Mr. Green

Spas, Health & Fitness

2012 Trends in Fitness - How They will apply to the Hospitality Industry

By Bryan Green, President & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products

As your guest’s fitness resolutions for the New Year have firmly begun to settle in, what trends might you expect to encounter demand for this year? For 2012, in many cases fitness trends continue to build upon recent exercise focus as the emergence of participants of all ages increase their demand and interest in staying fit. Baby Boomers and young adults alike increasingly intend to exercise during business travel and while on vacation. Anticipating your guest’s endeavors to stay in shape while traveling will remain an important way to outpace the competition.

For the past five years, the trend toward educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals remains at the top of the list. As Americans and our global counterparts alike only continue to get more overweight and unhealthy; an increased demand for health guidance remains on the rise. In recent years, the hospitality industry has certainly begun to answer the bell as it relates to healthy menus and increased exercise space. In short, there will be no need to deviate from continuing to extend the guest experience further into the realm of heath and wellness.

The key for those who operate an amenity in hospitality based fitness is to strive to provide exercise balance and a representative offering in wellness against the reality that such will never be everything to everyone. The hotel fitness center is not a replacement for one’s commercial health club. Rather, it should establish a sufficient amenity that makes an effective effort to address the trends and the needs of the active traveler. Help your guests stay on track with their lifestyle commitments, and you will provide an important check off their list the next time they are considering a stay at your property.

The American College of Sports Medicine recently published its sixth Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends predicting and ranking the top 10 trends for 2012. The following is an outline of these trends and how your property might consider integrating them into the guest experience:

1. Education

The most important aspect here is to understand that travelers are increasingly more knowledgeable than ever before about the type of foods and exercise that are important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, appealing to these trends will remain fundamental. You might find that providing in-house newsletters with tips and suggestions on “how to stay fit while on the road” or “Cardio in-between your meetings” might further demonstrate your awareness of what’s on their mind.

2. Strength training

Several of the trends on the top 10 list incorporate some aspect of strength training. A well appointed amenity will provide the guest both cable based resistance training as well as a reasonable offering of free weights. Generally a set of dumbbells ranging from 5-50 lbs. and one or more adjustable benches is today’s free-weight norm. Selecting cable equipment that will allow the exerciser to define their motion vs. increasingly outdated machine defined paths of resistance is also quickly becoming standard fare.

3. Fitness offerings for older adults

The great thing about exercise is that in most cases, what works for a 20 something generally remains the same for those in their later years. The difference is typically the intensity and resistance levels associate with the various movements themselves. Therefore, incorporating equipment that has the flexibility in adjustment as well as sufficient appeal to beginner and advanced users alike is key. One way to insure a wider appeal to exercisers of all types is to provide a sufficient enough stretching and movement space. This will allow for the freedom of those that wish to do mat based exercises or incorporate a variety of commonly used tools today such as foam rollers, stability balls, and exercise tubing.

4. Exercise and weight loss

These two categories remain joined at the hip. To offer a wonderfully appointed fitness facility, but find that your restaurant and room service choices do not easily identify healthy fare would be inconsistent. This is not to say that you’re fine dining or quick choice restaurants must now be converted into healthy themed experiences. Rather, in both cases offering diversity in menu options with easily decipherable healthy selection notations are absolutely important.

5. Children and obesity

This is unfortunately an area of increasing concern and with little leveling off in site. For families traveling together on vacation, it’s important to insure that children too are provided an offering in exercise. Outdoor fitness areas, obstacles courses, and family oriented walking or bike paths are low cost and highly effective ways to support children’s needs as well for space to be active while traveling. Although much of youth fitness cannot be supported via the fitness amenity itself, providing an extension outside of such spaces are a great way not only to provide activities for children, but creating play time for families to be together in a healthy and fun way.

6. Personal training

Whether your hotel in an urban oasis or a full scale resort, certified personal trainers can provide guests with an extended experience that should not be limited to only the 5-star property. There are several widely recognized certifying agencies for personal trainers. Each of these agencies typically provides an online directory that makes it easy to identify local professionals that you can make arrangements with on an on-call basis. Having 3 or more prequalified professionals can make it easy for the front desk or concierge to round up a trainer for that guest seeking a more focused workout.

7. Core training

This exercise focus simply refers to the trend in building strength in the deep and superficial muscles that stabilize and move the trunk of the body. The primary focuses here are the abdominals and muscles of the back. To facility core training in the hospitality environment it’s easy to provide a few additional items for your stretching and movement area such as medicine balls and balance pads. Additionally, your equipment provider can recommend a variety of cable based handle attachments that will further accentuate the exercise offering of the equipment you likely already have in place. Most of these core training solutions are relatively minimal in terms of cost, but will help provide a progressive environment for today’s training methods.

8. Group personal training

This one is a bit more difficult for the average hotel property to embrace. As the cost of personal training is not always an affordable option for all, instruction in semi-private or smaller yet coordinated groups has become increasingly popular in today’s health clubs. You may wish to review these options with those fitness professionals working as outside contractors for the facility or as part of the management team for properties that are large enough to be staffed.

9. Zumba and other dance workouts

The worlds of dance and group exercise have increasingly fused together with some very popular platforms in recent times. For properties that have sufficient space to provide a group exercise studio, it’s likely that your instructors are already reshuffling the deck to further incorporate these energetic new trends.

10. Functional fitness

A great example of a trend that is not new, but continues to grow exponentially. Functional fitness movements refer to the performance of tasks in exercise training that replicate how we move in life. Lifting, throwing, catching and pushing are activities that we all encounter at some point in the day and our training to support these movements need be both intuitive and effective. To sufficiently support the demand for this contemporary method of training, it will be critical to provide adjustable cable based equipment that will again allow for the user to define their path of resistance vs. more traditional single station equipment. Most major equipment manufacturers have been steadfast in addressing such demand. Consequently you will find it relatively easy to select these important components for your facility.

For properties that have updated their offering in fitness and altered restaurant menus alike in recent times, it will be relatively easy and inexpensive to insure that you have the necessary nuances in place to continue to address the growing demand for health and wellness. For those facilities that have yet to make the requisite investment reflective of guest demand in this regard, perhaps the New Year is a perfect time to solidify a resolution to get on track.

Bryan Green is a fitness expert and advisor to core & non-traditional businesses alike in industries including hospitality, multi-family housing, corporations, and Academic institutions. Mr. Green serves as President and CEO of Advantage Fitness Products (AFP), a leading provider of innovative fitness and wellness-based solutions for commercial facilities worldwide and specialized residential environments. AFP offers expertise across multiple facets of the health & fitness industry, including facility design, equipment supply, and ongoing support. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Miami, New York, San Francisco, Phoenix, & Las Vegas. Mr. Green also serves on the Editorial Board for Fitness On-Site Magazine, and advisory boards for leading industry equipment and content providers TechnoGym, Star Trac, & Netpulse. Mr. Green can be contacted at 310-559-9949 Ext: 110 or bgreen@afproducts.com Extended Bio...

HotelExecutive.com retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.com.

Receive our daily newsletter with the latest breaking news and hotel management best practices.
Hotel Business Review on Facebook
RESOURCE CENTER - SEARCH ARCHIVES
General Search:

JULY: Hotel Spa: The Expanding Wellness Movement

Leslie  Wolski

As the wellness movement expands hotels are scrambling to offer a healthy environment to their health and fitness focused guests. Owners and general managers realized years ago that the spa is more than an amenity, but now the market is driving them to further develop their spa and fitness components. The challenge is to combine spa and fitness to create an authentic wellness experience that is true to their hotel brand. READ MORE

David  Stoup

We are in the Age of Wellness. The archaic cultures of waste and over-consumption, have given way to a healthier and more holistic mainstream ideology. Corporate social responsibility, sustainability, going-green, and locally grown are just a few phrases that define this era. Virtually every business sector has taken a stance on wellness including automotive, finance and energy. Finally tourism has joined this growing trend. READ MORE

Deborah  Evans Parker

If possible while reading this article, sit with your bare feet directly on the Earth’s surface – concrete, dirt, gravel or grass. You will experience what you are reading about, how contact with the Earth’s natural healing energy, electrical field, restores your body’s natural electrical field. The positive shift you feel is the beginning of process in which your body becomes recharged from the multitude of Earth’s electrons when direct contact is made. This is Earthing, a simple, safe and natural healing process that reduces inflammation, improves sleep and energizes the body. READ MORE

Tracey Anne Latkovic

In today's fast-paced, overscheduled and hyper-stressed world, it's not easy to find the time to slow down. In the past, activities like a quiet visit to a coffee shop or well-deserved appointment at the spa allowed you to quiet the mind. Not so anymore. The traditional spa experience may not even allow the separation needed to slow down the pace. At day spas everywhere these days, guests are seen carrying their cell phones and iPads and even continuing to use them during their treatments. With this frenetic pace, people are not slowing down enough to ask important spiritual questions: Why am I here? How can I contribute to what is needed in this world? How can I find peace? And one thing is for certain, you aren’t going to find the answers to those questions at Starbucks or on your smart phone. READ MORE

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Food and Beverage: Investing to Keep Pace
After five harrowing years of recession and uncertain recovery, revenues in the hotel industry (including food and beverage) have finally surpassed the previous peak year of 2007. Profits are once again on the rise and are expected to advance for the foreseeable future. The consequence of this situation means that hotel operators now have the funds to invest in their food and beverage operations in order to keep pace with rapidly changing industry trends and the evolving tastes of their hotel guests. One of the most prominent recent trends is the “Locavore Movement” which relies heavily on local sources to supply products to the hotel restaurant. In addition to fresh produce, meats and herbs, some operators are engaging local craft breweries, distilleries, bakers, coffee roasters and more to enhance their food and beverage options, and to give their operation a local identity. This effort is designed to increasingly attract local patrons, as well as traveling hotel guests. Some hotels are also introducing menus that cater to both the calorie and the ingredient conscious. Gluten-free, low-cal and low-carb menu items prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients are available to more fitness-minded guests. Another trend is placing greater emphasis on “comfort” and “street” foods which are being offered in more casual settings. The idea is to allow chefs to create their own versions of these classic recipes, with the understanding that the general public seems to be eschewing more formal dining options. Finally, because the hotel lobby is becoming the social epicenter of its operation – a space which both guests and locals can enjoy – more diverse and expanded food and beverage options are available there. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on all the recent trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and document what some leading hotels are doing to augment this area of their business.