The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected industries and our everyday lives in multiple ways. Among many other industries, the fitness industry took a bad hit as well. Particularly, brick and mortar gyms and fitness studios had to close doors for months in a row. Being high-touch businesses, gyms were extremely vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus infection.
It is a known fact that doing exercise on a regular basis reduces health risks, makes bones and muscles strong and helps people live longer. So, while people were stuck indoors, the best they could do was to focus on physical activities and workouts. Though the gyms and studios were out of reach, fitness became a top priority for people all around the world. The fitness industry rose to the occasion and found several ways to guide consumers with their workouts. Today, we have a range of latest technologies that are changing the fitness industry. Even after gyms resume operation, these creative ways will hopefully stick around.
RPM, one of the finest gyms in Birmingham began to offer its members online home workouts. There are countless benefits of going to the gym for workouts. However, physician activities and exercises don’t have to take a back seat when you can’t make it to the gym due to a crisis.
Increase in Workout Frequency
Before the pandemic, many people found it tough to make time for going to the gym for workouts and fitness classes. Busy work schedules and the commuting time were seen to be the culprits.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed this situation altogether.
When you are staying indoors for several weeks and months, you have got all the time in the world to do workouts. Not finding enough time to go to the gym doesn’t remain an excuse anymore. So for most people, home workouts became the new normal. Of course, people still wanted to experience group personal training and that is why they turned to virtual wellness. Fitness studios and gyms came up with new technology platforms to connect at-home consumers with wellness.
More and more people began to use pre-recorded videos and online home workout classes for their workout sessions. This made wellness and fitness accessible to people on a massive scale. Consumers were doing exercises more frequently than they used to do before the pandemic broke out.
While people are unable to access the gym, they have found at-home workouts more convenient. They can attend fitness classes and group training right from the comfort of their home. All they need to do is show up and experience the ease of working out without having to worry about commuting time. Home workout classes can easily fit in between household chores and other family obligations. This is a change in how the fitness industry used to operate before Covid-19.
Virtual Workouts and Digital Technologies
Gyms and fitness companies have woken up quite well to the demand of consumers in the post-Covid world. There are multiple technologies that consumers can use to get the most out of home workouts.
Fitness Streaming Devices:
In the post-Covid world, people don’t have to find time for visiting the gym. Fitness streaming devices and apps have enabled people to carry on with their workout sessions right from the comfort of their homes. Now, people can exercise and do workouts at a much lower cost than conventional gym membership. Many people experienced the use of fitness streaming devices and workout apps for the first time. This is simply because they were unable to go to a gym or physical fitness club due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Fitness and health apps saw record downloads whereas traffic to online workout video library and audio-based workout apps increased by a considerable margin. It is true that streaming devices and apps have increased consumer’s access to workouts. However, they are still far away from replicating the community or group workouts in a gym. That aspect still remains a challenge.
According to a survey, many consumers plan to blend home workouts and in-person gym workouts together after pandemic has ended and gyms and fitness studios resume operating.
Connected Fitness Equipment:
At-home workouts have equally caught the attention of both consumers and brands. While consumers have been liking the comfort and convenience of working out from the comfort of their homes, brands are trying to come up with smarter and more innovative connected fitness equipment. Fitness companies are focusing on creating a wonderful at-home workout experience. Their goal is to make home gyms or personal gyms of the future as appealing as possible. Many brands have brought together exercise machines and VR to take the fitness experience to an altogether new level. Hybrid fitness experience is the way to go.
In the home fitness equipment category, the connected fitness equipment is fast gaining popularity among consumers all around. One key concern for people doing workouts is to measure their progress. Connected fitness equipment makes it easy for consumers to evaluate the results from their home workouts.
The popularity of connected fitness equipment particularly rose after the pandemic broke out. While doing home workouts, consumers are always looking for an engaging experience. That’s exactly what this type of physical fitness equipment does and that is why brands have gone ahead to showcase the significance of the equipment and capture a considerable share of the market. More brands are stepping into this category of fitness equipment. The connected fitness equipment is kind of a virtual personal trainer which consumers seem to like a lot.
Among other sophisticated technologies, wearables too have changed the fitness industry in a big way. Whether it is athletes, professional trainers or fitness enthusiasts, wearables have caught everyone’s attention. These wearables are not just ultra modern, but they are small as well.
Most wearables devices available out there track metrics such as body temperature, heart rate, sleep rate, resting heart rate etc. This data can be easily quantified by physicians and physical fitness trainers. Many brands such as Fitbit already have an established consumer base whereas many other brands are trying to enter into this market and establish their positions. Wearable devices are available in a wide range and their demand is growing continuously. As the wearable market continues to expand, many new brands are now focusing more on those factors that will address the needs of the casual consumers.
Right from wrist-watch style devices to sophisticated footwear, the wearables vertical is expanding more with time. There are apparel and garments that can be worn to track the muscular performance.
Most Popular At-Home Workouts
The outbreak and the rising cases of the coronavirus caused a lot of panic and anxiety among people. Health and wellness experts recommended exercise as an effective way to keep a healthy mindset during this tough time. Exercise, as you know, is a powerful stress reliever. So, people used at-home exercise and workouts to stay fit, get rid of anxiety and restore a sense of normalcy.
During the pandemic, people are using different sources to do workouts at home and get good results. Many gym instructors and personal trainers have been offering useful workout tips online. At RPM, Birmingham, Emily and Kristina have also taken their expertise online to help people with their workouts during this time of quarantine. They have made it easy for their gym members as well as others to train at home through a series of Trx, glutes and HIIT workouts.
Yoga has emerged as a very popular home workout. This is because yoga is a form of exercise which is low-touch. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that uses movements such as high knees, drop squats, plyometric lunges, situps and pushups has been one of the most popular home workouts.
Following HIIT, Pilates and Barre virtual training classes have been quite popular during the recent pandemic. People have also turned to virtual meditation classes to cope with the stress caused due to the pandemic.
The Fitness Industry is Moving Towards Being More Hybrid
Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” For a lot of people, Covid-19 has proved to be an unparalleled opportunity to scrutinize their fitness routine and lifestyle.
The comfort and convenience of virtual personal training have caught the attention of both who go to the gym on a regular basis and those who do not. After gyms and fitness studios reopen, many people will stick to virtual classes. Doing different types of workouts at home have also inspired a lot of people. Those who never went to a gym before now plan to visit more fitness studios. These changes and trends have revolutionized the fitness industry in many ways.
As the fitness technology evolves more with time, virtual training and digital fitness will become a part of the routine for consumers.
Fitness companies understand how the fitness industry is going to be reshaped in the near future. To address the need for digital fitness, many companies are starting their own proprietary solutions so that their consumers don’t have to depend on third-party video conferencing services. It is time for companies to prepare themselves for a fitness industry which is becoming more hybrid.