June 16, 2024
Smart Fitness

The Emergence of Global Smart Fitness : The New Normal

As the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of various industries, the global fitness industry wasn’t spared either. With gyms and studios shut down for months, people turned to digital and connected devices for their workout routines. This adoption of smart fitness devices and apps during the pandemic has transformed the entire industry and how people approach their health and wellness. What started as a temporary shift seems to have become the new normal with smart fitness emerging as a global trend.

Rise of Connected Devices
One of the biggest changes was the rise of various connected fitness devices that people could use at home. Wearables like smartwatches and activity trackers grew in popularity as they allowed continuous monitoring of metrics like steps, heart rate, sleep etc. More advanced devices like smart bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and strength training machines also became popular as they offered on-demand and interactive home workouts through integrated apps and subscriptions. Manufacturers saw record sales during the pandemic as people invested in transforming their homes into smart gyms.

Demand for Virtual Classes & Online Workouts

In Smart Fitness, Along with devices, subscriptions to various digital fitness platforms also witnessed unprecedented growth. Virtual classes covering a range of workouts from yoga to dance to strength training became very popular ways for people to stay active and motivated while indoors. YouTube channels and Instagram accounts of trainers garnered millions of followers. Companies like Peloton, Mirror and Zwift capitalized on this trend and saw their subscriber base multiply. Fitness apps today offer vast libraries of on-demand and livestreamed workout videos for all levels and interests.

Personalized Solutions Drive Adoption
With accessibility and convenience being the priorities, the fitness industry has also shifted towards more personalized solutions. Technologies like AI, sensors and big data are being leveraged to offer customized meal plans, workout routines and feedback based on parameters like lifestyle, medical conditions and fitness goals. Wearables analyze metrics like heart rate variability, respiratory rate, temperature etc. to provide personalized insights. Apps use activity history to recommend suitable next workouts. This high level of personalization is further encouraging users to adopt smart fitness solutions for long term changes.

Challenges of Going Global
While the overall adoption of smart fitness solutions is growing, there are still certain barriers to widespread global proliferation. Major challenges include the upfront costs of devices and subscriptions which may be prohibitive for some. Connectivity and infrastructure issues can hamper the usage experience, especially in remote or rural areas across the world. Interoperability between different platforms and a lack of standards also limit seamless integration of devices and apps. Cultural and social barriers need to be addressed to increase adoption beyond early technology adopters. Overcoming these challenges will be critical for smart fitness to become truly accessible on a global scale.

The Future of Fitness Looks Smart
As vaccines roll out and normalcy returns, the overall fitness industry is expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. However, experts point out that even with gyms reopening, the pandemic has resulted in a permanent behavioral shift towards blended and technology-driven fitness models. The worldwide smart fitness market is projected to grow at over 15% annually for the next 5 years. Collaboration between technology and fitness companies will lead to more innovative solutions. Immersive technologies like AR/VR are being explored to further enhance the virtual experiences. With global focus growing on preventive healthcare, smart fitness solutions are poised to play a pivotal role in driving positive lifestyle changes worldwide. The future undoubtedly looks promising for a connected and personalized approach to health and wellness on a global scale.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it