When indoor sport becomes (also) a pleasure

When indoor sport becomes (also) a pleasure

(AFP) – Advice from nutritionists or osteopaths, massages, spa, restaurant, even barber or cinema: sports halls are increasingly playing the card of well-being and leisure to attract new members and regain breath after Covid.

“Sport today is a satellite of the well-being economy, in which you have nutrition, spas, organic cosmetics, etc. And our challenge is to be a real ecosystem with the point of ‘entrance to the gym’, summarizes to AFP David Amiouni, general manager of the KeepCool network, whose main shareholders got their hands on their competitor Neoness this summer, the whole totaling 300 rooms in France.

Beyond traditional weight benches and boxing classes, KeepCool already offers sports nutrition products and has just launched a new mobile application designed “like a fitness Netflix”, with “hundreds of videos sorted by coach and category. ” as well as nutritional advice. “The dietary offer will be further enriched next year”, promises the manager.

Hammam, sauna, body treatments … 26% of the approximately 6,000 sports halls, fitness centers or yoga studios in operation in France had a “wellness area” in 2021, according to a study carried out by the federation bringing together companies involved in physical leisure activities, Active-FNEAPL, which does not detail the weight of these ancillary activities in the overall turnover.

“For several years, sports halls have been trying to diversify, with saunas, massage rooms, soft activities, relaxation, more personalized + coaching +, to get the French moving. The Covid and the confinements have made this diversification compulsory, or in any case the questioning of this diversification”, summarizes Thierry Doll, president of the federation.

He indicates that many sports clubs already offer “corners + with nutrition products”, but also original variations of sports activities, “like this room in Rouen which organizes + cultural jogging + to visit historical monuments while running. “.

– “Recommended by physiotherapists” –

In the L’Orange Bleue network, 9 rooms (out of nearly 400) are developing the “My Wellness Coach” concept, comprising a trio of sports coach, osteopath and dietitian-nutritionist.

“They establish an initial assessment by analyzing, for example, the person’s posture or support, then give advice on eating habits and offer a personalized program as well as an individual coaching session. Sports assessments are redone every four months “, explains Florent Gillet, animator of the Mon Coach Wellness network.

“Osteo is a real plus, we are recommended by doctors and physiotherapists”, he puts forward, stressing that “what also makes the difference with other rooms is our well space -to be with sauna, hammam and + cryobain +, a bathtub at 8 degrees to improve recovery”.

A handful of top-of-the-range fitness clubs are even thought of as places to live in their own right, like the three Parisian gyms owned by Ken Group (Ken Club, Klay and Blanche) which offer a restaurant, bar at juice, swimming pool, spa, exhibition of works of art or even barber and body care services.

At Blanche’s club, nestled in a luxuriously restored private mansion, “you can stay all day: breakfast, sports lessons, professional lunch, dip in the pool and finally a film preview”, lists Thomas Heisser, door -word of the group.

“Our core business is sport but not only, and here it’s a cocoon, an extension of your home,” he summarizes. You currently have to wait several months on the waiting list to access the room, whose subscription at 2,200 euros per year is limited to 2,500 members.