Health suite design woth steam, sauna, and ice.

Fitness & Wellness: It’s about building community

Wellness is In.

Once upon a time, being physically fit was THE goal to aim for. A run before work, a pilates class at lunch, and an hour in the gym once you’d clocked off for the day was seen as something to strive for. And whilst being physically fit to the best of our abilities is, of course, still incredibly important, it is no longer the only objective.

It’s time to talk about fitness vs wellness, and why the priorities are shifting among gym-goers.

Fitness vs wellness: what’s the difference?

Fitness relates to your physical health. Your stamina, flexibility and strength. It’s about exercising, whether that’s in a gym, at the local park, in the pool, or halfway up a climbing wall.

So what is wellness? Wellness, or wellbeing, is best summed up as the absence of both physical and mental illness. It’s about adopting healthy habits so that greater physical and mental health are attainable.

And while the concept of fitness is really confined to how far or fast we can run, how much weight we can deadlift, or how many lengths of the pool we can swim in one session, wellness, as a concept, is a lot broader.


What is wellness?

One of the big differences between fitness and wellness is that fitness is a singular element. Wellness, on the other hand, is linked to your mental wellbeing which is affected by every single area of your life.

For example, your financial situation affects your mental wellness. As does your work, your social life, your relationships, your emotional state, the choices you make, and, yes, your physical health too. And to be clear, these can all be positive or negative impacts.

Crucially all of these different facets of your wellbeing need to balance each other out. For example, you might have a fantastic social life, but if the cost of that is that it’s draining your bank account, your wellness will feel the brunt of your financial worries at some point.

You could feel like everything is under control: your home, social and work life are ticking along nicely – but if you’re suffering from aches and pains, this will be depleting the mental wellness that the other areas of your life have stored up.

So, what is wellness? It’s finding a happy medium, creating balance and thriving – rather than merely surviving.


Is social wellness going to take over in 2024?

Just as we take steps to improve our physical fitness – the workouts, the spin classes and the aqua aerobics, we also need to actively manage our mental fitness. Social interactions are essential for our wellbeing and as a result, we’re seeing a huge spike in demand for ‘social wellness’ facilities. The movement is defined by the building of communities inspired by the shared love for wellbeing. These new social spaces are emerging within gyms and clubs and can facilitate the participation of groups, not just individuals.

The reason why we join cycle and group exercise classes is because we’re not alone in our workout. We’re building community, we can work out with our friends, and we indulge in human connections and social interactions. This change is coming to the wellness sector, as we’re seeing a growing demand for people who want to share their wellness experiences with others.

Socialising whilst using the Saunas or Ice Baths surely makes it more enjoyable, right?

There are several wellness treatments that can be experienced by more than one person at a time, and this growing trend is being adopted by clubs and gyms all over the world. Many of the facilities are increasing their focus to offering clients the chance for social wellness and we’re seeing the implementation of these spaces.


The concepts of fitness and wellness in the industry

The industry as a whole is waking up to the fact that the concepts of wellness and fitness are inextricably entwined and demand for these joined spaces in increasing. Facilities that were once designed purely to contain a gym and aerobics or spin studios are increasingly making room for wellness and relaxation spaces such as recovery, meditation, or thermal suites.

As more people look towards social wellness facilities, the need for venues to cater to all aspects of self-care will increase. This means that gym, hotel and spa owners will need to consider the design of their different spaces. Do you offer a neon-bright energetic gym and a zen-like bamboo-clad meditation room? Or do you infuse your entire facility with an aura of tranquility, allowing people to work out and chill out in a serene atmosphere?


How zynk Design can help

With deep experience in, and understanding of, the industry we can help you create your identity in what can sometimes be a confusing space.

Take a look at our recent hotel and spa projects for some inspiration and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter below for our regular fitness and wellness design updates.