Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider. Chad Smith who owns a fitness club in Maryland Home Team Fitness, writes a popular column called the Fitness Answer Man. Recently he shared his Top Four fitness trend predictions for 2010. Here they are along with my opinion which boils down to: Agree, agree, disagree, and agree.
Fitness Trend #1: “Unemployed will refocus on health.”
I agree. With more time, people often do increase their amount of exercise. Exercise also helps with depression – a common problem during tough economic challenges. And those in the job market (or wanting to retain their jobs) try to keep up their appearance.
This increase in exercise is not translating in the same way to an increase in spa usage however. While people consider exercise a “need,” spa services are still often considered a "want." Thankfully, this is changing as people see the health and well-being advantage of both. One of our SpaFinder top spa trends for 2010, the “Hybrid Spa
” shows how fitness and spa services are coming together which will help correct this misperception.
Fitness Trend #2: "Irresistible offers from local gyms"
I agree. Very low prices for fitness clubs and memberships have been the norm for many years however now we are seeing unprecedented slashing of prices. The fitness model makes selling masses of memberships – beyond what a club can accommodate – possible because so many people will not use the facilities after a while. The typical advertising push for fitness in January is happening already. Even I am surprised however at how low the prices have gotten – in some cases $10.00 a month with no down payment!
Spas are discounting also – one of our top spa trends for 2010 is The Price is (still) Right
. A difference however is that because labor costs are usually over 50% of a spa’s overhead, there is much less room to cut prices. So while some categories such as fitness club memberships and hotel room rates can be cut prices dramatically, spa service discounts have their limits.
Speaking of spectacular discounts, my sister-in-law, Pam, just booked a three-night stay (upgraded to a suite if available) at Wynn in Las Vegas for $199 total (yes, I mean a three nights together!) That also included two free tickets to a Cirque du Soleil Le Reve performance which costs more than $100 per ticket online. Wow!
Fitness Trend #3 – "The weight-loss industry will quiet down."
I disagree. Chad says, “With the U.S. Federal Trade Commission crackdown on product claims, endorsements and testimonials, watch for way fewer sensational ads for weight-loss products and supplements. The bogus tactics that the multi-billion dollar, weight-loss industry use to separate you from your money will no longer be tolerated by the feds, and good riddance.”
I think this is wishful thinking. In my entire career (35 years) in the weight-loss and spa industry, I have never seen it “quiet down.”
Yes there were times when certain products had to be taken off the market, when more restrictions were added, more labeling required, etc. But with more people overweight and obese now than ever, weight loss solutions will continue their extreme popularity. The demand is simply too huge for the supply to dwindle. Yes, there might be some adjustments made, however I feel that those hawking weight loss solutions are clever enough to tip-toe around whatever new regulations come their way.
Fitness Trend #4 – "Exer-gaming will explode."
I agree (after I found out what exer-gaming meant). It even has its own Wikipedia definition
: “Exer-gaming or exergaming is a term used for video games that are also a form of exercise.”
Examples include Power Pad, Foot Craz, Dance Dance Revolution, Gamercize, Cyber Trager and now the well known Wii Fit. EA Sports Active and this year’s Brookstone Gaming Exercise bike
are newcomers. Since video games are so successful in engaging participation and physical activity is notoriously not, the combination is promising. As I write this my husband is playing online poker. Hmmm, could “Peddle-Poker” be far behind?
If we want to push a tad further…how about we combine exer-gaming with an eco approach like the Human Dynamo
where your exercise bike generates electricity? Perhaps a fitness trend for 2011…..
Thanks Chad for giving us a glimpse into how you see the future of fitness!