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Women now drive the global economy, and studies show they control up to 78 percent of U.S. consumer spending. Women represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined. That’s a lot of ladies spending their hard-earned money to get what they want. And what the large majority want, overwhelmingly, is to get and stay fit — making health a priority.
We have all know that women are huge contributors to participation in our clubs and now more than ever are helping change the face of the fitness industry in the way they participate in offered programs. Not just for women-only gyms anymore, co-ed clubs are now ensuring they also offer spotless and functional group fitness rooms for mind-body classes, pole dancing classes, team-based cycling workouts, and all the hottest new group fitness trends. Women want to feel healthy and powerful, and nothing helps that goal more than regularly hitting the gym for their favorite class.
Men are more likely to workout solo, do weight training, running or boxing with their earbuds firmly in place. Ladies, on the other hand, come to group fitness classes to experience, learn, compete and bond with the other women in the group. Many lasting female friendships these days are formed at the health club. Women are also more likely to have a deeper emotional connection to their favorite classes and instructors, which can translate to success for clubs that hire creative and charismatic trainers.
Since ancient times, women have enjoyed dancing and celebrating together in groups — and in the modern world, this translates to packed and successful dance workout classes. Many clubs are now adding additional group fitness space to accommodate the growing demand for classes for both men and women with a playlist and free-flowing style. Not to say men do not also enjoy classes and group experiences, but when you look at the population as a whole, these differences are noticeable.
Women are also helping to drive the new wearable fitness technology trend. Wearable sensor watches are not only a must-have fashion accessory — they’re inspiring more people than ever before to deepen their knowledge of health and fitness. And the style of the products are getting better with a more stylish look and feel. As we are now seeing, many clubs are now taking advantage of this trend to add more gamification and competition to group fitness classes. Leaderboards and widescreen monitors are now appearing in clubs to fuel competition and add empowering motivational messages. Class stats and bragging rights can now be instantly uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Despite the growing consumer power of women, they are still vastly underserved in the marketplace. Few companies are really meeting the challenge of creating new time-saving solutions and sustainable, innovative products designed especially for women’s needs. However, the fitness industry is proudly leading the forefront to advance equality. Groups like the Women in Fitness Association are helping to give women a larger influence in the fitness industry, foster a wider sense of community and realize their true potential.
From creating new trends in fitness to changing the way we think about competitiveness, women are finally coming into their own in the fitness world. Stay tuned for more updates on the hottest trends in the fitness industry and how you can stay on the cutting edge.
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, founder, writer and keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O.