For many would-be exercisers, the act of convincing themselves to go to the gym can be more difficult than the time actually spent there. The good news? The “immersive fitness” trend can not only make exercise more efficient but also more exciting. But immersive fitness is only one of the tech-centric trends that are infiltrating — and enhancing — the face of fitness. Read on for a roundup of five tech trends for today’s fitness businesses. 

1. Wearables integrate with the user experience.

Wearable technology continues to grow in popularity in the health and wellness space. As Travis Shannon, vice president of information at Leisure Sports, Inc., told Club Solutions magazine, “The reason there has been such an explosion of wearables is the consumer is driving that growth through demand. They want to understand more about themselves on a daily basis.” 

In other words,  members and prospective members are actively looking for wearable technology when it comes to choosing a gym. But having the technology available is one thing; integrating it into the gym-goer’s experience is another. Continues Shannon, “What we’ve found is wrapping that technology into a program — essentially baking it into the experience — has been really where we’ve seen success. It’s an additional tool to help the members reach their goals and understand where they are on their journey.”

2. Immersive fitness takes off.

Spending 45 minutes on a spin bike can feel endless. However, what if that 45 minutes was spent speeding past an amazing life-like waterfall accompanied by dramatic water sounds? Enter immersive fitness. Designed to appeal to multiple senses, these all-consuming classes can make the minutes fly by.  An immersive cycling experience can even make participants work harder without feeling like it, according to research published in the academic journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  

Concludes Elite Daily of the benefits of immersive fitness, “While these cool visual and auditory effects may sound a little over-the-top, it’s actually an excellent way to distract from the effort you exert during a workout, which is particularly ideal for anyone who’s new to exercising.”

3. The Internet of Things (IoT) makes gym management easier.

The IoT is all about bringing to life and connecting once-static things. We often think of the new “smart” landscape in the context of our homes, but the impact is also increasingly being seen in the fitness industry. From more seamless equipment supply chains to automated replacement ordering, the potential is vast when it comes to minimizing effort and maximizing productivity. 

Club check-ins, too, will continue to evolve thanks to the IoT. Predicts Netpulse, “By 2020, many more sophisticated clubs will offer touchless check-in, leveraging iBeacon technology to communicate with the club’s mobile app and automate the check-in process when members walk in the door. This “touchless luxury” is the frictionless experience for which we must strive.”

4. Social media stays strong.

Says TechCo, “It’s important to consider the impact social media tech is having on the fitness industry. Photo and video sharing platforms are making a trend out of posting your fitness efforts. Social challenges on Facebook drive accountability for participants, and the opportunity to snapchat your run and share it with all your followers is motivation for anyone that wants to be perceived as fit.”

Fitness business

Furthermore, social media has bolstered the popularity of experience-based races, such as mud runs and obstacles races. Ultimately, this technology promises more than merely a forum via which your members can engage with each other and with you. With the right strategies in place, social media can help fitness businesses establish themselves as lifestyle brands. 

5. More membership models mean more members. 

It’s not exactly shocking news that the lives of today’s younger generations are more steeped in social media than the lives of their older counterparts. This speaks to an underlying trend: the increasingly vital role played by mobile, including as it pertains to membership.

Reports the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C), “Millennials are very mobile-centric and expect to have the convenience of purchasing from their phone. They crave flexibility and are anti-commitment. This poses a challenge for the traditional health club that relies on monthly membership revenue. As we evolve, we need to offer different purchase models that cater to the impulses of the millennial member.”

The ultimate takeaway? Not only are these technology trends changing the fitness industry, but they’re also driving member recruitment and retention. Failure to keep up with these trends, then, can also mean dwindling memberships.  To learn more about how the Accurofit System can help your fitness business navigate the ongoing fitness industry changes with its fitness monitoring and wearable technology, download the catalog today.

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