Five recovery treatments to introduce to your gym/studio space to boost revenue

MINDBODY, the leading technology platform for the wellness services industry, has conducted research into increasingly popular recovery methods and how they can be utilised by gym and studio owners to boost revenue.

Recovery methods have a host of benefits ranging from injury prevention, to minimising fatigue, and reducing stress. What’s more, treatments such as sensory-deprivation tanks and -80°C cold chambers have recently seen significant growth within the UK’s £20.6 billion health and wellness market1.

Considering the research, MINDBODY has compiled a list of the five recovery treatments gym and studio owners should consider introducing to satisfy consumer demand and boost revenue.

1.   Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy was amongst the top ten biggest gaining services in 2017/18, with an increase of 162% in bookings on the MINDBODY app. Cryotherapy is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures as Mohammed Shaikh, Founder and Director of Lifestream Floatation & Wellness Centre, explains: “By lowering the skin’s temperature between about 10 – 15°C, this activates the central nervous system and engages what is called the “Fight or Flight” response. The skin reacts to the cold, sending signals to the brain to send blood to the core to maintain body temperature. Toxins are flushed from peripheral tissues and blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. The body activities all its natural healing abilities and releases endorphins. As the body warms up again, the enriched blood flows back through the body, which is why it is such an effective technique for athletic recovery, but I would urge everyone to try it, as the process can also help with chronic pain, inflammation, increase metabolism and enhance overall wellbeing.”

Cryotherapy provides many wellbeing benefits that could attract new clients, therefore, by offering this service, either in-house or through a partnership, gym and studio owners can open up new streams of revenue. Typically, full body cryotherapy treatments cost between £50 – £100 for one session.

2.   Water Therapy

Another treatment that has seen significant growth in bookings (+107% on the MINDBODY app from 2017/2018) is water therapy. There are many popular water therapy treatments; one being floatation tanks which involves floating in a dark, soundproof tank filled with a water/salt solution that is kept at body temperature and allows a person to float effortlessly. This helps to promote many beneficial effects such as improved sleep, deep meditation, expedites sports recovery, and improved circulation. Mohammed Shaikh explains the reasons why we are seeing a rise in people opting for these treatments: “As we become more ‘switched-on’ for longer (thanks to social media, our mobile phones and tech in general), we find it hard to get any real down-time, but a sixty-minute session in a floatation tank allows you to completely switch off, depriving you of your sensors.”

Gym/studio owners looking to explore recovery treatments should consider adding flotation tanks to their current offering. It will ensure their customers have the ultimate relaxing experience when visiting their premises and leave feeling de-stressed and in a state of total bliss. However, similar to Cryotherapy, if this isn’t realistic for your existing business model – floatation tanks can cost anything between £12-50k depending on the size and features of the tank or pod, excluding the cost of salt, hydrometer and water maintenance supplies – you could explore a cross-promotion with a neighbouring spa or wellness centre. This is a low- risk way of adding value to your service, but ensure there is synergy between the two businesses for it to work. Treatment prices are similar to cryotherapy, around £50 – £75 per session, with many businesses offering discounts for multiple session packages.

3.   Sports Massage

Sports massages are still a highly popular recovery treatment and show one of the highest interests on Google Trends with a total of 20,263 searches, in the UK, over the past five years.Regular sports massages can play an important role in muscle recovery of athletes and non-athletes, whether they’re injured or not. Whilst they’re beneficial to the repair of certain muscle groups, they also help to lower blood pressure, anxiety and improve circulation. For these reasons, the treatment appeals to a wide range of different wellbeing requirements allowing gym and studio owners to promote their offerings to new customers, whilst driving loyalty and retention of existing members. Sports massages are priced around £50 on average for an hourly session.

Justin Rogers, Brand Director at Ten Health & Fitness explains why Rehabilitation is at the heart of Ten’s offering and how important it is for fitness operators to educate clients on recovery methods:“Our MoveBetter approach focuses as much on quality of movement – form, posture, precision and control – as it does on intensity and effort. Massage is a fundamental part of our ability to help our clients move better – with better technique, more strength and power, greater efficiency or effort and reduced impingement, pain and injury risk”.

“For exercise to be properly effective it also has to be sustainable and as an operator you have an obligation to keep clients safe and injury free. For any responsible operator, that includes educating them on the importance of recovery. The more intense the sessions that an operator provides, and the more frequently you’re encouraging them to train, the greater the responsibility. And if the professional/moral argument isn’t compelling enough (it should be!) there’s also the financial one – if your clients are injured, they’re not training. And if they’re not training, you’re not earning.”

4.   Nutrition

Consuming the appropriate nutrients after exercise is essential to improve body composition, performance, and overall recovery. Over the last 12 months, phrases such as ‘What foods are high in protein’ have received 2,192 Google Searches in the UK. What’s more, ‘nutritionist near me’ also received 2,820 searches proving there is a strong appetite for this important information.

Should a customer have questions about nutrition, for example, what should/shouldn’t they be eating or what are the essential products to aid their recovery, then it’s important you can offer them specialist advice within your premises to help them fully recover and prepare for their next workout/class taking place within your gym/studio space. On average, nutritionists charge around £45 per hour.

5.   Restorative/Yin Yoga

Restorative/Yin Yoga is used for a variety of recovery reasons such as improving blood flow, relieving aches and pains, increasing flexibility, stretching ligaments and tendons, as well as promoting relaxation and healthy sleep. According to Google Trends analysis, Yin Yoga has received 10,882 searches, in the UK, over the last five years, proving its popularity among consumers. If they haven’t already, gym/studio owners should look to capitalise on the ever-growing yoga trend by offering specifically this slower-paced style of yoga, highlighting the benefits and how it can help the body when in need of healing.

A spokesperson from MINDBODY comments: “There’s plenty gym/studio owners can be doing to help maximise their customers’ recovery to ensure all of the effort they’re putting in, at their premises, isn’t going to waste. As a nation that is obsessed with HIIT training, it’s no surprise that Recovery methods are on the rise and it is a trend we’re confident will continue to grow. It is important gym/studio owners keep up with this trend by offering the latest treatments to ensure they’re encouraging new customers through the door, and driving loyalty and retention of existing members. Yin Yoga classes can cost between £5 – £10, where a private hourly session amounts to around £40 – £50.


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