Industry trend reports provide great insight into what is influencing consumer behavior. After evaluating some of these reports, I feel the fitness industry is about to take a significant step forward — 2018 is going to be a year of both disruption and innovation. Here are some of my predictions:
Wearable technology and apps designed to guide, support and foster connection among exercisers will stay on the top of the trends list. It is estimated that by 2018, 70 percent of healthcare organizations globally will invest in consumer-facing technologies including apps, wearables, remote monitoring and virtual care. The wearables market will continue to expand massively and even those who workout in a formal fitness setting will use more than one app to support their fitness and to connect with other like-minded exercisers.
Group fitness will continue to grow and diversify. Within the group fitness space there will be more innovation including the expansion of fusion-style or “mash-up” workouts, to serve the needs of millennials. Yoga will continue to diversify and expand and be accompanied by meditation, zen and relaxation classes — and do not be surprised to see ballet or barre and props or equipment-based strength training incorporated into yoga classes. High intensity interval training workouts will remain strong, especially among millennials. Almost all exercisers say they are more likely to workout when they workout in a group or with a friend.
Exercise prescription and “exercise as medicine” will begin to take its rightful place within the exercise and fitness community. Fitness professionals and health care professionals are now coming together to meet the expanding needs of the deconditioned market. It is no longer possible for health, fitness and wellness professionals to work independently of each other. The time has come that we work as a team to help build and rebuild the health of all people. People have the desire to live better. We need to be prepared to connect, coach and care for them in new and engaging ways.
Mo Hagan is vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.