Intelligent lifestyle management for lasting happiness
11 February 2020
Yoga, Slow Jogging, Mental Wellness: The optimisation of one's own lifestyle in terms of nutrition, regeneration and fitness plays an increasingly important role. Lutz Hertel, Managing Chairman of the German Wellness Association, explains that wellness is more than just a day at the spa. He gives an outlook into the wellness of tomorrow and explains why everyone is asked to actively contribute to his or her own relaxation in order to achieve lasting happiness.
The wellness market has changed decisively over the last 30 years. Mr Hertel, can you briefly describe what has changed in the market?
When I brought the health concept "Wellness" from the USA to Germany in 1990 and presented it for the first time to a specialist audience at FIBO in a lecture, the term was not even known in this country. This was followed by the first market phase in which the fitness industry in particular received decisive impulses. The motto was "Wellness - the gentle fitness". Wellness was associated with an alternative to the then dominant "no pain no gain" mainstream. New offers such as Low Impact Aerobics and "Body & Soul" found their way into the fitness studios with the wellness movement. Then came the market phase of wellness socks: The consumer goods industry discovered the marketing magic of the wellness concept. Phase three was then the link between wellness and tourism, which continues to this day and has led to the biggest misunderstanding to date that wellness is relaxation and body care, combined with pampering treatments in holiday worlds. Now there are signs of a fourth market phase, inspired by the original core of the wellness concept: optimisation of lifestyle in terms of nutrition, regeneration and fitness. Instead of being treated passively, there is a growing interest in taking active responsibility for one's own well-being and working on one's potential with one's own competence. Not only the Millennials and Generation Z are shaping this new market phase. The aging baby boomer generation also plays an important role.
Where do you see development potential for the industry?
For me, the market potential is not in ever larger and more luxurious wellness facilities or even more unusual spa treatments, but in intelligent lifestyle management. Many people don't even know what they really need to lead a better and happier life, although in the end they all long for it. They take measures that bring them little or no progress and, unfortunately fail quickly. I see great potential in professional wellness potential diagnostics and good coaching or personal training based on it. Of course, this can also be organised in groups. I have, for example, worked successfully for more than twenty years with a real wellness group programme for heart attack patients. It not only improves health, but also helps people to create a better and more productive life.
How do you assess the development of the industry in the medium term?
With Quick Fixes, the wellness market will continue to live well off the exhausted society. However, it will certainly also produce new tools for more effective regeneration. Digital helpers in the form of apps and gadgets will play an increasingly important role in this. There will also be a development towards attractive, active forms of wellness in the coming years. Yoga continues to have growth potential, and Slow Jogging is a remarkable fitness trend that is particularly appealing to people over 40. It will be interesting to see in which direction the topic of "Mental Wellness" will develop. Will it remain meditation and relaxation or will the range of applications be extended to include the optimisation of cognitive functions and the mind-set?
How can FIBO support the development of the industry? Or is it already heading in the right direction, for example with the new concept of Hall 8?
For me, FIBO has the greatest potential among the trade fairs with a focus on wellness to promote the development of this industry in the direction described above, to make it visible and tangible. The German Wellness Association has been a significant innovation driver for three decades. The partnership with FIBO and our involvement in the Wellness Competence Centre in Hall 8 is a wake-up call to all those who still do not understand wellness in its entirety. It was a wise strategic decision for me to bundle the topics of wellness and health in Hall 8 and to include the yoga community.