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Upmarket fi tness gaming centres could become commonplace in the future

place where they can’t interact virtually will be a deadly bore. “I can imagine the development of

upmarket fi tness gaming centres where you work out by playing games with other people – running races together, or perhaps two people playing on a virtual football team – all without needing to bring any equipment,” says New Zealand- based expert Linden Dale Gander. Yet other members may prefer a

health club that’s a haven, where interaction with real people is an antidote to the frenetic, hi-tech outside world. Phillip Mills, CEO of Les Mills International, foresees a successful breed of health clubs that become “the corner pub of the 21st century” as people crave a sense of community. So, are your customers online digital

networkers and gamers, or are they the more face-to-face sort? Which group of consumers will provide a big enough niche to sustain your club’s success in the long run? Will it be possible for you to appeal somehow to both sets of consumers in the future? What kind of club are you more comfortable running?

it’s all about me

Personalisation of products and services is increasingly demanded by discerning consumers. Our industry has already latched on to this – for example, personal trainers already provide fitness experiences that are customised to each client’s age, gender, location, spending power and personal preferences. But increasingly we’re seeing

technology that can create alternatives, offering the personal touch without relying on today’s health club model – for example, online gyms offering a virtual personal trainer who can lead your workout while you’re at home alone.

april 2010 © cybertrek 2010

There are suggestions that health clubs could become community hubs for socialising

“When consumers can raise their

heart rate in their living rooms or offi ces with an engaging, energetic and sociable online experience, ‘fi tness’ will less often be defi ned by travelling to the gym to pump iron,” say the authors of the paper.

coming together

Meanwhile ‘convergence, blurring and blending’ are breaking down categories of products and services. Just as a health club’s juice bar, spa,

clothing boutique and beauty salon enhance the fi tness experience, so new foods, medical advances and even nanotechnology will offer new health and fi tness options; in the future, for example, medicines and other therapies might be based on your personal DNA. These trends will create opportunities for health clubs and their professionals.

In fi ve years’ time I might be annoyed if my shoes don’t contact my chiropractor to say I need to be adjusted because my gait is clearly off.

che tamahori, in an interview with the nielsen company

Tomorrow’s personal trainer might, for example, actively share data with the physiotherapist and family doctor as they update, in real time, a client’s progress and rehab schedule. Health clubs and leisure centres could even earn extra revenue from government subsidies or health insurance companies by guiding their clients towards better health and fi tness outcomes.

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