandemic.
Now, amid a changing economic climate, these adaptations have become increasingly necessary as they prove their value for clients and customers who may be looking at ways to trim back spending.
Fitness recovery strategies can be a fantastic additional service to bring value and convenience to your clients who are looking to expand their overall health and wellness using emerging health technologies.
It should go without saying, however, that all strategies mentioned above need to be administered by qualified professionals with relevant expertise and knowledge in the field.