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The fitness industry may be transformed in our lifetimes – that’s the conclusion of an independent study commissioned and published by Les Mills International. But what will the transformation mean for health clubs? Nikitin Sallee reports

THE FITNESS FUTURE

G

et closer to your members and to other health- related businesses in your community. Those are

two steps health clubs can take now to prepare for rapid change in the years

ahead, according to The Future of Fitness

– a new white paper based on worldwide Nielsen research, interviews and focus groups among experts and consumers within and beyond the fitness industry.

The Future of Fitness foresees change so

profound that tomorrow’s teenagers may laugh when we recall how we used to

‘go to the gym’. Health clubs are already seeing some of the trends that will create the transformation, and the authors of the paper suggest that “tweaks to existing models are unlikely to match the pace of transformational change”.

is your club an island?

One of the key trends is ‘permanent connection’, with the internet changing how people do almost everything – including, potentially, how they manage their fitness. More and more people will be permanently online, including a growing proportion of ‘digital natives’ who never knew life without the internet. Exergaming choices, providing

amusement and entertainment alongside fi tness, are already here. Technology is making these options increasingly interactive, thereby challenging current fi tness models. You might soon be able to get your exercise while appearing in a virtual game show with your friends, for example, or maybe you’ll go walking in the park and experience it as a virtual science-fi ction battle. Consumers of this type of

‘entertainment fi tness’ may not be content with a health club that’s isolated from the outside world. For them, a

Could gym workouts become a thing of the past, as people

increasingly turn to ‘exergaming’?

30 Read Health Club Management online healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital

I fi nd health clubs mind- numbingly boring. I just look at the time and I think ‘am I done yet?’ – and I’ve only burned 18 calories. That’s not even half a cracker.

a ‘fi tness struggler’ in a uk focus group

april 2010 © cybertrek 2010

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