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Top 10 Wellness Amenities on a Budget

cooking class

By Stephanie Anderson

Here are the healthy amenities people will want this year.

New year, new you—at least that’s the saying we hear from all directions this time of year. It's not uncommon to make a New Year's resolution centered around the foundation of health and wellness. So why should the apartment communities we manage be any different?  

For starters, the cost can be a hindrance; but it doesn’t have to be. According to the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Associates Apartment Resident Preferences Report, the top three fitness amenities were pools, fitness centers and basketball hoops. But what if your community doesn’t have the space or budget to enhance or add these amenities? Here are 10 ideas you can implement at any community on any budget to enhance the overall wellness experience for your residents.

1. Refreshing Water

Offering refreshments doesn’t have to be expensive, but details do matter. Encourage your prospective residents and residents to up their daily fluid intake with fresh water. Purchase a water dispenser to place in your leasing office, lobby or clubhouse area. Add fresh fruit daily to add a fun and tasty twist on this classic beverage. Strawberries, lemons and cucumbers are a few suggestions to rotate. Be sure to clean the dispenser routinely and refill as needed.

2. Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is proven to be good for the body and mind. Highlight areas of your community that offer the best natural lighting and share these places with your residents. Also invest in mirrors; they not only make great decor, but also reflect natural light around a room or area. For common areas, use bright colored furniture, rugs, flooring and walls to enhance the lighting and bring a cheery vibe.

3. Walking Trails

Call attention to nearby walking trails to encourage residents to get outdoors and keep their body in motion. If your community does not offer an internal walking trail, then highlight nearby parks and recreational areas that residents can walk to. Even something as simple as marking a one-mile loop on sidewalks on the perimeter of your community map can help encourage residents to participate. The key is to make it easy and fun. Also consider adding a scavenger hunt or community jog to your next resident activity to encourage participation.

4. Green Space

Green space is the perfect wellness amenity, especially for city-dwelling residents. A beautifully landscaped and comfortable area with lots of green can help residents find peace after a busy day. Adding a community garden will help spark social interactions between other residents, and offering comfortable seating will promote rest and enjoyment. Even if your community is in a less urban area, a green space is a perfect place for residents to host friends and breathe in some fresh air after spending the day indoors at work.

5. Healthy Foods

Leave healthy snacks in the fitness center for special occasions. Items can include granola bars, protein bars, specialty water/juices and other health-conscious foods. Offer live cooking demonstrations in your community clubroom if a kitchen is available. Host a local chef to come in and prepare healthy meals while residents take down recipes and taste test food. This is a fun and inexpensive resident event. Also consider vending machines that offer fresh sandwiches and salads, even organic and low-fat options, as another way to provide healthy convenience for your residents. These are great ways to promote healthy living.

6. Complimentary Bike Rental

Purchase two or more mountain bikes and allow residents to borrow at their leisure. Take this a step further by branding the bikes with your community name, logo and colors to promote all around town. Residents will enjoy a bike ride without the hassle of storing, locking and general upkeep. 

7. Enhance Your Fitness Experience

Adding additional fitness equipment to your community can be simple and inexpensive. Purchase resistance bands, a Pilates ball, and a yoga mat, for starters. Offer space for a meditation lounge or bring in an instructor to teach an aerobics class. Partner with local cycle bars and gyms to allow their instructors to use your fitness facility while offering free classes to your residents. It’s a win-win!

8. Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, so why not jump on the bandwagon and create a custom coloring book for your community. Maybe even purchase standard adult coloring books to offer residents. Coloring books offer a fun way to unwind, and they make great gifts and promote creativity. You can also take this one step further by putting together a resident paint night.

9. Partnerships with Other Close Retailers

Hosting a pop-up juice bar is a great example of how to promote local businesses while creating a VIP experience for residents to try new things. Restaurants are another great choice to bring in with free food and coupons to advertise to your residents. Other products and services may include massages, essential oils, nutritionists and other health and wellness specialists.

10. Branded Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles make great move-in gifts, promotional items and contest giveaways. Encourage going green with bottles that promote your community wherever your residents carry them. This also helps to promote daily water intake for your residents. Don’t forget to connect this to the fresh fruit-flavored water offered daily in your community.