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Breaking a Sweat, Spa Style

By: Kim Peiffer
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

As Americans endure more stresses as part of everyday lives, the popularity of spas continues to rise. But these days, clients are looking for more than just a traditional facial to complete their spa experience.

Many spas are offering overall wellness and lifestyle classes to provide a well-rounded experience for their clients, and one of the most important elements of the spa experience to emerge recently is fitness. From Pilates and yoga to a blend of nontraditional relaxation classes, spas are incorporating fitness elements of all types to cater to their various clients, with offerings for everyone—from baby boomers to Gen Xers and even teenagers.

Popular programs

According to a 2007 spa industry report by the International SPA Association (ISPA), 13% of spas are now offering fitness or sports programs of some type. The study reported the most popular service to be personal training, followed by cardio fitness and free weights. And of those spas that have fitness programs, 17% offer exercise programs for children under the age of 18.

A focused effort is really the target of most spa programs, however. More spas are zeroing in on catering to the needs and desires of their clients, many of whom are concerned with overall body wellness and healthy lifestyles. Mingling traditional relaxation programs and fitness classes can help fuse the spa experience together, with clients coming in to take a yoga or meditation class for fitness and then staying to experience total relaxation with a massage or other stress-relieving treatment. And with so many options, spa-goers are bound to find something that appeals to both their body and mind.

Play to your strengths

At Spa Gregorie’s, which has locations in Rancho Santa Margarita and Newport Beach, California, clients often come in for treatments and stay for one of the spa’s seasonal fitness classes, such as guided meditation or yoga on the beach. The spa began offering the classes as a way to reach clients on a new level, and many other spas are also adding a wealth of opportunities to aid in weight loss and body consciousness.