24 Jan The Wellness Hub
As I was perusing the App Store over the holidays, looking for an app to control the new sound bar I got as a Christmas gift from my kids, at the top of the “Today” page was an advertisement to “Get Fit Like Chris Hemsworth”. Being a fan of Marvel movies, I instantly recognized the actor, and thought “Who would not want to have rippling abs and bulging biceps like Thor??” It turns out that his new app, called Centr*, is “a compilation of daily workouts, recipes, and mindfulness exercises customized for individual goals…” So, whether you are a fitness YouTuber, a weekend fitness enthusiast looking for a new fitness regimen or happen to be anywhere else along a fitness journey, for a mere $10 a month you can train, eat and live like Thor! Sign me up!!
I do believe that Mr. Hemsworth is onto something here. The combination of fitness, nutrition, mental and physical health and wellness, all in a single location. But I’m thinking it can be done best in a physical space as well as a virtual space.
Picture a Wellness Hub, a seamless conglomeration of training, eating and health care spaces where people feel comfortable getting exercise, where it’s convenient for them to change and shower and get back to their day, where healthy choices for nutrition and lifestyle are also the easy choices. Imagine going to this same place if you are injured, or need a check-up, or need get your teeth cleaned. It’s a space where people could play, work, take care of a family, and build solid, healthy relationships with true professionals in the fitness, nutrition and health care fields, all within a livable, walkable community.
Staying fit obviously entails a time commitment, and although we may not be able to help with finding the time to exercise, we as architects can at the very least do our best to create the right environment for your workout. Often, we are asked about what types and how much space is needed to accommodate a certain membership, which are very critical and important things that we can help define an answer to. But less often are we asked about what effect good design has on encouraging healthy habits. We strongly believe that the design of a fitness and wellness facility has everything to do with the success of the members achieving their goals as well as the operator achieving their bottom line. Creating spaces with access to natural daylight and views, with warm and welcoming materials and colors, and creating flow that makes it easy to find your way from one place to another are several tricks of the trade. Also, varying the volume of space based upon size and function will serve to balance the proportions and make occupants feel more comfortable in the space. If we can create a central Hub that does all of this, well only then do we believe we have truly done our jobs well.
Staying fit is easier when you find exercise that you enjoy and surround yourself with others that enjoy staying fit as well. Whether it’s riding a bicycle, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or ZUMBA fitness dancing you like, studies have shown that doing it with a group of people will help you stay on course. That’s why it’s so important to program for a social component of exercise space design. In the Wellness Hub Fitness Center, there is a gathering area outside of every group exercise or yoga studio, both for pre-assembly of attendees of the next class, or the post-assembly of those that just finished up. Lounge spaces are provided in locker rooms and changing zones. Ample pool deck space is available for seating. A wider lane on the track is created for walking and pushing strollers side-by-side. Healthy food bistros, restaurants and groceries near the entry hall is a great space for socializing, impromptu gatherings, and programmed events.
Finally, staying fit requires dedication. No matter the resources available these days, there has yet to be a substitute for the “hard work” part of a work-out. Whether you’re following Thor’s app at home, joining a posh gym alongside the Kardashians, or getting your fitness in with the kids at the rec center, there must be a time and a place for fitness in your life if you want to Live and Be Well.
* We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the Centr, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. The official Centr website can be found at https://centr.com/