The fitness industry has been undergoing a major boom over the past decade. Growing at a rate of three to four percent annually, the $30 billion industry appears to be unstoppable at the moment. In fact, 20 percent of American adults currently have memberships, and this figure could double in the imminent future, proposes Crunch Franchise CEO Ben Midgley in a recent Forbes article. This begs the question: what’s fueling this growth? 

Here’s a closer look at the six reasons Midgley says the industry is going strong, which should be on the radar of all fitness business owners looking to optimize growth within their own organizations.

1. The high cost of health insurance

Today’s high health insurance costs can be crippling to businesses. One way to offset these high costs? Healthy employees. Toward that end, many employers and insurers alike are covering the costs of fitness memberships and classes, as well as partnering with fitness businesses to offer reduced memberships. 

The takeaway for fitness owners?  Creating and marketing your own corporate fitness programs can help you claim your share of this potentially lucrative market. 

2. A push for healthier foods

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing the quality of the food they put into their bodies. This means swapping out “fast” and processed foods for healthier, natural, and organic options. According to Midgley, this has “runoff effect” in the form of making consumers think about how they can improve their health in other ways. Enter the physical activities offered at health clubs.

3. The mass adoption of wearables

Wearables put personalized health statistics literally at people’s fingertips. “The ability for people to see how many steps they are taking in a day, how many calories they burn, what their heart rate is, or what their blood pressure is, are making them much more in tune with how their body works and how they can improve their health,” reveals Midgley.

As with healthy eating, once people start paying attention to this data, it leads to interest in related areas, like working out.  

Not only are insurance companies in favor of wearables, but they’re also moving in the direction of “interactive policies” which will track the health and fitness data of policyholders through these devices.

4. The mainstreaming of streaming fitness classes

Sure, online exercise classes are nothing new, but they’ve officially entered the mainstream, according to Midgley. And while this behavior may seem antithetical to bricks and mortar gyms, the opposite is true. People who embrace streaming fitness classes are also likely to have memberships. 

“It makes sense because this combination gives them variety, social engagement and keeps them exercising longer. Many exercise advocates and even beginners now use multiple venues to stay on track with their fitness plan,” explains Midgley.

5. A variety of options, from budget to boutique

Midgley says that two fitness industry segments, in particular, are driving industry growth: boutique fitness studios and “high-value, low-price” (HVLP) clubs. Of the former, members value the “bang for the buck” they get out of basic all-in-one memberships comprising equipment, classes, and amenities. 

Conversely, while boutique students are generally pricier, their selling points include specialization, central locations, and the camaraderie found in smaller settings.

Men and women tug of war.

6. The emergence of outdoor obstacle races

Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash are just two examples of the outdoor obstacle race trend that has captured the attention of fun-loving, exercise enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. How does this impact the fitness industry? They require intensive training, which often happens in health clubs. In fact, many health clubs offer classes aimed specifically at people training for events like these, making them a great marketing opportunity for new member recruitment. 

The fitness industry is both competitive and constantly changing. Paying attention to what your members want and giving it to them is the ultimate driver of growth and can help your fitness business survive and thrive through the changes.  To learn more about the role Accuro fitness monitoring equipment can play in that effort,  request a demo today.