FitTech Solutions: How Pandemic Transformed Fitness Industry

The unprecedented transformation that the fitness industry has been through during the pandemic is driven by online fitness platforms at large.

Exercise has long been beneficial to our mental and physical health, stress management, and cognitive performance. Many people, however, have battled to find time, especially when a job commute and professional, family, or social commitments are involved. The expense of gym or studio subscriptions is another major impediment to fitness.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and at-home exercises became mainstream, many people who missed out on the group class experience resorted to virtual health in the form of on-demand live and pre-recorded sessions. 

The unprecedented transformation that the fitness industry has been through during the pandemic is driven by online fitness platforms at large. The industry leaned into understanding the impact of virtual fitness and how technology can make fitness and wellness more accessible to people worldwide through connected fitness platforms. 

Shift in how users consume online fitness content

Although virtual fitness apps existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, their use has risen rapidly. Since March of 2020, there has been a significant increase in users consuming virtual content. Users are leaning towards daily consumption of online fitness content such as pre-recorded workout videos and live classes. According to some industry reports, in 2019, only a meager 7 per cent people were using fitness streaming services but this number grew to 80 per cent in April 2020. 

The arrival of hybrid fitness models

Exercise routines were thrown into disarray by sedentary lifestyles led by the pandemic outbreak. Virtual fitness has proven essential for those who have maintained some sort of workout program. The popularity of home exercises had already begun to grow before COVID-19 and after the outbreak, virtual fitness turned out to be the last resort.

COVID-19 has pushed the development of a hybrid approach of online/in-person exercises, which more traditional gyms are likely to maintain until the pandemic has passed. Fitness club owners dealing with falling memberships have rapidly caught on, with 72 per cent now providing on-demand and livestream group exercises, up from 25 per cent in 2019.

As a result of the move to virtual training, more types of classes are now available. In addition, it emphasized the need to maintain a healthy balance between physical and mental health.

Shedding inhibitions

According to several reports, consumers seem to be working out more and opting to exercise around five times a week. There has been a dynamic shift in consumers' dedication towards fitness.

Consumers may just turn up and enjoy the experience from the comfort of their homes. Many users are raving about how wonderful it is since it eliminates the need for a commute. As a result, they're able to fit in exercises in between work hours and family obligations in ways they couldn't previously.

Many customers used to feel criticized, intimidated or have to appear a particular way in a physical class. Such consumers appreciate how online fitness sessions offer them access to various exercises they wanted to pursue but didn't feel comfortable participating. Virtual fitness helped them shed inhibitions. 

Sense of community and belonging

Online fitness promotes live fitness sessions with community connectivity; the live sessions bring together different users from all other regions and help them do group workouts under the guidance of expert trainers.

Summing up

As an after-effect of the pandemic, people now know how to balance several tasks at home. When the pandemic is over, digital choices will be a familiar substitute if people don't have time to go to the gym during the crisis.

With the vaccination campaign officially underway in India, the pandemic shall soon be under control. Some fitness enthusiasts would seek healthy social contact and outdoor group exercise activities, which may lead to the revival of pre-pandemic fitness patterns in the future. 

But the resurgence won't snub online fitness and with its supersonic growth, online fitness is here to stay and metamorphose into something even bigger.

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