Elevating Mental Health: The Vital Role of Recovery in Fitness Gyms

Recovery mental health
By Chris Smith, President and CEO of Fitness World

By Chris Smith, President and CEO of Fitness World

Prioritizing the mental wellness and well-being of your members is crucial to maintaining overall satisfaction and loyalty for your gym or fitness club. While it is a common narrative that exercise is essential to prioritize mental well-being, often the role of recovery is overlooked. When we look to expand our offerings in exercise-related features, there is a growing opportunity for gyms and clubs to take a recovery-focused approach to their offerings that prioritizes their member’s physical and mental well-being.


Mental health challenges continue to be a growing reality for Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, one in four adults reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD in 2023. Daily active movement is a proven means to improve mental well-being. A Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS) found that both men and women with better mental health were more likely to have exercised outdoors or indoors than those with low mental health- showcasing that regular exercise influences a healthier body and mind.


Despite the benefits of regular exercise, many fall out of consistency in their fitness routines due to injury and soreness. This is where we as industry professionals have an opportunity to make a crucial difference in an often-overlooked element of recovery. Stretching and massaging muscles post-workout are important elements of an exercise routine that mainstream fitness culture frequently neglects. By neglecting these elements, we often see overuse injuries and burnout, preventing the maintenance of a prolonged active lifestyle. Effective recovery methods can increase circulation, reduce stiffness and inflammation, encourage muscle growth, and improve performance.


Fitness clubs have an opportunity to set the standard for member wellness by prioritizing access to recovery in their offering of specialized equipment and services. Offering tools such as massage chairs, hydromassage, percussion massagers, infrared light therapy, and compression boots can significantly elevate the fitness journey of your clients. These amenities not only aid in physical recovery but also ensure clients return to your gym feeling rejuvenated and ready to continue their wellness routines.


There is an opportunity for your gym or club to reevaluate how member wellness is being prioritized. By providing and promoting access to healthy recovery methods, you are playing a role in reshaping the mindset of the fitness industry that has been focused on the intensity of exercise to improve the body and mind rather than considering the significant role of recovery.

Chris Smith is the CEO of Fitness World, a B.C.-based gym for everyone with low-cost, high-value memberships made to get people moving. Visit fitnessworld.ca to learn more.

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