3 Digital Fitness Trends to Capitalise on
One thing is certain: sport is a real trend today. Statistics show that the health and fitness industries grow at an average rate of 8.7% per year. And with time, this number will only increase. It’s predicted that the fitness industry will grow by 171.75% by 2028, and online fitness’ annual increase will stand at 33.1%. How come?
Nowadays, exercise is about more than physical appearance and health. People work out to get away from their worries and take care of their mental well-being. A crazy pace of life, quarantine restrictions and other global problems make exercise an unattainable pleasure, and technologies, in turn, bring it closer to us.
Where it once took us five subway stops to get to the gym or yoga and finally put work aside, today the only thing we have to do is use our devices to get on track. And modern businesses must know how to provide this possibility to their clients.
In this fashion, the MadAppGang team would like to tell you more about digital fitness industry trends, and the technologies that can help you keep up with them.
Why does the fitness industry seek digitalisation?
As in other domains, the peak of digital transformation in the fitness industry was during Covid-19. The pandemic locked everyone into homes, and the only way to contact the outside world was through our smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Of course, due to either boredom or real interest in exercise, people wanted to work out at home, and modern technologies came to save the day. Applications like Sworkit or Freeletics that set training plans and MyFitnessPal that tracks calories helped people take care of their bodies without going to the gym.
Even if we skip over the quarantine restrictions and their influence on fitness industry digitalisation, for modern companies it’s important to provide customers with the latest, more innovative solutions. People are time-short and looking for the fastest and simplest way to access every service.
Covid-19 didn’t precipitate the move from traditional fitness practices to more efficient digital ones, but it certainly highlighted its necessity.
And what are the benefits of digitalisation for business in this space? We can single out a few key ones.
User experience personalisation
Big data, cloud analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) can process a person's data so that their journey with your digital product feels exclusive and personal. Eighty per cent of customers are inclined to buy from companies that offer an individual approach. Digitalisation makes it not only possible but easy: the technologies above don’t require data analysis experience and are fully automated.
Besides, digital fitness solutions mostly provide great motivation in the form of reminders, which is appealing to customers, and ensures they don’t forget about you.
More efficient training
AI-driven tech combined with personalised training deliver better results. Add Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and the user's progress will be incredible. Just imagine that your customers have their personal training and nutrition plans, which are built courtesy of the data users provide, but also data from their wearables, GPSs, and other possible sources.
For instance, at MadAppGang we created SmartRun, an intelligent application for runners. Based on real-time heart rate data, SmartRun helps people maximise the effectiveness of their training sessions, and can even analyse a runner’s average step length.
Less time consumption
And again: there’s no need to travel anywhere. Just take your device and start. You don’t have to schedule sessions with your personal trainer or adjust your schedule for a fitness group. You’re not limited to just daytime, as opposed to gyms, and you’re not limited in general. That’s what your busy clients need.
One of the most important benefits of fitness industry digitalisation is that sports activities are much safer. The same feature, for example, that made our SmartRun app more productive helps to also control a person’s wellbeing: any time users take an errant step length, or experience erratic tempo, wearables detect this, and then warn and direct the user. And all other similar digital products work likewise.
Fitness industry technologies of today
The fitness industry is not a newcomer to the digital world. Come 2022 and the field has substantially expanded, increasing the number of solutions for sports enthusiasts, some of which took a certain place in our lives. Before we take a look at the latest technologies adopted by the fitness industry, let’s pay attention to the not so new, and kind of “classic” ones we’ve got after Covid-19.
Remote personal training
Since people couldn’t attend public and any places in general due to quarantine restrictions, businesses had to find other ways to reach clients. Thanks to our level of technical know-how, it wasn’t that difficult. School teachers and university professors led the charge and moved to online classes, while sports coaches followed the lead.
Some firms provide recorded training sessions, and some schedule group or private sessions. Trainers can also deliver clients' plans, guides, and email consultations. For schedule management, client progress tracking, and marketing trainers can use dedicated personal trainer software, like gymGO, PTDistinction, and Trainerize.
Everything is going so well that 30% of consumers won’t return to pre-pandemic on-site workouts, and would rather continue online training. Thus, traditional gyms and fitness centres are adopting a hybrid model with both online and offline services.
In addition to online training, lockdown brought other ways for people to work out at home. Those who don’t need a trainer or prefer to self manage their training could choose from thousands of applications to help.
For instance, Nike released Nike Training Club way before the pandemic, and the app offers everything, from yoga to weightlifting, for people of all types. There you can find inspiration, training techniques, and even healthy recipes.
And of course, when there’s no way to visit gyms (or simply no desire), apps are just what we’re looking for, and statistics prove it. The number of fitness app downloads grew by 46% after the first coronavirus wave.
Nike Training Club app
Health in the workplace
It’s fair to say that post-Covid we’ve become more health aware. And even though business owners provided employees with well-being programs earlier, the way these are managed while working remotely has changed. Paid gym memberships have turned into online fitness classes or health application subscriptions, and corporate yoga has moved to Zoom.
Zoom yoga class
3 Key digital fitness trends of tomorrow
Time doesn’t stand still, nor do technologies. The whole world keeps chasing progress, and for business, it’s crucial to overtake. We’ve shown you how Covid-19 changed the fitness industry and pushed it toward improvements. Now, behold three digital fitness trends of tomorrow.
If in the past, connected fitness simply meant using apps to track training, now the term is wider and consists of three main categories: smart fitness devices, tech-enabled fitness equipment, and AI-based tech.Let’s examine each of them.
Smart fitness devices
This category refers to wearable devices people use for better health and training progress and monitoring. The Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Garmin products and others provide detailed information about your body condition when you’re active or resting. They can show you how many steps you walk, how many calories you’ve burnt, how good your sleeping was, and how fast your heart beats. These devices help you connect with your body while making the workout more efficient and less traumatic.
Tech-enabled fitness equipment
A tracker alone is not enough for a good result. To hit the target a sportsperson has to be equipped properly. Many people like going to the gym just because they have a lot to choose from there: bicycles, orbitracs, different weights and all that jazz. In addition, there is always a trainer somewhere nearby to help.
When it comes to home workouts, installing a whole fitness centre within a flat isn’t an option, so people had to figure something out. And the greatest minds came up with fitness equipment that’s smarter, more comfortable and efficient.
For example, The Mirror is a device that brings the pleasures of group classes into the comfort of your home. The mirror reflects the owner, but also shows them their instructor and other participants. Here you can connect with people and work out together. It’s an innovative option for homebodies who don't want to be alone for their sports activities.
One more on-point example is Peloton bikes, which automatically change your speed and resistance, and allow you to watch online fitness classes while training. They also measure and show your heart rate, and may sync with some of your fitness applications, so your data will be kept safe in one place.
Another connected equipment is FightCamp, which teaches you how to box at home. It counts your punches, intensity, and power. And, equipped with a technology that adds weight to your dumbbells on demand, the NordicTrack iSelect dumbbells are a full weightlifting solution. They are. They're also equipped with Alexa voice control, so just talk to Alexa anytime you feel like it’s too easy to lift.
Artificial intelligence resolves a lot of human problems: we use it at work to automate easy tasks and free time for higher-value work. In fitness, AI can bring efficiency, speed, comfort, and accuracy. And we can use it in different ways and via different items, be it mobile applications, machines, or even clothes.
One of the biggest trends today is AI-based personal trainers. Such software offers fully customised fitness plans with AI-generated comments. Some can even give comprehensive feedback, for example, Kaia personal trainer. Using a device’s camera and AI algorithms, it can analyse users’ movements and direct them.
The way Kaia Personal Trainer sees a user
Another company, Asensei, made an apparel line for connected fitness. And that’s a real thing. It doesn’t only detect movements, but also provides real-time coaching. Everything you do is read by the AI and used to lead you further by a voice assistant, so it feels like you’re next to a real trainer who sees you and helps you train properly.
Digital trends couldn’t ignore corporate wellness management, so its format and the tools businesses use have also changed. Currently, the main focus is on mental health, stress resilience, telehealth, and financial wellness. Today’s companies use numerous platforms, applications and tools to ensure their employees' well-being.
For instance, LinkedIn launched courses for corporate mental health care during the pandemic while Citigroup, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bancorp, and other financial institutions moved their yoga and meditation classes online. Some companies managed to develop special platforms, which other businesses can use to look after team members’ mental health. Perkbox, for example, can help your team 24/7 and provide them with hundreds of perks and discounts for different software and services related to wellness.
Fitness creator economy
Creator economy also showed up while we were successfully imprisoned in our houses. Teachers, beauty stylists, fitness trainers and others with something to share turned into bloggers, vloggers, or rather, influencers.
Via social media and streaming platforms, they could help people and earn money. For instance, lots of sports coaches created YouTube channels where they could connect with their audience. Like Mike Peele, a fitness trainer and choreographer who shoots 30-minute hip-hop dance workouts for those who want to have fun with some cardio.
Mike Peele workout
Instagram, TikTok, YouTube — all these platforms are used by influencers of all kinds for creator businesses. So, some companies decided to build a special place where fitness trainers can reach their audience. A platform called Spaces by TalentHack can not only let sports influencers post content and find followers, but also provides influencers with email automation, payment processing, and CRMs for customer management.
Spaces app functionality
Now, what shall you do next?
Time makes trends and the only thing you need to do is to follow them closely and stay ahead of the curve. Business is up and running while you have something to attract your customers. People are flooded with technologies, so to surprise them and turn them into loyal clients you must not only understand the market but also use the gifts of the digital world wisely.
MadAppGang, as an IT company with experience in the fitness industry, would be pleased to help you follow modern trends, take maximum potential from them, and encourage business growth. Just contact us, and all our expertise is in your service.