Digitization in Fitness Industry

class=j-img-floatstartRemember as children we used to play more physical games & ground activities like football, cricket and even some local games. As we grew we were more physical in our daily activities which had helped us to be physically fit.


But in last few years digital has changed this picture. My children are glued to iPads, smartphones most of the time. Digital technologies have brought a tremendous shift in the way we spend our daily cores. We order our foods , we call cabs on our smartphones, no banks branch visits are required now as we do most of the financial transactions , and in the age of Whatsapp, nobody uses post to send a news to anyone.


This convenience and comfort have brought a sedentary lifestyle & health issues, but more people are wanting to live a healthier lifestyle without burning a hole in their wallets


Fitness industry is also adopting this digital change.


Some global fitness franchises launched an on-demand streaming services in the USA and UK that lets people access the group’s workouts  any time from a computer, tablet or smartphone.


Instead of going to gym now, consumers work out on their own time in their own locations, but trainers and coaches can access their workout data from anywhere, providing quick feedback and tips to guide them along their fitness journey. The exercises are also available in different levels of difficulty: simple, medium and difficult.


Digital devices are more and more playing the role of personal trainer. Anyone who wants to train just needs the right fitness app.


Freeletics Bodyweight app is more than just a training program. They have a community of over 12 million Free Athletes spread all over the globe. The app provides users with a unique social platform that allows Athletes to connect, motivate and inspire one another and achieve and share their progress and fitness goals.


An athletic apparel brand Athos has a full-body suit fitted with tracking sensors connected to an app that shows which muscles are firing and how much an exerciser is exerting himself or herself.


Another company, Focus Motion, is building products that connect with a smartwatch to automatically track motion and give real-time feedback on an exerciser’s form or pace.


Equinox was the first chain to partner with Apple when it launched its Healthkit smartphone app in June 2015. The app syncs with members’ wearable technologies to track fitness data, analyze member behavior, and provide users with recommendations, tips and content to improve their fitness routines. The digital coach in Equinox’s mobile app uses artificial intelligence to learn customers’ habits and keep them engaged.


Fitbit, Apple, Garmin, Samsung, Nike & and Adidas are among the major suppliers of digital fitness market.


Fitbit tells you you’ve completed 80% of your daily 15,000 steps goal. So you walk around the house and make an excuse to go to the shop to achieve your goal.


The Nike came out with Fuelband, a fitness-oriented tech device which helped consumers to set fitness goals, monitor their progression, and compare themselves to others, all with integration into Nike+  community and phone application.


For those who still prefer to visit the gym have been helped by wearable technologies, which give real time feedback on the workouts. From shirts to shoes, wearable technology is now embedded in several types of fitness apparel. Profiles for runs or cycle rides are recorded using the GPS function. The data for distance, speed, duration, calories burnt off and heart rate is captured to support the design of personalized training programs 


Modern day gyms are now equipped with workout equipment that are digitized for their clients to get more out of their exercise equipment.Going digital enables the user to choose the level of difficulty of their workout just by pushing some buttons.


Today sensors are inserted into pieces of clothing like socks, shorts, leggings, sports bra, etc. These are designed to improve efficacy of wearable trackers, making them highly discreet and increasingly accurate. The algorithms are mimicking a personal coach, tracking activity and technique while simultaneously picking up clues to predict the possibility of injury.


Holofit uses the virtual reality technology that transports its users from boring reality in a fitness center or hotel gym to real-life destinations, sport events or imaginative worlds. Users get to work out in space or underwater, in the Grand Canyon or in the historic recreation of Babylon, making progress while forgetting they are working out at all.  They have also added the gamification and sport competition through its SportPlay application so you can take part in competitions like Tour de France.


Social media platforms like Facebook and photo/video sharing platforms like Instagram are making a trend of posting your fitness efforts and encourage your friends and families to participate.


There is also growing trend of companies offering workplace wellness technologies and programs that are helping achieve better productivity and reduced attrition.


Further this smart data is being used by Insurance industry for wellness and prevention of disease.


Fitness industry has come a long way with digital.

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1 Comment

  1. Well said ‌ 

    The idea of ‘Fitness’ has touched a lot of people with these evolving technologies. By setting daily and weekly goals along with some interesting concepts, fitness devices and apps are keeping a lot of people interested and engaged in some form of physical activity or the other. Some of my friends would go for an hour long walk (sometimes late night) just to ensure that they keep up with their daily goals – some with as high as 20K steps a day. 

    Also, with personalized training apps like the 7-minute workout, it gets much easier for office goers to find sometime to do a quick workout. I was surprised to find reminder apps that alerted you to move or stretch every hour as well. 

    For people that are more fitness aligned, devices like Fitbit, Garmin, Pebble, iWatch..etc., also offers heart rate monitors to effectively schedule and plan their workouts. I came across this story where a fitness device saved a woman’s life. We have many more interesting days to come I suppose. (Curious – which device / app do you use for tracking your ‌)

    This is where it gets interesting. Essentially, the cost of making a device of your own is less than Rs. 400. Of course, the accuracy may vary and the app would be an additional cost. There are many startups that either manufacture or provide services related to fitness in India today. I hope to see an Indian brand top the market soon. 

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