The trend towards online fitness classes has made us realize that you don’t have to travel anywhere to stay fit. Your favorite fitness program is just a click away, writes Jitendra Chouksey
We have seen the world change remarkably in the past year and a half. The post-Covid-19 world has taught us to manage our mental, physical, and emotional health as part of our daily routine.
An important trend that emerged was the growing awareness of getting fit. From Gen X and Y to Gen Z and Alpha, everyone went to the floor and into the home arena to establish a regime to get well while encouraging others to follow suit. Social media streams and communities became the virtual ground for people from different demographics who registered their trip to register with a Fittr coach to change their lifestyle. Many couples began their fitness journey by promoting body positivity and highlighting fitness as a form of couples therapy, sharing #CoupleFitnessGoals, and inspiring others to join their fitness expedition, which the fitness sector has been able to attest!
The fitness community in India has developed rapidly with the advent of an emerging ecosystem made up of alert consumers, fitness service providers, and government initiatives. However, the idea of a healthy mind in a healthy body is not new to Indians – yoga, akhadas, Ayurveda and meditation have always been part of our culture. With globalization and the easy availability of information, traditional practices and exercises are amplified and complemented by a modern, dynamic and emerging fitness industry in India.
The country’s fitness industry, which includes equipment, sportswear, fitness services, and recreational sports, was valued at $ 12 billion in 2018, according to a report by Redseer Consulting.
Recent industry reports from FICCI, E&Y, Redseer Consulting, Global Wellness Institute, and IHRSA & Fitternity on the fitness services segment estimate that six million active users spend an average of $ 350 to $ 400 on fitness services annually, or $ 2.6 billion US dollar market size.
The entire fitness industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 27 percent and reach the $ 32 billion mark by 2022, to which fitness services (such as gyms, slimming services, and formats such as Zumba, aerobics, Crossfit, etc.) will contribute around $ 6.6 billion.
Virtual fitness: better accessibility for everyone and everyone!
As we continue to grapple with the effects and aftermath of the pandemic, there is now a new generation of fitness enthusiasts that have joined in. According to a 2020 report, 77% of Indians tried to stay fit by combining housework with virtual classes and home improvement workout routines. With closed gyms and fitness centers, limited indoor exercise space, and the lack of gym-like facilities with little to no access to fitness equipment, innovating to stay fit became the order of the day. With fitness apps like Fittr and others in-game, finding the right exercise, trainer, and diet has become seamless.
From patios to living rooms, any place with good connectivity that enabled live online coaching became everyone’s own private fitness center! Fitness trainers got creative and curated routines with exercises that were adapted to these environments.
Digital fitness: having a personal trainer at home
With the threat of the virus still widespread and easy access to online workouts, home workouts have become a pandemic fitness trend that has sparked a huge boom in the virtual fitness industry and diverse consumer offerings. According to a survey conducted, 84% of fitness enthusiasts tried live streaming fitness classes at least three times during the lockdown.
In addition to online offers, the demand for fitness accessories and equipment such as yoga mats, dumbbells, etc. is increasing. People have recognized the need to integrate quantified nutrition and physical activity into their lifestyle and are becoming increasingly conscious and conscious of their health and are looking for various alternatives, to incorporate fitness into their life.
As the fitness industry is experiencing one of the biggest leaps in online development and is becoming almost completely digitized, the need for fitness specialists and nutritionists has increased. In accordance with the current situation, fitness specialists have also equipped themselves with the craft of the World Wide Web and quickly switched their offerings to online. In a very short time, online fitness coaching has grown into a lucrative business and an alternative career option. Many apply to be a certified trainer and even earn specialized fitness certificates by taking online fitness classes.
One of the main reasons the digital fitness industry is booming is that people now understand the benefits of exercising at home in their own comfortable surroundings. It’s almost like having your personal trainer at home with you:
Time doesn’t matter
The excuse “I don’t have time to train because of a hectic work schedule” is no longer available. It used to be time consuming to go to and from the gym and commit to a daily workout is no longer an issue! With virtual workouts, you have the leisure to exercise as you wish and thus find the time to incorporate a welding session into your routine. So no more excuses, all you have to do is leave them behind, put on comfortable clothes, set up your mat and turn on your fitness app.
No more hassle of finding a perfect gym
The hassle of finding a gym that fits your health goals, budget, and near you is no longer a challenge. With virtual fitness you have a fitness studio in the comfort of your own home! All you have to do is find a comfortable spot, place your smartphone, laptop or tablet, choose and start exercising. You can also take your workout outside, on vacation, to a friend’s house or in your own living room.
No peer pressure
Training with a group of fitness fanatics in a studio or gym can be an intimidating experience, especially for beginners. Virtual training takes a lot of that pressure off as you are only competing with yourself!
A community can help build discipline
It is particularly important for beginners to find discipline. Once you are disciplined with your routine and you start seeing results, motivation will follow. Convincing yourself to lace up sneakers and get your body going can be a challenge in the beginning. This is where virtual trainers and communities can help create discipline, passion, guidance, and support that will reinforce your drive. Such fitness communities help invest more in your workouts so you’re more likely to show up for the next one. A University of Michigan study found that people who exercised virtually showed more motivation and performed better than those who exercised alone.
Training is boring? Nope!
Following the same routine and frequent exercises can become monotonous and make you lose interest. Fitness has historically been a motivational light that in some cases has brought discipline, focus, and camaraderie. Overcoming an outdated workout routine can be easy. You can switch exercises, change the exercise order, or change the activity that targets the muscle you are working on or your goal.
In addition, online tools and platforms such as Zoom, YouTube, Fittr and Instagram have increasingly united a wave of virtual fitness communities over the past 18 months. Lockdowns even forced people to adapt their living spaces to support home fitness routines so people could start new groups, invite families and loved ones to fun fitness sessions.
Easy access to qualified trainers
Professional guidance is very important in helping you determine your fitness program. Using virtual programs, the feeding exercises have been detailed by your personal trainers so that you can get the most out of your workout.
Future of the fitness industry: amalgam of physical and digital
The emerging trend towards online fitness classes has also made it clear to us that there is nowhere to travel to stay fit. Anyone can work out anywhere in the world and your favorite fitness program is just a click away. But will the increase in live streaming of workouts and the ever-increasing number of home exercise and fitness apps affect the future of the people who go to the gym?
I personally don’t see that. I see the future as a mix of digital and physical. It’s also evidence of how general thinking about fitness has expanded. In addition to workout arenas and fitness studios, there are places where people meet, socialize and even make friends. In a post-pandemic world, I see people wanting to meet – and the gym is a good place to start. However, gym packages will be a combination of a physical visit to the gym, online classes, and a personal trainer who comes home.
The author is the author of Lose Fat, Get Fittr and Founder & CEO, Fittr