It’s that time of year again when the fitness world prepares to tackle the latest trends that are swarming the industry. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) takes a poll of thousands of health and fitness professionals from around the globe to help identify the top 20 fitness trends for the following year. It is no surprise wearable technology has again retained the top spot as the No. 1 fitness trend for 2020, followed by high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and group training.
This $95 billion industry consists of an array of fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices. If you’ve heard the recent news that Google has bought Fitbit, then you are aware this “trend” isn’t simply a flashpoint in the industry, but rather a key factor that will ultimately change the way users do fitness.
What does this mean for the industry?
With wearables growing at a 35% annual compounding rate, technology is increasingly finding a place within people’s lives, including their fitness routines. Wearable technology has helped break down barriers in the fitness industry by eliminating the fear of inadequacy often associated with exercise. As technology becomes more advanced, so does the consumer’s awareness and curiosity on how hard they are working and progressing over time. In a market of over 201,000 clubs and 174 million members worldwide, there is no better time to embrace technology.
How do wearables align with a successful strategy?
According to a study conducted by Forbes, one in six consumers currently own and use a wearable device. In addition, 43% of members admitted they visit their gym at least four times a week specifically to engage in group training classes. Combining these strategies produces a powerful effect. Group training is effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques to help individuals achieve fitness goals. Adding a wearable fitness tracker provides real-time feedback and reward for the effort users put in, helping to maximize the benefits of HIIT and group training, and create a feel-good experience that will keep members engaged longer.
Why optimize the trend?
Many operators tend to hit barriers from their teams when implementing a wearable strategy, but the key to success is to ensure the solution fits the facility, ethos, environment and community.
Predictions show wearable sales are projected to exceed 200 million units in 2020 with the market on track to quadruple by 2022. Operators need to assess their strategy, and if wearables are not a part of it, they may get left behind. These smart devices have proven they are here to stay and the potential behind the strategy is endless. So, embrace it, invest in it and put forth time to find the best solution for your facility.