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Fitness Technology Trends 2022

By Nan de Bruin

Published 9 November 2021

Do you ever get the feeling that the second Halloween passes, we’re suddenly steamrolling towards the new year?  As the holiday season kickstarts in earnest around the Thanksgiving table, it’s time to review the lessons we’ve learned over the year and look ahead at the fitness technology trends we can expect to develop in 2022.

How Does Fitness Look In 2022?

It’s looking up for the fitness industry! Fit tech innovation has been developing at lightning speed. According to a worldwide consumer survey, the overall conversion rate is up by 108%. That means more people have joined gyms since the lockdowns. Not only have previous gym-goers returned to the fold, but we’re also seeing an influx of new members ready to join the fray. So, with numbers looking positive in the approach to the new year, how can we expect the fitness world to look? Below, we discuss some expected fitness trends for 2022. And we break down three essential developments that will future-proof your fitness business growth in the new year.

1. From Health Clubs To Health Hubs

Holistic health has continued to grow more crucial for clients looking to nurture both their emotional and physical wellbeing. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, we have become increasingly more understanding of the intrinsic link between physical and mental health. Now, more than ever, people require more freedom and flexibility to work on both. This trend will see health clubs continuing to evolve further into health hubs, where the facilities for holistic healthcare will continue to expand. So, what can we expect to see more of?

Nutrition

The saying goes: ‘You can’t out-train a bad diet.’ Personalized nutrition plans are nothing new to the fitness industry. But as our understanding of health expands, you could be missing out if they’re not a part of your customer experience offering. According to research run by RunRepeat, the UK saw a staggering 159.4% rise in active UK adults seeing personal trainers and nutritionists in 2021, with the US experiencing 89.4% growth. It seems that clients are looking to take a more personalized approach to diet and exercise coming into the new year.

Meditation And Mindfulness

Positioning your fitness business as a holistic brand means offering services that support mental health too. It comes as no surprise that the demand for relaxation and mindfulness apps has exploded. With relaxation apps receiving a 437% increase in searches and mindfulness apps a whopping 2483%! And the demand shows no signs of slowing down! Recent research predicts that The Mental Health Apps Market is expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2027. So of course we have a solution for you. Check out our very own MINDVIBE app which focuses on total-body health, including the immune system, heart health, cardiovascular health, and more.

Exercise Is Medicine

Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It is designed to make physical activity part of a treatment and prevention plan for patients at risk of a range of health conditions. This means that a standard part of practice could be a referral to a range of health professionals across a range of professions within the health and fitness industry. This interest in fitness and sports as part of a more holistic approach to healthcare and sickness prevention opens up new avenues for fitness operators. The initiative serves as proof that clients are moving beyond aesthetic gym goals and towards long-term solutions to improve their lifestyles.

2. Fitness Technology Trends and Hybrid Fitness Will Endure

Whether it means training online, offline, at home, or outdoors, hybrid fitness solutions are here to stay in 2022! In the last two years, we’ve seen how crucial flexible and hybrid fitness offerings are for clients. And there seems to be no slowing down for this fitness technology trend! Most gyms have now reopened worldwide, but the needs of clients have changed irrevocably. In the same way, the workplace has become more flexible, we can now expect the same personalization within the fitness industry. We want it to fit more comfortably with our daily lives. And the combination of online, outdoor, and home fitness offerings within a hybrid model will likely keep growing in popularity for the modern fitness business. So, what will we see more of?

Online Fitness

According to The Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, 80% of gym members want to integrate digital fitness offerings into their individual workout plans moving forward. Technology and fitness now walk hand in hand! This may require fitness operators to pivot when it comes to offering both live and digital offerings to suit the needs of modern clients. And not only that. Implementing a hybrid model, also known as omnichannel fitness, can encourage your clients to work out more. Users of digital fitness services tend to train 22% more than those who only train live in a club. For comparison, it’s 4.4x per week vs. 3.6x per week. However, while digital fitness is on the rise, it appears users would still prefer a blended approach when it comes to training.  Technology can, therefore, be complementary rather than used as a substitute. According to the majority of consumers (59%), a 60:40 mix between workouts at the gym and workouts at home would be the most favorable outcome. With as many as 80% of respondents stating they would continue to train at home after the pandemic. It looks as though fit tech innovation will gain even further traction post-pandemic!

Outdoor Fitness

Ah, the great outdoors! Fresh air, unlimited space, and nature at your feet. What’s not to love about outdoor fitness? Working out in the local park has grown immensely popular since Covid-19 began, with approximately 50% of active US adults getting stuck into outdoor workouts and over 65% of the UK committing to an outside sweat. Outdoor group training is also a fantastic way for clients to enjoy socialization, atmosphere, and inclusiveness– particularly for those working from home. While it comes as no surprise that we can expect attendance to dip throughout the cold winter months, clients are still reaping the benefits nonetheless! It could be time to consider bringing outdoor fitness into your offering.

Fitness At Home

Home fitness remains the fastest growing fitness trend since lockdown forced many of us to turn to home for a sweat. The percentage of active adults viewing at-home fitness equipment as their best option for staying fit increased by 49.6% and an explosive 218.3% in the US. We also saw an increase of 155.9% in gym-goers buying home gym equipment! It appears there is a whole market available for hybrid business plans incorporating home workouts into their client fitness plans. Home workouts look to stay put in 2022 with fit tech innovation making it easier and more effective than ever before. Not sure how to expand your offerings? There is a multitude of ways to offer added value to your clients by going digital. From branded video workout libraries, wearables, and personalized at-home workout programs to video check-ins, video training, and professional insights in biometric data- the options are endless

3. Getting Up Close And Personal

Different people have different abilities, ambitions, and ideas of what being ‘healthy’ means to them. No person is the same and therefore fitness should not take a cookie-cutter approach. Worldwide, approximately 1.5 billion people live with visible or invisible disabilities.  And according to a survey conducted by the CDC, almost 41% of US adults have struggled with mental health since lockdowns began. What is more, factors such as time, cost, transportation, education, feeling unwelcome, lack of social support, and wheelchair accessibility are all huge barriers people face on a daily basis. Health and wellness should not be a privilege but available for everyone, regardless of background, age, location, or financial means. Fit tech innovation is key to helping everyone enjoy fitness in a way that fits them best. Personalization and inclusivity are essential for the modern fitness business to thrive. Through personalization and technology, the fitness industry can democratize. And so welcome more and more people into the fitness fold, regardless of ability. This means harnessing technology as a force for good. And enabling as many people as possible to access health and wellness opportunities. Virtuagym believes in a happier and healthier world where inclusiveness should be a priority of all fitness operators. Recently, UNESCO undertook a study of health clubs. The study was purpose-built to facilitate safe and successful workouts for diverse populations, including people with disabilities. Of those included in the study, 72% of clubs reported an increase in customer loyalty and 51% noticed increases in revenue. Thankfully, inclusive gyms are on the rise, with the community and mutual support as central tenets for the client who may otherwise feel like gyms are not designed with their bodies in mind.

Fitness Technology Trends as a Tool for Personal Success

Technology is an incredible tool, regardless of your business. It has the ability to provide your members with hybrid fitness solutions by combining both the physical and digital worlds. And so provide personalized, meaningful, and varied experiences for people wanting to work out how, when, and where they want. With support such as fitness apps, workout videos, fitness wearables, and more personalized plans, people can now work towards their health and wellness goals in a way that fits their lifestyle best. This powerful tool also encourages engagement and breaks down the barriers that hold back people’s confidence, experience, and knowledge.

The Takeaway

Local gyms are not dead, and fitness technology trends are on the rise. Fit tech innovation is always on the move. This is great news for business owners looking to diversify and build their brand in line with growing fitness technology trends in 2022!

Nan de Bruin

Visual storyteller and winter sports enthusiast

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