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Learn more about the recovery offerings available to community recreation centers your members will be looking for in 2022.

According to ACE, a nonprofit exercise professional and health coach certification organization, recovery is the most important aspect of any person’s workout program. But what is recovery and why is it crucial to offer at your facilities?

Recovery in exercise allows muscles to repair themselves, improves range of motion and movement, increases blood flow, and engages muscles that are sore from workouts. Over time, recovery has evolved from rest, ice baths and foam rollers to percussive therapy, red light therapy, massage beds and more. 

Additionally, recovery has benefits for your facility, not just members. Offering meaningful amenities to members — like recovery — helps retain and attract new members. Having a holistic approach to wellness will show members and potential members you care about both their mind and body.

“Recovery is crucial to the success of any workout program or routine,” said Carlye Wycykal, the senior marketing manager of gym, hospitality and spa for Therabody. “By offering recovery options for your members you are providing them a more well-rounded and holistic fitness experience. As fitness professionals we have always known recovery is important, but it has finally made its way to mainstream fitness conversations, so members are starting to expect and seek out gyms with recovery options.”

According to Michelle Guerin, the vice president and director of business development, sales and marketing at Human Touch, recovery allows for improved performance, allows the body to heal itself and decreases the risk of injury. All these benefits allow for new goals and personal bests.

As a community rec center, you can help your members reach their goals faster by offering them a recovery zone. However, when creating this space, Wycykal said there are some important things to keep in mind. “Integrate the recovery zone into your entire ecosystem,” she said. “Have it play a part in group fitness, personal training, and on the training and cardio floors. Recovery is important for every member, so you want to make sure you reach every member segment.”

Another key aspect to keep in mind when offering recovery options is education. Wycykal recommends educating your staff and members as much as possible. The more your staff know, the more confident and excited they will be to speak with members about it. Additionally, the more your members know about recovery, the more they will utilize your recovery services and experience the benefits, as well as share this knowledge and the benefits with potential new members.

Guerin agreed recovery zones should be thoughtfully laid out and easy for the member to use so they keep coming back. 

“Recovery zones should be designed in a way that makes members want to incorporate it as part of their workout regimen,” said Guerin. “Therefore, they should be designed using products that draw people in. Products that complement each other such as massage chairs and percussive therapy devices should be used.”

While recovery is a great offering for your members, it takes more than just adding in equipment. You will need a strategy in place to make sure your staff and members know how to properly use everything and the benefits of doing so. 

Wycykal said the most common mistake she sees when facilities create recovery zones is the lack of strategy — including staff education.

“Staff education plays a major role in the success of your recovery zone or recovery offerings,” said Wycykal. “When staff are well educated on your recovery options and trained on how to engage members with recovery, you will have more members utilizing your recovery zones and participating in your recovery services. The other part of the strategy we see skipped over is building out an economic model. There are many ways to monetize your recovery zones and solutions. When you don’t put a plan in place, you miss out on a new revenue stream.”

With a plan and a well-thought-out design, you can utilize recovery offerings to not only bring great benefits to your members but also your facility. Above all, the important thing to remember is the more members see and hear about recovery around your facility, the more curiosity it will drive, leading to engagement and new goals.

“Many experts consider recovery as the single most important part of any training or exercise program,” said Guerin. “Recovery allows for improved performance, permits time for the body to heal itself in preparation for the next training session and decreases the risk of potential injury. All these benefits allow for the attainment of new goals and personal bests.” 

*Photo courtesy of Therabody. 

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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