Is the Future of Fitness at Home?

Virtual Fitness and the New Normal

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a big blow for brick-and-mortar gyms as they struggle to stay open. Many have been forced to close – the long-lasting lockdowns a stretch too far for their financial resources. However, those gyms with a digital presence have been able to grow their business.

Indeed, industry research shows that the global virtual fitness market is expected to grow at an incredible 30% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. So, is the future of fitness now in the home fitness industry?

How have people’s lifestyles changed because of Covid?

One of the most dramatic shifts forced on us by Covid-19 is that many people have been working from home. This has delivered many advantages. For example, less commute time and more flexibility in how they work have allowed people the time to exercise in their homes.

A survey by Parade Magazine and Cleveland Clinic found that Americans are now approaching their health very differently. There is more concern and more hesitancy to take actions such as visiting a physician. 

However, the survey discovered that 62% of people have made significant lifestyle changes. The major changes are:

  • Spending more time outdoors
  • Improving sleeping patterns
  • Eating more healthily
  • Starting or modifying an exercise program

All things that you understand are important for the future of fitness of your target customers, right? And get this, more than a quarter of respondents said that they have increased the frequency of their exercise. They are embracing working out at home while they consider that gyms are still risky environments.

It’s not just Covid – Why the home fitness industry is booming

Covid-19 may have accelerated the future of fitness, but, in truth, the signs that home-based fitness is becoming a lifestyle choice have been bubbling away for a few years. 

Peloton’s marketing strategy may be crucial to its success, but it is the technology that allowed it to bring the bike into people’s homes. 

It’s not only technology and working from home that has driven fitness to a wider audience. There are many reasons why Americans are becoming fitness fanatics within their own four walls, including:

  • Lack of time to attend gyms
  • Increased health consciousness
  • Popularity of online fitness programs
  • Increasing desire for advanced fitness programs
  • Reduction in health insurance premiums

For many people, the effects of Covid-19 – how they work, live, and think about their lives – have been an excuse to start exercising in their homes. This includes all those that have been affected by the closure of their favorite gym or fitness studio.

So, is the gym dead?

Sounds bleak for gym owners, doesn’t it? But before you throw the towel in and close your gym, let’s look at the reasons why people will return.

First, your gym offers amenities that your members simply can’t have at home. A range of exercise machines, for a start. Imagine trying to cram a treadmill, stair climber, stationary bike, rowing machine, and elliptical in a single room. That’s before we even start talking about weights. The investment alone would be huge.

Second, taking fitness classes at home just isn’t the same as being among a group of people. 

Third, now that we have mentioned being among a group of people, a gym offers a real community spirit. It’s motivating and energizing.

Fourth, being in a gym removes distractions that you inevitably suffer at home. Your kids aren’t tugging at your sleeve. Your sports team isn’t playing on the TV. There are no chores to be done. It’s just you and your exercise session.

Are these benefits enough to draw people back into your gym in numbers? According to a survey by Upswell, they certainly are. They found that more than 80% of consumers would be happy to return to the gym.

Keep it healthy for the future of fitness in your gym

To entice your members back to your gym, you cannot simply open the doors. Covid-19 concerns are likely to be considered for a long time. This means providing for a more socially distanced gym environment and ensuring the highest standards of sanitation are maintained.

Show that yours is a healthy place to maintain fitness, and you really do have a fighting chance.

The future of fitness: Industry hybrid models

The future of fitness is an exciting one. It is a hybrid model that includes gym-based workouts and virtual exercise. Covid-19 has changed how people feel. Working from home has motivated many more to exercise – and they have the time to do so.

Technology has made the home fitness industry possible. But people still crave community. Exercising at home makes it easy for people to participate safely. Exercising in the gym gives them access to the equipment they might struggle to afford or keep in their home.

There is, of course, one constant between working out at the gym and working out at home. That’s the expertise, help, and guidance of the fitness professional. 

Design your business model to cater to both markets, selling your expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to help your clients be the best versions of themselves, living a healthy lifestyle that rewards them daily.

Want to know more? Like how to 10x your growth in this exciting market? Connect with Level 5 Mentors, and let us help you to expand your business fast.

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