The Chinese practice of feng shui has been followed by billions of people for thousands of years to create an environment that favorably affects the invisible energy that exists in all spaces.
Just as making even small changes to an exercise or weight-loss program can significantly affect a person’s health, incorporating simple feng shui concepts can have a significant effect on your club’s energy. Once you have a better idea of how feng shui works, you can choose which elements you want to incorporate. Remember that even some seemingly simple and inexpensive options can make an important difference.
Choosing positive energy over negative, bringing harmony and balance to a space, making a good first impression and bringing nature indoors are all feng shui principles that fit perfectly into the design of health clubs.
One of the key questions in feng shui is whether a space or a particular aspect of a space evokes a positive feeling. In a health club, group exercise and mind/ body spaces are places where this is especially important. Because of the large variety of accessories that are used in different classes, the walls around these spaces have become crowded with these items. Group exercise rooms now look like storage rooms. This cluttered look gives rooms a less positive feeling than people get when they enter clean rooms free of clutter where all items are in a storage area. Perhaps it is time for you to analyze your group exercise rooms and other areas of your clubs to see if they project a positive image and good first impression.
Feng shui breaks down space and energy into the five elements: earth, water, wood, metal and fire. After reviewing the different elements, you can choose how you want to improve the energy of your club by adding some of these elements. Each element is associated with colors, but rather than painting walls, you can just add some of these colors in accent features, furniture, artwork or graphics.
Water means ease, freshness and abundance. Water can involve adding a fountain, aquarium or images of water. Even just adding a small table fountain to the reception desk or sales desks would be a good step. Also, think of where you can add a deep blue if you do not already have it.
Earth represents stability and nourishment. Earth involves bringing nature indoors. Wind is an important aspect of earth, so consider adding fans to create a warm or cool breeze through your club. Adding more natural light creates a positive outlook, so when possible, choose full spectrum light bulbs for a more natural vibration. Artwork of earth scenes are part of the earth aspect as well. Use colors such as yellow, sand and tans.
Wood is health, vitality and energy. Wood can involve plants. Even small plants on your front desk or in the locker rooms add to positive energy. However, plants that are poorly taken care of create the opposite effect. A slowly decaying plant brings negative energy. Using wood furniture and wood décor items are good. Color choices are green and brown.
Metal is clarity and preciseness. Metal choices can be accents throughout the club, such as interior signs, furniture and equipment. Colors associated with metal are gray, white and brown.
Fire is passion and high energy. Adding a fireplace (gas or wood) would create a great change in energy. According to feng shui, having a water and fire feature in the same first impression space would be a magnet of positive energy. Colors to consider for fire are red, orange and yellow.
By practicing the art of feng shui in your facility, you will add positive energy and decrease negative energy in your club. People who have been in the industry for many years can go into a club and immediately feel what type of club it is. Interestingly, the clubs that have a positive energy and feeling are considerably more profitable than those that lack it. An inescapable fact is that people pick up on this invisible energy, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Through the years, feng shui has developed skepticism among its critics. However, it can be a valuable asset to the success and health of your club.
Bruce Carter is the president of Optimal Fitness Design Systems International, a club design firm that has created about $650 million worth of clubs in 45 states and 26 countries.