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Fitness Consumer Trends for 2022 that you need to know

The fitness industry is always changing. Trends change every year, and even more so in recent years where the industry has needed to adapt to the global pandemic. So it’s important to make sure that your fitness business reflects the changes in the industry, and adapts to what your customers need. In recent years this might have included mixing up the type of classes you offer, such as adding virtual classes over Zoom, outdoor classes, or semi-private classes where a socially distanced class could be held in person.

Ensuring that your offerings are in line with what your customers want, will help you to win new clients, and keep your classes full. To do this you will need to adapt to trends in the market, and be open to new ideas and opportunities.

Social Interaction

The pandemic naturally minimized our social interactions. Most people have a natural desire to seek human connection, and now restrictions are lifting or have been lifted in most countries, this is an opportunity to provide a platform for this. We have seen a growth in popularity among businesses who offer a social element to their classes – such as including group socials after classes or group Whatsapp chats that allow people to feel part of the social circle.

Outdoor Workouts

Exercising in outdoor settings has a multitude of health benefits. It’s a natural antidepressant, helps relieve stress, and gives you access to fresh air. An outdoor class might not work for everyone, but if it suits your class offering we would recommend trying some outdoor classes, and gauging your client’s reactions. Alongside all of the health benefits, this can also keep your rent costs down too!

Short Workouts Sessions

The pandemic changed the definition of how people remain fit and healthy, with many nutrition, lifestyle, and mental health gaining a much-needed focus. Many people picked up a healthy habit or two during lockdowns and have adjusted the time and places they exercise. For example you may have noticed an influx in customer demand for quick, virtual workout sessions during lunch breaks now that more people are working from home. This is because not everyone has the time for marathon workouts, or even one hour classes. However mini-classes can still help your clients to achieve their goals. This could be a 15 minute meditation session at the start or the end of the day, or a 30 minute HIIT session to squeeze in that calorie burn and metabolic boost during lunch.

Online Classes 

Some people, especially the vulnerable, would still feel more comfortable exercising at home. In 2021 we have shown them what’s possible, and they like it. This might not just be those who are avoiding Covid-19 like the plague (pun intended!), but also those who have further to travel, or have busy schedules and will sneak in an impromptu online class over a long lunch while working from home. This isn’t to say that in-person classes are a thing of the past, not at all, but we do think that online classes will remain popular for the foreseeable future too. If you’re not sure how to offer these types of classes, the best way will be for you to sign up to fitness class schedule software such as ClassFit. Any good fitness class scheduling software will link up with your Zoom account, create all of your Zoom meetings for you, and then provide your clients with the appropriate links without you needing to lift a finger.

Hybrid Offerings

People want to have the option to work out wherever they are. Customers are signaling that they may prefer memberships that let them participate in both online or offline classes. An in-person class might be their plan A, but if your client has to work late, being able to catch that class later via a recording is a great plan B. This will also help your clients keep that routine up, and make sure they feel they are getting great value from your business come membership renewal time. Luckily, Zoom allows you to record your meetings, and your clients can watch, or even rewatch them up to five days later with the same link as the live class.

Offering both in-person and virtual classes might seem like a lot of extra work, but you can do this really easily with fitness class schedule software like ClassFit. You can create both in-person, and virtual classes on Zoom, offering your clients the choice of both options on a pay as you go, class pack or membership basis. We’ll even manage your waitlists and create all of your Zoom meetings for you and link them to your classes too!

Body Weight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are great. They can help clients to get started on their fitness journey quickly and without needing to invest in expensive equipment. They don’t require any setup, so are easy to do either in class, or at home via Zoom.

Bodyweight exercises also help your clients find mind-body balance. Boosts the confidence they have in their strength and stamina. And they can help your clients with self-discovery through workouts as they find their limits. Examples include calisthenics, isometrics, push-ups, squats, planks, pull-ups into their exercise routine. Seated bodyweight exercises are also great for those with physical movement limitations.

Low Impact Exercise Routines

High impact training and routines are pretty popular, but there is room for low impact exercises in the fitness market. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, NIA, and swimming are great examples of well-known low impact exercises. Low impact exercises are also great for older clients who need to take care of their joints, and strengthen their center of gravity while getting healthier. Light to moderate exercise during the evening can also help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. So, offering light classes in the evening via Zoom might be something that both differentiates you, and can reach a global audience if your classes are listed on fitness class scheduling software with global class search functionality such as ClassFit.

Mind-Body Exercises

General stress levels have risen. People are eager to find peace of mind away from their daily responsibilities. Stress can negatively affect mental and physical health. Taking care of the mental health of your students should be the priority of each fitness class. Students who are negatively affected might miss class with you, fall behind on their goals, or even drop out.  Exercises will help your students take their minds off the things stressing them out. Yoga, group workouts, challenging and fun workouts, games, laughing classes are great exercises for stress relief.

One To One Sessions

One to one sessions are a great option too for those who want a bit more attention, and perhaps need a plan tailored to their needs. Having a custom workout increases accountability and often will ensure that your client will put in the work required to achieve their fitness goals. It also helps clients to learn and improve their fitness at their own pace which is especially useful if they were moving at a different pace to those in your group classes.

Home Gyms

The pandemic has seen a huge investment into home gyms. Lots of people have really good equipment at home now, and want to continue working out at home into the future. This provides an opportunity for Zoom based classes, or personal training which focus on strength and fitness. Offering virtual fitness classes or PT sessions through your chosen fitness class schedule software is a great way to access the huge number of people who are committed to working out at home, but still want guidance on technique, or motivation to push themselves harder than they would on their own.

In-Person Group Fitness Classes

From yoga to dance, meditation sessions to mind-body workouts; almost all fitness classes can be held in a group setting. It can motivate people to push themselves harder than they would if nobody was watching, and really give 100%. Having in-person group classes also helps to keep people fully focused on the class and “in the moment”. When participating in a Zoom class, it’s really easy to be distracted by a pinging phone, or a doorbell, whereas when you’re in a real class, with real people, away from all of the usual distractions, these can offer a real mental break which most people need.

Summary

From our research we can see that the fitness industry is continuing to evolve rapidly. It’s not just about those 6-pack abs any more, there is a much greater focus on overall wellness and both mental and physical health. There is also a greater focus on flexibility, and not just the yoga kind. So it might be worth considering how you can expand your offerings to offer a more holistic and flexible service.

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