A new way to improve your health: Move to a wellness community
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Given that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors and loneliness has become epidemic, it makes sense that real estate is responding by changing the way it builds. In addition, the attention given to wellness is growing, so health-conscious homebuyers want to live in a place that supports their values.
Also known as wellness lifestyle real estate and wellness communities, this new trend will be a $180 billion industry worldwide in 2022, according to a report by the Global Wellness Institute.
This is more than eco-friendly green building. A wellness community is a beautifully designed blend of healthy-lifestyle offerings and relationship-building activities and events.
Imagine living in a walkable neighborhood in a beautiful park-like setting that offers free yoga and meditation classes, has gardening space, community kitchens, kid-friendly play areas and forest trails. Imagine houses with front porches designed to foster regular chats with your neighbors, immediate proximity to basic amenities, and a social calendar for residents of all ages to get together to share a meal, learn a skill or just have fun.
It sounds a little like an intentional community. While it borrows some aspects from that lifestyle, wellness communities foster connection while preserving privacy and personal space.
The focus is on the well-being of all of the residents, including options for solitude as well as social interactions. Nothing is expected or enforced. The choice of how much to engage with the offerings of the community is up to each individual.
Living in a wellness community seems to be the perfect antidote for our social-media driven culture. It returns us to the days when our values and ways of spending time were simpler: coffee with a neighbor, talking over the back fence, relaxing on the front porch, sharing a picnic with a neighborhood family, attending a concert on the green, etc. It’s a real-time web of connection. It’s also a way for mixed generations to spend time together.
Add to that green-built homes, options to exercise right outside the door, a break from the sensory overload of traditional life, and fresh fruits and veggies in abundance, and what’s not to love? It’s common sense to think that if we value our health and want to deepen our connection with others, we’d want to live in a community that makes those healthy aspects of life easier.
This lifestyle is supported by research. A World Health Organization study determined that our health is directly connected to where and how we live. While this is not surprising, most of our housing choices aren’t made in consideration of our health. They’re more often based on cost, convenience and appearance.
I suspect the majority of future generations will live in wellness communities, except then this lifestyle will be the norm rather than the exception.
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