As with any other industry, the world of fitness is constantly changing and evolving. Technology, new discoveries, and social forces are constantly reshaping and updating the way we think about fitness, and those changes will only accelerate as technology grows more sophisticated and ways for people to engage with fitness grow and expand.
To stay competitive, trainers and fitness entrepreneurs are going to have to change with the times or be left behind. Some of the basics of fitness will never change, but there are trends reshaping the world of fitness right now.
One thing that’s transformed the fitness world is the shift in demographics. As life expectancy grows longer and people become more health-conscious, there’s been a rise in older individuals with a lot of disposable income embracing fitness as a luxury lifestyle statement. Seniors are proving to be a growth segment for the fitness industry, and many of them have the income to embrace and support high-tech fitness solutions.
Affluent customers are willing to pay more for what they perceive to be premium options — whether it’s high-end gyms, personal trainers, or expensive and sophisticated fitness equipment. This also applies to younger Millennial demographics, who are taking to high-end fitness solutions as part of an overall “Wellness” trend.
In short, more affluent individuals can more easily afford the upmarket fitness gear, such as smart home gym systems and popular fitness solutions such as Peloton. While some smart gym technology is coming down to more mass-market levels, the high-end technology will likely continue to come at a high premium.
As mentioned earlier, some fitness basics never die — running, lifting weights, and good old-fashioned cardio aren’t likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. But how we engage in those activities has come to take on a technological aspect. Wearable devices, personalization, virtual experiences, and other technological advances has made fitness a much more varied and “feature-rich” experience.
For example, mobile fitness apps have multiplied in recent years, adding an aspect of gamification to users’ fitness routines. Now, instead of merely running a few miles in the morning, you can pretend to be running from zombies or traveling toward Mordor or any number of other whimsical scenarios. While this approach isn’t for everybody, it’s proven to carry a lot of appeal for people who might get bored with the same old boring run.
Other mobile apps include “virtual trainer” software, which many people (especially during the pandemic) used to substitute for a gym membership or a personal trainer. Granted, many of these apps can’t compete with one-on-one advice from a trained professional — but they’re nonetheless a major part of the fitness landscape now.
Big Data and the Fitness Industry
One particular aspect of technology that’s poised to reshape the fitness world is in the IoT (Internet of Things). Wearable fitness devices and internet-enabled fitness gear mean valuable analytics can be gathered and tracked, which is not only useful for users, but doctors, gym owners, fitness coaches, personal trainers, and so on.
Fitness wearables have come a long way from the early versions that tracked steps — many now track data like stress level, sleep, heart rate, body temperature, and more. This lets users get a stronger grasp of their overall health and can help coaches and trainers fine-tune their programs to fit their clients’ individual needs.
Virtual and Remote Fitness
Another side effect of the pandemic has been an increased shift toward virtual and remote fitness. With people on lockdown in their homes for days or weeks at a time during the worst of the pandemic, many turned to YouTube videos, remote fitness sessions, or other technological solutions so they could stay in shape while stuck at home.
As a result, what was once a small cottage industry of remote fitness trainers has become big business, with users having a wide variety of choices to find the best online personal trainers for them.
Specialized and Inclusive Fitness Programs
Another thing that will continue to reshape fitness into the future: more inclusivity. All this new technology and new options mean customers can more easily find a program that fits them specifically, especially when their needs aren’t necessarily in the mainstream.
In the future, there will be more opportunities for people with different body types, physical and mental needs, and disabilities to find a fitness routine that works for them. This will be especially true of fitness apps, which can cater to a niche market instead of the mainstream that catch-all apps do.
Well-trained and forward-thinking coaches and trainers have a prime opportunity to expand their clientele and business by being mindful of these changes and working to make sure people from all sorts of backgrounds can pursue their fitness goals.