"Physical fitness is the first requisite for happiness" - Joseph Pilates
A Trariti Consulting Group Study by Swapnil Roy and Arup Majumdar
In today's fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become more important than ever. Fitness has become an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and for good reason. Not only does fitness keep you physically fit, but it also has numerous mental and emotional benefits.
Regular exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and it promotes better sleep. It also helps in building self-confidence, improves brain function, and boosts your energy levels. In short, regular physical activity can improve your overall quality of life.
The benefits of fitness extend beyond just the individual. A fit and healthy population leads to a stronger and more productive society. By taking care of our physical and mental health, we become better equipped to tackle the challenges of everyday life, both at home and at work.
It is never too late to start on the path to fitness. There are numerous ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, whether it's going for a walk, taking a yoga class, or lifting weights. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and that suits your lifestyle.
The Global Fitness Industry
The fitness industry is experiencing rapid change and development, with a projected global growth rate of 2.9% as per the latest IHRSA report (pre-COVID). Despite the disruption caused by COVID, the fitness industry is expected to continue to grow. The total revenue of the fitness industry for FY2019 was $96.7 billion, increasing from $94 billion in FY2018.
The industry's response to changing macro-environmental factors is worth exploring, especially as health has become a top priority for many people today. With people investing in gym memberships, fitness equipment, online classes, and fitness technology, it is clear that the trend towards a healthier lifestyle has taken centuries to evolve. In ancient times, humans relied on running and finding food to stay in shape while protecting themselves from wild animals. The fitness industry began in Ancient Greece with public gymnasiums that prepared athletes for events like the Olympics.
However, with the fall of the Greco-Roman Empires, the industry suffered. The 19th century saw the rise of gyms with the establishment of the YMCA in 1844 in London, England. Robert J. Robert, who worked at Boston YMCA in 1881, coined the term "body-building" and developed exercise routines that have inspired the modern health model. The opening of Gold's Gym in Venice led to the rise of mega-gym chains and many other additions to the fitness industry.
The fitness industry in India has grown significantly over the years from a fragmented and disorganized sector to a lucrative market. According to a report by Deloitte India, the industry was valued at $1.1 billion in 2017 and is expected to continue growing despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Stratview Research predicts that the industry will experience double-digit growth due to factors such as technological advancements, increased internet penetration, and the popularity of online training classes. In response to the dynamic consumer trend, domestic and international players have entered the market by offering modern health and fitness centers with state-of-the-art technology and equipment.
Consumers now prefer personalized and enjoyable activities such as aerobics, Zumba, and kickboxing. Although big names dominate the industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 80% of India's market share and provide tough competition by offering quality products and efficient services. The fitness industry has also benefited from the emergence of start-ups that target specific consumer demographics with unique offerings such as spa treatments, affordable gym memberships, and advanced equipment. As the industry continues to evolve, both start-ups and established enterprises must adapt to new macro-environmental changes and incorporate emerging trends to remain relevant.
Future Industry Trends
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the fitness industry, and many people have shifted towards home workouts, leading to an increased focus on holistic wellness. This change has resulted in a few trends that are expected to continue in the future.
The first trend is the rise of home gyms. The lockdowns and social distancing measures have forced people to work out at home, and this trend is likely to continue. Garage gyms have become increasingly popular, and the search for the phrase "Garage gym" has seen a significant peak in 2020. The revenue for the gym, health, and fitness clubs has dropped by $1.7 billion between 2019 and 2021. While gyms provide a sense of motivation and personalized service, the comfort and convenience of working out at home is undeniable.
The second trend is the surge in wearable technology. Wearable devices have witnessed an increase in sales over the past decade, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. The fitness wearables market's annual revenue is estimated to be $17.83 billion in 2021 and is projected to be worth over $70 billion by 2025. Wearable gadgets measure a person's physical activity, heart rate variability, sleep patterns, and more. With the expanding market, the accuracy of these gadgets is improving, and new innovations are expected in the future.
The third trend is the popularity of mobile fitness apps. Many people are looking for fitness guidance or want to work out without spending money. There are numerous fitness apps available in the market that offer exercise tutorials, GPS tracking, and customized plans for a premium subscription. The revenue from fitness apps is estimated to reach $5.27 billion by 2024.
The fourth trend is the emergence of fitness technology as a fashion statement. With millennials being tech-savvy, the digital landscape is being used to cater to them. There is an increased investment in making online content like live streaming or uploading pre-recorded videos, virtual training, or virtual classes readily available to a higher number of audiences. The industry will continue to create online content even after gyms open for those who wish to work out at home.
The fifth trend is the burgeoning recovery equipment market. Recovery equipment has evolved from "rest" to recovery workout sessions that involve intermittent rest and equipment. Recovery equipment not only improves circulation and soothes tight muscles but provides relaxation as well. The industry can witness the sale of recovery equipment increasing as there is a focus on holistic wellness.
As the situation improves, gyms, health, and fitness centers can recover and keep their businesses booming by incorporating the newer fitness trends and providing high-quality service for in-person and online members. HIIT classes can be licensed from top trainers in online videos or made available in the gym to accommodate the busy schedules of individuals.
Members can be motivated to come back by cultivating an environment of community and connection, both in the gym and online.
In conclusion, the fitness industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an increased focus on home workouts, wearable technology, mobile fitness apps, fitness technology as a fashion statement, and the burgeoning recovery equipment market. As the industry adapts to these trends and incorporates them into their business models, they can recover and continue to provide high-quality service for their members.