From forest bathing andearthing to an evergreen (see what we did there?) obsession with indoor plants, there’s no doubt that nature-inspired wellness trends were huge this year. It’s not hard to see why, either, as there’s growing research to confirm that immersing yourself in nature has a positive effect on everything from your mood and cognitive functioning to your physical health.
With plants now adorning nearly every trendy apartment, cafe and office, it was only a matter of time before they made their way into another important space in our lives: the gym. Yep, the world’s first biophilic (a term that describes the positive effect of nature-inspired design on our wellbeing) gym, biofit, is here!
Owner Matt Morley opened the lush gym in Calgary, Canada after participating in a study into doing green exercise (working out in nature) indoors. The research found that the majority of the 118 volunteers reported lower stress, increased vitality, feelings of connection with nature and improved mood.
Given Canada’s chilly climate, it wouldn’t be practical to work out outdoors all year round. So, after witnessing these amazing results first-hand, Matt decided to create a space that would allow him to bring the outdoors inside. The 500 square feet studio features over 120 air purifying plants, natural aromatherapy, circadian lighting to energise or calm according to the time of day, abundant natural daylight to support the plant life, an air humidifier to remove indoor air pollutants, strict non-VOC cleaning protocols, sound insulating sustainable cork wall panels, upcycled wood plant boxes and biofit’s own acoustic music playlists.
Yep, it’s safe to say biofit is like no gym you’ve ever seen before! Even the gym equipment is made from natural, organic materials like wood, leather and cotton — think premium leather Bulgarian bags, a sustainable WaterRower, kettlebells with wooden handles and a natural fibre climbing rope. “People connect with nature at a deep, evolutionary level,” says Matt. “You’re touching wood, rope, and bamboo rather than metal and plastic.”
While Biofit is the first of its kind in the world, Matt predicts that this is only the beginning when it comes to nature-inspired fitness spaces. Here’s to doing squats while surrounded with succulents, ey?