I remember a time when going to the gym meant packing a bag that included a change of clothes for after the workout and then just going about my day. That trip to the gym lasted about an hour—not too bad on its own, but when combined with getting to the gym, showering and leaving for the next activity, it got pretty time-consuming. As a result, I saw the gym as a bit of a chore.
That was a few years ago. Since then, we are seeing a trend in how much time and what people do at ‘gyms.’ People are spending more time at these places and are looking to do more than just work out. For example, lots of us want to spend more time with friends after a workout, or we want to get a smoothie or a quick, convenient lunch. Other times, you just need a quiet, internet-enabled cozy space to fire off a few emails. Whatever you’re looking for, one-stop wellness clubs are there to address your every need.
While the gym used to be a one-function space, the $4.2 trillion global health and wellness industry has recently evolved to be more multi-purpose to better fit the flow of people’s day-to-day lives, according to a Well+Good article predicting one-stop wellness has a major trend of 2019. The result: less scrambling around town to make your spin class, your acupuncture appointment, and your aura reading, plus a more approachable, communal perspective on trying new wellness trends.
Wellness under one roof in Chicago
Living in Chicago, we can see the trend where gyms are not just gyms or health clubs but more of places that are inclusive to different needs of people. Take, for example, the new Lululemon experiential store and the recently opened Equinox Lincoln Common.
The Lululemon Wellness Space in Lincoln Park has all that we could imagine needing to work and relax. Head straight in early in the morning and take a class in one of their studios or meditate. Forgot your workout clothes? The retail store is housed in the same space, which makes for dangerous temptation. The cafe is a nice touch for a meal, snack, a pick-me-up coffee, or a drink after the work day is done. They even have comfy seating for if you wanted to make it a longer day and work from the space.
The recently opened Equinox Lincoln Common is similar, with classes and personal training available as well as a shop and a juice bar to grab food and drinks. The members’ lounge is a great place to go get work done. Need a massage during the day? They have a spa available. The convenience of having all these under one roof make it a one-stop-shop for everything wellness-related.
One-stop wellness in New York
In New York, there are wellness-focused clubs like Complete Body and The Well, as well as the Equinox in Hudson Yards. The one thing they all have in common is that they provide a full-day experience and not just a one-hour stop in the middle of the day. They are places to de-stress and hang out for as long as you want.
For example, the rooftop garden at Complete was like a hidden getaway accompanied with private cabanas that can be used for working. It’s in the middle of the city, but somehow manages to stay quiet and distraction-free. What used to be a traditional gym has changed to include a cafe and a working space for those who want to work from there for a few hours or the whole day. Guests can relax by the salt wall for a spa-like experience.
And now, after seeing the growth and demand for wellness spaces, gyms are upgrading their amenities to try and keep up. Look for your traditional gym to add new, enticing additions, like outdoor space, grab-and-go dining, recovery options, and more.
With the busy schedules that everyone keeps, there are those days when you don’t want to have to travel far to go from work to the gym. It is nice to be able to walk into what was once just an hour of my day (with more commuting time than actual gym time, occasionally), but can now be a space where I can spend hours working, having lunch and taking a workout class. With the decrease in commuting time, I can relax a little more—and maybe sit by the salt wall for an extra ten minutes.
How do you feel about having everything under one roof?