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heat


experiences


Saunas and steamrooms are the mainstays of any thermal area, but could health clubs be doing more to pep up their offering? Kath Hudson reports


HEALTH CLUB SPA


going hot and cold W


ith the growth of the spa industry, there’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to new


products and trends – but how many of the latest innovations translate to the health club market? While the spa areas of health clubs have traditionally played second


fi ddle to the gym, many facilities will include a heat experiences offering


– sauna, steamroom, perhaps even feature showers. Putting a little more thought into these areas could raise the game of the club and also present the opportunity to grow revenues by offering a premium tier membership, or by selling spa days to non-members.


This is also in keeping with the move


towards illness prevention. Even without providing a full spa serviced by therapists, health clubs could offer more relaxation services and appeal to people with health problems who might otherwise never join a gym. It could also change the mindset of those members who rush in and out as quickly as possible, encouraging them to wind down at the end of a workout. We take a look at some of the heat


experience options that health clubs might like to consider.


for the hardcore Putting ice onto sprains and aching muscles is common practice, and many a sports person would argue in favour of the benefits of an ice bath – a not altogether pleasant way of breaking down lactic acid, stopping the body from seizing up and improving recovery time. There’s a rehab element here as well,


since spending a short period of time in an extremely cold room (minus 80ºC) is said to help a range of illnesses, including arthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism and even multiple sclerosis. There is, however, scant clinical scientifi c evidence to prove this. All the same, there’s enough evidence


to suggest that some kind of ice feature in a wet area would be benefi cial for people to use after training. There are a number of options. Ice rooms – chilled down to 10 or 12ºC using chilled air, or by having cold liquid running through the walls – offer an invigorating full stop after a workout, closing the pores and forcing out toxins. Breathing the air is also said to be extremely benefi cial. Snow rooms go one step further,


blasting tiny particles of ice into the rooms to form a frost. These are, however, extremely expensive to install and costly to operate. Gerard McCarthy, sales director at Dalesauna, says a practical and cost-


And relax Putting some thought into your spa offer can expand your membership and appeal to people who otherwise wouldn’t join a gym


64 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital august 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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