Fitness and Wellness dominate the care of the body
In the West, being in shape is not only a question of physical fitness, but also of mental health. The aphorism of the latin poet Juvenal (1st Century) “Mens sana en corpore sano” has never sounded so up-to-date. Fitness, meaning physical activity centred on repetitive movements, and Wellness, which combines exercise with relaxation techniques, seem to be the leading forms of body culture in this society where we all want to look our best.
According to the latest figures, there are more than 8,000 businesses in Spain dedicated to physical activities (fitness) in a sector that generates some 2,000 million euros every year. 60% of the national fitness industry is based in Catalonia, and according to the data from the City Council, Barcelona is second only to Boston (USA) in terms of the proportion of residents who are active members of sports clubs, with 300,000.
It is the activities of the “mind-body” type that are becoming more prevalent. According to Idea Fitness Journal of May 2013, 50% of gyms in the US offer activities that involve both body and mind: yoga is offered in 81% of these centre and Pilates in 74%.
In our country, gyms and many sports facilities have added activities that draw on the “wellness” concept, including spas and centres such as those on display from the 15th to the 18th October, at the fair for leisure facilities, the Salón Internacional Piscina Barcelona.
Wellness, a growth industry
The notion of wellness is a philosophy that is based on prevention: the best way to avoid illness consists in staying fit, not only in the physical sense, but emotionally and mentally fit as well. Wellness, as a holistic concept, takes the whole person into consideration, paying special attention to the harmonic integration of every aspect.
According to a study carried out in 2011 by the Independent Research Institute SRI International (USA), the wellness sector is a global business with a turnover of nearly two million dollars, a figure which includes earnings from nine distinct disciplines: spas, alternative medicine, nutrition, personalised preventive healthcare, medical and health tourism, beauty and anti-aging therapies, physical exercise and oriental disciplines (yoga, meditation).
In Spain, establishments catering to health and wellness tourism earned 3,250 million euros in 2011. The segment with greatest growth was that of spa hotels, which saw an increase of 11% in total business in the same year (DBK, September 2012).
Piscina Barcelona and Body Life
The International Fair Piscina Barcelona, which brings professionals from more than 100 countries together, is hosting the first edition of the Wellness& Spa Experiences Event this year, an international event dedicated to wellness where experts and entrepreneurs from the sector can meet to discuss commercial opportunities and new lines of business around wellness products and services.
Piscina Barcelona, is also being held simultaneously with Body Life (from the 17th to the 19th October), a new fair dedicated to fitness organised by Health and Beauty and Fira de Barcelona. The event will present the latest proposals for equipment, design, installation and management of sports facilities. It will also have workshops aimed at instructors and coaches. The confluence of both events represents a highly attractive package to all those with interests in the health and wellness sector.