Latest
issue
GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window I've already subscribed!
Elevate
Elevate
Elevate
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Latest news

Sue Harmsworth: “I’m starting to hate the word wellness”

In the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A, spa and wellness icon Sue Harmsworth spoke to VP of research and forecasting Beth McGroarty about the trends and challenges facing the spa and wellness industry.

“I’m starting to hate the word wellness because it’s become so generic it’s utterly confusing the consumer,” she began.

In her opinion, the industry should begin differentiating between light wellness and serious wellness.

“As the spa industry took off, the word and concept of wellness became confusing, and it has to do with what the US means by it, versus the rest of the world.

“In the US, every beauty salon, or every two treatment rooms by a pool, suddenly became a spa. When the spa movement became powerful in the 90s, stress was the overwhelming focus and most spas were built for relaxation – from massages to meditation. What I would call light wellness – with no negative connotations.

“But now, we have a much more complex set of modalities and advanced practitioners at wellness destinations. Plus, we also have more medical or ‘serious’ wellness.

“So, you have light wellness, which spas and hospitality destinations have excelled at and you have medical or serious wellness, but it’s different this time around. It’s preventative, functional medicine and diagnostics.”

Ultimately, she believes the word wellness alone is too imprecise to mean anything and that spa businesses have got to focus on what their consumers want and be clear about what they’re delivering.

Integrative wellness is the future

According to Harmsworth, an integrative approach to wellness will become standard practice due to the prevalence of so many lifestyle diseases in today’s society.

“Mental and cognitive health will be huge coming out of the pandemic, with depression and anxiety having risen exponentially since COVID and now affecting a third of the population globally.

“I’m working on properties now that bring everything together: functional medicine and diagnostics, an aesthetics clinic, and all the traditional wellness, from complementary medicine to fitness to serious meditation,” she added.

In her opinion, functional medicine and diagnostics will be a huge part of this trend and are important because they provide people with tangible results.

“It seems crazy, but you really can significantly impact your blood pressure or cholesterol in one week. What I want to do is to be able to programme individuals on a personalised plan with a very full set of stats so they can see their results over time.”

Growing interest for wellness real-estateMcGroarty next touched on how the pandemic has given wellness real estate new momentum and asked Harmsworth for her thoughts on this.

“COVID has obviously woken all of us up to working from home, and this ongoing reality will drive real growth in wellness real estate and communities. Plus, lots of people are spending a lot or all of their time in their second homes.

“As a consequence, more people will choose a wellness community as their primary (or near-primary) residence.”

Harmsworth believes this demand will naturally drive more projects to be conceptualised with more affordable options.

She illustrated this by drawing on one of her current wellness real estate projects, where the most expensive villa costs US$1mn (€825,000, £708,000) while artisan homes sit at US$300,000 (€248,000, £212,300).

"Now that’s relatively affordable," she said, "it's going to be an interesting community where everything will be grown themselves and have its own Waldorf school for the kids."

She firmly champions that the way forward will be affordable and multigenerational wellness communities encompassing an entire lifestyle of wellbeing.

The need for more intensive therapist training

Harmsworth believes the spas that will thrive in future will be underpinned by exceptional flow, therapists, treatments, design and thermal areas, as well as great hardware, air quality and infection control.

However, she urged that spa therapists and practitioners are going to have to be much better trained with deeper skills because the majority of consumers that walk in now will have some kind of contraindication.

“Therapists need a much broader knowledge set to be able to deal with all the things increasingly coming their way. They’re already being bombarded with more serious issues such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and grief.

“This is why I’m so strong on what we’re doing in the UK with the training ruling bodies, putting modules together so that well-qualified therapists can keep adding extra modules (whether cancer or nutrition training) so they can deliver more 'wellness' than just massages or facials; be empowered to deal with the day-to-day realities they see and be set on a career path of constant skill-upgrading.

“The spas that will take it to the next level will focus on training in a much more intensive way.”

To read the whole interview and hear Harmsworth’s views on why integrative wellness resorts will require a whole new kind of operator, visit the official GWI website later this week.

In the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A, spa and wellness icon Sue Harmsworth spoke to VP of research and forecasting Beth McGroarty about the trends and challenges facing the spa and wellness industry.
SAB,CPW,PHR
2021/THUMB347743_166786_871793.jpg
Latest News
The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany, ...
Latest News
The fitness sector’s pivot to active wellbeing is being discussed in a new weekly podcast, ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness has a new CEO – Colleen Keating. She will take up the position ...
Latest News
UK Active has announced details of its annual health and fitness industry awards ceremony, which ...
Latest News
Social enterprise, Places Leisure, which is part of the Places for People Group, has appointed ...
Latest News
Basic-Fit has signed up to trial Wellhub across its recently expanded Spanish network, giving access ...
Latest News
Having redefined the model of public-private collaboration in Spain, Go Fit is now expanding into ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness has become the subject of a hate campaign by certain groups of consumers ...
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The New Keiser M3i Studio Bike brings ride data to life to engage and delight members
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
GymNation is pioneering the future of fitness with software specialist Perfect Gym providing a scalable tech platform to power and sustain its growth
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Francesca Cooper-Boden says health assessment services can boost health club retention
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The partnership between PureGym and Belfast-based supplier BLK BOX is transforming the gym floor
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
D2F had updated its brand styling to keep pace with business growth. MD, John Lofting and operations director, Matt Aynsley, explain the rationale
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
University of Sheffield Sport has opened the doors of its flagship Goodwin Sports Centre following a major refurbishment
HCM promotional features
HCM magazine
New research has found BMI to be a highly inaccurate measure of childhood obesity, leading current thinking and policy based on it into question
HCM magazine
Imposter syndrome about a promotion taught the CEO of SATS that behaving authentically is the most important part of leadership. He talks to Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Members are telling us they need support with their mental and spiritual health and the industry is starting to see this need. Now’s the time to fast-track our response
HCM magazine
HCM People

Cristiano Ronaldo

Footballer and entrepreneur
Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for a fulfilling life
HCM magazine
Go Fit’s value proposition is overwhelming. It makes us very attractive to a lot of people
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Sibec EMEA to blend fitness with luxury at Fairmont Monte Carlo
Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo this Autumn.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical
Physical is the UK’s go-to, one-stop shop for commercial grade fitness equipment and flooring, with ...
Company profiles
Company profile: CoverMe Ltd
CoverMe Fitness is an on-demand group exercise cover app that connects qualified and insured instructors ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: Pioneering project boosts business in Basingstoke
A sports complex might not be your first thought when you’re looking for a peaceful and comfortable, drop-in workspace. However, that could soon change thanks to an innovative new project at Basingstoke Leisure Centre.
Featured press releases
The Health & Fitness Institute press release: The future of fitness education: The Health and Fitness Institute champions digital learning
The Health and Fitness Institute (THFI) is leading a revolutionary paradigm shift in fitness education by fully embracing digital learning.
Directory
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates

Latest news

Sue Harmsworth: “I’m starting to hate the word wellness”

In the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A, spa and wellness icon Sue Harmsworth spoke to VP of research and forecasting Beth McGroarty about the trends and challenges facing the spa and wellness industry.

“I’m starting to hate the word wellness because it’s become so generic it’s utterly confusing the consumer,” she began.

In her opinion, the industry should begin differentiating between light wellness and serious wellness.

“As the spa industry took off, the word and concept of wellness became confusing, and it has to do with what the US means by it, versus the rest of the world.

“In the US, every beauty salon, or every two treatment rooms by a pool, suddenly became a spa. When the spa movement became powerful in the 90s, stress was the overwhelming focus and most spas were built for relaxation – from massages to meditation. What I would call light wellness – with no negative connotations.

“But now, we have a much more complex set of modalities and advanced practitioners at wellness destinations. Plus, we also have more medical or ‘serious’ wellness.

“So, you have light wellness, which spas and hospitality destinations have excelled at and you have medical or serious wellness, but it’s different this time around. It’s preventative, functional medicine and diagnostics.”

Ultimately, she believes the word wellness alone is too imprecise to mean anything and that spa businesses have got to focus on what their consumers want and be clear about what they’re delivering.

Integrative wellness is the future

According to Harmsworth, an integrative approach to wellness will become standard practice due to the prevalence of so many lifestyle diseases in today’s society.

“Mental and cognitive health will be huge coming out of the pandemic, with depression and anxiety having risen exponentially since COVID and now affecting a third of the population globally.

“I’m working on properties now that bring everything together: functional medicine and diagnostics, an aesthetics clinic, and all the traditional wellness, from complementary medicine to fitness to serious meditation,” she added.

In her opinion, functional medicine and diagnostics will be a huge part of this trend and are important because they provide people with tangible results.

“It seems crazy, but you really can significantly impact your blood pressure or cholesterol in one week. What I want to do is to be able to programme individuals on a personalised plan with a very full set of stats so they can see their results over time.”

Growing interest for wellness real-estateMcGroarty next touched on how the pandemic has given wellness real estate new momentum and asked Harmsworth for her thoughts on this.

“COVID has obviously woken all of us up to working from home, and this ongoing reality will drive real growth in wellness real estate and communities. Plus, lots of people are spending a lot or all of their time in their second homes.

“As a consequence, more people will choose a wellness community as their primary (or near-primary) residence.”

Harmsworth believes this demand will naturally drive more projects to be conceptualised with more affordable options.

She illustrated this by drawing on one of her current wellness real estate projects, where the most expensive villa costs US$1mn (€825,000, £708,000) while artisan homes sit at US$300,000 (€248,000, £212,300).

"Now that’s relatively affordable," she said, "it's going to be an interesting community where everything will be grown themselves and have its own Waldorf school for the kids."

She firmly champions that the way forward will be affordable and multigenerational wellness communities encompassing an entire lifestyle of wellbeing.

The need for more intensive therapist training

Harmsworth believes the spas that will thrive in future will be underpinned by exceptional flow, therapists, treatments, design and thermal areas, as well as great hardware, air quality and infection control.

However, she urged that spa therapists and practitioners are going to have to be much better trained with deeper skills because the majority of consumers that walk in now will have some kind of contraindication.

“Therapists need a much broader knowledge set to be able to deal with all the things increasingly coming their way. They’re already being bombarded with more serious issues such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and grief.

“This is why I’m so strong on what we’re doing in the UK with the training ruling bodies, putting modules together so that well-qualified therapists can keep adding extra modules (whether cancer or nutrition training) so they can deliver more 'wellness' than just massages or facials; be empowered to deal with the day-to-day realities they see and be set on a career path of constant skill-upgrading.

“The spas that will take it to the next level will focus on training in a much more intensive way.”

To read the whole interview and hear Harmsworth’s views on why integrative wellness resorts will require a whole new kind of operator, visit the official GWI website later this week.

In the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A, spa and wellness icon Sue Harmsworth spoke to VP of research and forecasting Beth McGroarty about the trends and challenges facing the spa and wellness industry.
SAB,CPW,PHR
2021/THUMB347743_166786_871793.jpg

Latest news

The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany,
The fitness sector’s pivot to active wellbeing is being discussed in a new weekly podcast,
Planet Fitness has a new CEO – Colleen Keating. She will take up the position
UK Active has announced details of its annual health and fitness industry awards ceremony, which
Social enterprise, Places Leisure, which is part of the Places for People Group, has appointed
Basic-Fit has signed up to trial Wellhub across its recently expanded Spanish network, giving access
Questex/McLean Events (Spatec/SIBEC)
Questex/McLean Events (Spatec/SIBEC)
Study Active has legally acquired the name “Premier Global” and select Premier Global branding assets
Having redefined the model of public-private collaboration in Spain, Go Fit is now expanding into
Planet Fitness has become the subject of a hate campaign by certain groups of consumers
Recovery, social wellness and longevity were talking points at PerformX recently, tipped by many speakers
Industry experts are gathering in Cologne for today's European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), followed
Jason Worthy has been appointed group CEO of Myzone to lead the 'next stage of
John Kersh has announced he is leaving boutique franchisor, Xponential Fitness, after eight years with
Elevate
Elevate
Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set
Oxygen Consulting is about to launch its first UK Padel Report, which investigates this fast-growing
Global publishing outfit, Leisure Media, has announced details of its new annual conference for decision-makers
Portugese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has launched a health and wellness app that harmonises advice on
Disturbing new research has found BMI completely fails as an accurate measure of obesity in
A new urban city centre in Gothenburg, Sweden is in development with the aim of
The first annual Private Sector Benchmarking report was released today (27 March). A collaboration between
Panatta will consolidate its global presence throughout 2024 by attending a host of major industry
Egym, has signalled its intention to become a dominant force in the corporate wellness sector
With a new master franchisee on board, the rollout of Anytime Fitness in the Middle
1 - 20 of 12,300
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The New Keiser M3i Studio Bike brings ride data to life to engage and delight members
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
GymNation is pioneering the future of fitness with software specialist Perfect Gym providing a scalable tech platform to power and sustain its growth
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Francesca Cooper-Boden says health assessment services can boost health club retention
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The partnership between PureGym and Belfast-based supplier BLK BOX is transforming the gym floor
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
D2F had updated its brand styling to keep pace with business growth. MD, John Lofting and operations director, Matt Aynsley, explain the rationale
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
University of Sheffield Sport has opened the doors of its flagship Goodwin Sports Centre following a major refurbishment
HCM promotional features
HCM magazine
New research has found BMI to be a highly inaccurate measure of childhood obesity, leading current thinking and policy based on it into question
HCM magazine
Imposter syndrome about a promotion taught the CEO of SATS that behaving authentically is the most important part of leadership. He talks to Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Members are telling us they need support with their mental and spiritual health and the industry is starting to see this need. Now’s the time to fast-track our response
HCM magazine
HCM People

Cristiano Ronaldo

Footballer and entrepreneur
Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for a fulfilling life
HCM magazine
Go Fit’s value proposition is overwhelming. It makes us very attractive to a lot of people
HCM magazine
Will Orr has been talking to HCM about the company’s new strategy for 2024, as Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
Basic-Fit – which has been scaling rapidly across Europe –  is considering franchising to ramp up growth further afield
HCM magazine
Egym has announced deals designed to position it for growth acceleration, as Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
HCM People

Dr Jonathan Leary

Founder, Remedy Place
It was as though the whole world woke up at the same time
HCM magazine
A new study from researchers at Yale shows HIIT can reverse nerve damage caused by Parkinson’s
HCM magazine
You might be tempted to skip a service, but experts say it will cost you in the long run. Providers tell Steph Eaves why they their work is important to the management of assets
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Sibec EMEA to blend fitness with luxury at Fairmont Monte Carlo
Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo this Autumn.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical
Physical is the UK’s go-to, one-stop shop for commercial grade fitness equipment and flooring, with ...
Company profiles
Company profile: CoverMe Ltd
CoverMe Fitness is an on-demand group exercise cover app that connects qualified and insured instructors ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: Pioneering project boosts business in Basingstoke
A sports complex might not be your first thought when you’re looking for a peaceful and comfortable, drop-in workspace. However, that could soon change thanks to an innovative new project at Basingstoke Leisure Centre.
Featured press releases
The Health & Fitness Institute press release: The future of fitness education: The Health and Fitness Institute champions digital learning
The Health and Fitness Institute (THFI) is leading a revolutionary paradigm shift in fitness education by fully embracing digital learning.
Directory
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Elevate
Elevate
Partner sites