According to the non-profit Global Wellness Industry, the wellness economy was valued at $4.2 trillion in 2017—growing 12.8% over the three previous years. In relation to the entire global health industry, this represents nearly half of all annual spending. Clearly, to capitalize on this radical shift towards wellness, savvy event planners follow the latest health trends to enrich delegates’ experience throughout the event.
Ahead of the curve, Hilton and its teams across Europe, Middle East and Africa are increasingly providing planners with wellness-related offerings that encourage attendees to engage in the latest industry practices through specially designed personal experiences.
1. Cycling for cardiovascular health
Proving that cycling is one of the best promoters of cardiovascular health, a five-year study by the British Medical Journal concluded that participants who cycled to work daily had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than motorised commuters. Even with just a few minutes a day, cycling delegates will reap the benefits of a cardio surge.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station offers two heart-healthy cycling agendas. To discover this storied city, up to 25 attendees can take a 30-minute ride with a native guide. And for those too busy for outdoor excursions, a brisk, 15-minute brainstorm spin cycling session can be set up before, after or during meetings for up to 200 participants.
2. Yoga for concentration
The Yoga Alliance, a reputable non-profit organization for professional yoga teachers, details its many health benefits for regular practitioners, ranging from stress relief to cardiovascular conditioning to pain and weight management. Yoga can also promote relaxation, flexibility and—important for conference attendees—increase concentration and focus.
Participants will stay focused throughout the day with a 60-minute power yoga session at the Hilton Athens. Or for a change of pace, attendees can alternate between yoga and strength–building Pilates classes at the Hilton Milan.
3. Toning and stretching for balance
Harvard Medical School states that regular stretching brings us improved range of motion, increased flexibility and a reduced risk of injury. Add to this better concentration, weight control and long-term stamina resulting from routine muscle toning. For delegates sitting in place for hours at a time, a quick stretch goes a long way to recharging the body.
Throughout a long day of meetings, the Hilton Lake Como offers a choice between muscle toning and end-of-day stretching classes to recharge attendees for evening events. Each session includes a specialized fitness trainer, lasts an invigorating 20 minutes and is paired with healthy treats including freshly squeezed juice, an assortment of fruit, herbal teas and, following the late-day classes, a selection of sandwiches.
4. Jogging and running for heart health
Improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strengthening and burning serious calories are just a few of the many benefits of regular jogging or running. The runners’ site Run Repeat has no doubts about its virtues, with a list of 71 benefits backed by scientific studies. For attendees, nothing clears the mind for better conference note-taking than a brisk run.
The Conrad London St. James features a jog/run experience that guides participants through the city’s most iconic landmarks. The activity lasts 20-45 minutes depending on the energy and pace of the group.
5. Active cultural experiences for enrichment
Conference attendees are often too busy to experience a new destination properly. But the growing interest in responsible tourism—with clearly defined ethics from the World Tourism Organization—and concern for personal wellbeing has led to a rise in opportunities for delegates to experience destinations “like a local”.
Today, host cities offer an array of shining Hilton cultural experiences. Among the most memorable, Hilton Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt Walking Tour invites participants on a leisurely visit to the picturesque 17th century square, home to a concert hall, historic monuments and a duo of domed churches.
6. Golf for longevity
The British Journal of Sports Medicine has concluded that golf is worth promoting for its impressive wellness perks, including improved cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic functions as well as a possible connection to increased life expectancy. And during fast-paced conferences, a little recreational downtime couldn’t hurt either.
Up to 40 attendees can practice their swing on the lush Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed golf course at Hilton’s La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Sienna.
7. Plant-based diet for sustainability
Oxford University summarised a recent study that lists the merits of plant-based diets. Overall, vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians experienced better weight control, improved nutrient levels, a reduced environmental impact and a reduction in chronic disease-related complications. During a busy event, a well-nourished attendee is sure to go the distance.
Hence, a growing number of EMEA Hilton Hotels are now offering plant-based options for main meals and coffee breaks. At the Hilton London Metropole, the Kings’ Suite can be transformed into an al fresco Italian food market, complete with vegan-friendly options. The Hilton Berlin takes things even further with their superfood smoothie and juice bar easily added to any of their midday menus on offer.
8. Massage for optimum relaxation
Though widely used for stress relief and easing muscle tension, the Mayo Clinic suggests massages can also alleviate the symptoms of various conditions including insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders and anxiety. But an equally rewarding benefit is the feeling of inner peace and comfort that a professional massage can instil following an endless day of meetings and presentations.
At Purobeach, situated atop the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona, attendees can sample a 60-minute detoxifying Amaccoli water bar massage. Alternately, a 75-minute Rungu Rungu African massage at the Hilton Durban South Africa will leave guests completely revitalized.
9. Slow cooking for healthy consumption
Slow is back in style. Evidently, the use of low heat for a longer period of time preserves essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As an added bonus, Penn State University claims it also brings out the natural flavours of meats and vegetables. A well-fuelled delegate is a most productive participant.
While notable culinary experiences are available at properties such as the Hilton Saint Petersburg, the Hilton Milan kicks things up a notch with a KM0 slow food cooking class, utilizing locally-sourced, organic ingredients and non-GMO meats.
10. Digital Detox for mental health
According to author and clinical psychologist Dr. Goal Auzeen Saedi, digital detoxing is all about spending less time on social media and engaging in personalized activities that entertain, lift mental wellbeing and help reduce stress. Attendees are sure to appreciate anything that alleviates the day’s tensions.
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin believes that moments of silence are key for better health. Delegates can participate in customised yoga, neck massage or short jogging breaks without access to any electronic devices throughout hour-long sessions.