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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS


workouts or jogs, and this is a space which the social fitness app can occupy. One example is fitocracy (www.


fitocracy.com) which, by connecting to social media, turns exercise into a fun, competitive game with friends. The app has over a million users who, on average, are in the app for more than five hours a month, making them more engaged than users of any other social network except Facebook. These kinds of apps both compete with


and complement fitness tracking tools, and are likely to boom as people continue to search for motivation to exercise.


New superfood on the block The moringa plant is the newest (and arguably most multi-tasking) superfood to emerge, and looks set to take off in 2014. The leaves of this plant, which is native to South Asia, have astounding nutritious qualities: gram per gram, moringa contains twice the protein of yoghurt, four times the vitamin A of carrots, three times the potassium of bananas, four times the calcium of milk and seven times the vitamin C of oranges. This might explain why ancient warriors used the leaf extract to get them ready for battle, and why the Egyptian pharaohs were buried with it to sustain them in the afterlife. Apart from its superior nutritional


benefits, what sets moringa apart from other superfoods such as spirulina and wheatgrass is the fact that it can also be applied directly to the skin in the form of powder or oil. It acts as an antibacterial, treating a range of conditions such as abscesses, dandruff and athlete’s foot. It may also fight the signs of ageing, as it contains a chemical substance called zeatin that promotes new cell growth,


26 Health Club Handbook 2014


Social fitness apps can add a human element to people’s solitary workouts


reducing wrinkling and promoting a brighter complexion.


Check in to the wellness hotel The concept of the ‘wellness hotel’ will come into its own in 2014, with new concepts designed to cater for guests’ broad spectrum of wellbeing needs. The InterContinental Hotels Group


will launch its wellness brand, EVEN, in New York in 2014, with plans to open another 100 new hotels over the coming five years. The concept is based on healthy living: diet and nutrition, exercise, rest and recuperation, and productivity. Hotel chains are increasingly trying to


deliver personalised wellness experiences for their guests. For some, this will mean expanding existing facilities, or making it easier for guests to continue their fitness regimes during their stay: The Westin Hotels & Resorts has recently launched


a Gear Lending Program, offering New Balance footwear and clothes on loan for guests wanting to keep fit. Expect to see more initiatives like this in 2014, and more hotel brands embracing the health and wellness concept holistically, from design to fixtures and facilities.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION


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