Rhea Singh Anand is the Co-founder of Flexnest, India's leading Fit Tech startup creating smart connected fitness solutions for the Indian market. A fitness enthusiast to the core, Rhea was motivated by the idea of creating an ecosystem of smart fitness solutions and build a community of individuals who adopt it as an essential part of their lifestyle and follow a healthy fitness regimen.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the general public's outlook towards fitness and overall health has witnessed immense change. Consumers are now more aware and concerned about their health, fitness and wellbeing. But ironically, due to the pandemic and safety measures like social distancing, lockdowns, etc., it has been nearly impossible for people to pursue their fitness goals at a gym.
In the wake of current developments, fitness equipment startups have witnessed an unexpected windfall. Many are coming up with revolutionary equipment that bring fitness into the comfort of our homes. As the outbreak of Covid-19 has led people to think about health more holistically, fitness equipment startups are also keeping this demand in view and introducing one-stop destinations to address all fitness needs.
How Fitness Equipment Startups Are Transforming The Fitness Industry
The online shift is contributing to what experts said will be a permanent change to how the $32 billion worth industry works. While 75% of consumers surveyed said they might eventually return to pre-pandemic routines and start going to the actual gym, many indicated they will continue with the digital solutions-a phenomenon with broad implications for the sector.
Covid-19 has accelerated adoption of a hybrid model of online/in-person workouts that more physical gyms are likely to retain when the pandemic recedes. Fitness club-owners grappling with declining memberships also quickly bounced back, with 72% now offering on-demand and livestream group workouts, research has shown.
Connected fitness tech is emerging as the go-to fitness solution for all fitness enthusiasts. And fitness equipment startups are leveraging this trend and capitalizing on the consumer demand. Gyms and studios offer features like a sense of community, music and vibrant environment, face-to-face fitness expert guidance, and access to the right equipment. However, post Covid-19 outbreak, the conventional fitness club model has been upturned.
Fitness tech companies have leveraged from the pandemic-induced disruption and invested their money in the best-in-class tech that has brought fitness right into people's living rooms. Thus, home fitness technology has become so powerful that it has the capability to fill the gap and do much more. So, there is no need for people to now step out and take the risk when they can have all the fun staying home. Fitness instructors, too, have been quick to shift online, yoga classes are now held on Zoom, and the sales of exercise equipment and fitness apps downloads are witnessing an incredible rise.
Connected fitness combines interactive and engaging community-driven classes streamed directly onto your mobile phone or your tablet. The new reality of working from home and mass scale quarantine have boosted the concept of tele-fitness, associated technology, and fitness combos which are making home workouts easy, fun and engaging. Remote coaching too has taken on a whole new meaning with connected fitness tech. This includes a range of solutions from the popular video conferencing tools and mobile apps for fitness instructors to futuristic fitness tech such as smart bikes, smart mirrors, and gamification.
The best part about these technologies is that they will continue to remain relevant even when the pandemic abates. Tele-fitness services are specifically important for groups of people such as the elderly, people who just recovered from injuries or those who can't make time for gymming or outdoor workouts.
Role Of New Technologies
The way we exercise has been affected by the rise of digital technology. There are countless workout apps and on-demand classes available to exercisers of all fitness levels. Workouts that people can do whenever (and for the most part wherever) they want. On-demand workout videos and apps that let one keep a track of their fitness level and exercises are going to be the next big trend in the fitness industry.
“Connected fitness tech is emerging as the got of it ness solution for all fitness enthusiasts. And fitness equipment startups are leveraging this trend and capitalizing on the consumer demand”
Additionally, expert trainers have been able to deliver a standardized quality experience to customers from Kerala to Kashmir and from Gujarat to Mizoram. The leaderboard-like interface ensures that there is a community feeling and positive competition and engagement amongst people exercising together so that fitness becomes fun.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping deliver personalized plans and motivation that may not be possible by a human being. AI-powered fitness training produces better outcomes than having a human trainer as the software knows more exercises, can access more data, and tracks progress much more effectively. Mobile applications track diet and metabolic rates through the app and other wearable technology calls which further adds to the complete fitness experience.
Health and fitness-related businesses can leverage technology and data to analyse usage patterns among consumers and offer tailor-made solutions in the form of curated workout programs, personalized diet plans, etc. Technology also plays a pivotal role in aggregating professional experts on a single platform and connecting them with a large, potential user base, bridging the gap between the demand and supply for fitness training services. Geolocation algorithms divide the city into multiple zones and localities helping apps and other tech-oriented services to enhance customer experience.
The fitness industry and the fitness equipment startups can harness the successes and lessons derived from the pandemic to quickly design future-centric solutions. At the heart of this needs to be mindful growth and a willingness to embrace new norms such as working in tandem with other industries like tech.