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Relaxing Recovery Options Are Becoming Must-Have Multifamily Amenities

R n R is the new rock n roll, and consumers are adding recovery routines into their daily fitness and wellness activities like never before. One of the wellness priorities that seems to have been spurred by the pandemic is self-care and the need for down-time for both physical and mental recovery. Those priorities, in turn, have resulted in communities providing access to recovery activities and assets that have become a priority demand.

The emergence of cold plunge, infrared sauna, and zero gravity options is introducing new fitness options that are leaving specialty spas and improving lives in local communities. Massage chairs are showing up in tenant lounges, and accessories like compression sleeves and VR masks (for sensory immersion) are regularly seen in designated recovery spaces next to fitness floors.

It might seem like the latest technology-fueled fad, but rehabilitation and muscle recovery are an important part of overall physical fitness and health. Muscles need time and specific products to recover from injury or a hard workout or training session, or even from a stressful day at work. Cold plunge and cryotherapy options are effective ways to assist in athletic recovery, inflammation reduction, pain management, improved circulation and stress relief. 

Zero gravity seat options put the body into a neutral posture position which eases back pain and expands lung capacity for deeper, more relaxed breathing. With the improved sensory technology built into modern massage chairs, improved blood flow, tension relief, endorphin release and improved range of motion are all benefits of regular massage therapy.

The two things that stand in the way of most people enjoying more recovery therapies; time and expense.  It’s not overly convenient to plan for a weekly massage unless you happen to live with a massage therapist, and high-quality massage chairs are not cheap. Having access to a few chairs for an entire community allows for everyone to easily schedule some personal time, right at home.  Cryotherapy, cold plunge and sauna options have similar challenges. Rarely are these amenities found outside of spas or high-end athletic training facilities, though they’re desired options for a wide range of consumers prioritizing their personal health and wellness. Multi-family communities who offer recovery amenities have a true leg up on the competition (zero gravity pun intended). There is opportunity in creating a recovery space where individuals can step out of their regular environs for a few minutes to improve their own personal wellbeing.
Overlooking the role of recovery can be catastrophic to those focused on health and fitness. Draining energy, damaging muscles, disrupting sleep patterns and destroying performance are some of the consequences of recovery-less routines. What has been termed “active recovery” exercises include foam rolling, gentle stretching, low-intensity cycling, swimming, trigger point release, walking and yoga, basically low or no-impact mobility options that can be used for warm-up or warm-down purposes.

Underlying the growing demand for recovery spaces in multifamily communities, gym and fitness center design resources are being tasked with creating Recovery Zones, as these options become as vital as having the right cardio and strength training options available. From stretching tables and balance balls, to yoga-inspired training accessories, both pre- and post-workout habits are including more stretch and recovery routines than ever before. 

With people using foam rollers, massage guns, and functional movements as part of both fitness and recovery, that means more “floor time”, which means that the performance flooring in those spaces needs to be as wellness-forward as the activities it supports. Traditional performance flooring absorbs energy and acoustics, and new options provide aesthetics and hygienic qualities that add to the calm and serene use of the space. Using woven vinyl or vinyl plank flooring options can create an entirely new look and feel that both compliments and elevates the existing fitness and wellness facilities. 

Multifamily communities can also add guided meditations and other recovery programming into the mix, to enhance the focus on recovery options available. Inviting guest experts in to educate community members on different recovery strategies and activities can invigorate engagement, discussion and excitement around the investment that the community is making in resident wellness. Experts on sleep and nutrition also have a stake in the recovery conversation, so there are a number of community program options to explore in this arena. Fitness staffing and managed services teams can be tasked to offer recovery classes, very much like they offer group fitness classes. It’s just a different slice of fitness.

For fitness-inclusive multifamily communities, staying on top of the recovery trend can create a distinct competitive advantage if the offering is compelling enough. Creating a dedicated recovery space in conjunction with other fitness and wellness offerings is a natural add-on, and working with the right fitness experts can help guide you to the equipment and design elements that fit the needs of your specific tenant population. 

Recovery rooms are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after amenities in multifamily communities, as peace of mind and self-care climb to the top of the personal wellness priority list. The community that invests in its tenants’ well being, including stress relief and recovery, will attract a discerning, loyal customer who recognizes and shares that same investment.
View Colorado Real Estate Journal Article 

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