2022 Fitness + Wellness Trends: Fitness Center Design and Equipment
Heading into the new year, one can’t help but wonder if the challenges of the recent past are all behind us. We begin to re-evaluate business models and projections and figure out ways to adapt, sustain, learn, and tread onwards only to do it all over again with more efficiency and a dose of empathy. Some markets will face greater challenges that aren’t impartial to our cause of building and managing medical, commercial, and corporate fitness centers to inspire healthier, happier lives. Some markets will thrive, which will cause others to question their formulas of success and the need to think locally and scale appropriately.
In terms of the fitness and wellness community, owners and operators have a marathon in front of them. And just like a marathon, that may include roadblocks, pains, cheers, replenishments, injuries, celebrations, and a medal for making it through another year.
Fitness enthusiasts, though, have a different race in front of them. Thinking more like a 5k or 10k, a growing trend that’s come out of the past year is the desire for shortened classes and workouts. Whether it’s the need to balance a busy life working from home, maybe even with kids needing to be schooled remotely, or the goal to increase the number of workouts per week, there's no denying the popularity of 20 to 45-minute workouts. Primary health care providers may be able to make recommendations on frequency and intensity based on current health levels, but the emotional release of short and frequent workouts has allowed many to endure their own challenges from the past year.
As the workforce starts to head back into the office, many businesses and commercial offices are beginning to improve tenant amenities, accommodating the home gym experience and bringing in virtual home fitness unicorns of the past year like Peloton and The Mirror, or creating a space for users to screen mirror their favorite app, YouTube video or Active GO class to a big screen. Also on the rise are mindfulness hubs meant to calm the mind and provide a relaxing and stress-free space as workers re-acclimate to their new environments.
In all, there is an anticipation that work-life balance will take on a new definition in the next year, where home workouts begin to merge with in-person boosts of energy (or relaxation). Expect to see improvements in both realms with artificial intelligence (AI), be it through a stationary bike or smart-learning strength training systems that monitor your expended work through wattage, repetition, heart rate, and speed – allowing you to track your progress at home or at work, not to mention sending that data straight to your PHP. With so much data to keep track of, many exercisers are now depending on their wearables more than ever to measure progress – be it at home or at work. It should come as no surprise that the makers of wearables are finding creative ways to keep their users engaged by creating intuitive programming that not only keeps the user engaged but actively supports friendly competition with past workouts and other users, take for instance the Active Wellness app!
Not new, but more recognizable this year will be movement learning (ML) systems that use a video camera to add another dimension to “intuitive fitness.” Using a video camera, AI systems will learn in real-time your movement patterns and alter workouts based on current and past performance, imbalances, and corrective exercise. Whereas past fitness products had taken 5-10 years to evolve, AI software, magnetic resistance, and reduced size and footprint are making significant impacts on the fitness industry.
As great as AI may seem, there is no replacing the physical and emotional connection with surrounding oneself with like-minded fitness enthusiasts. Programming and member engagement, much like wearables, will continue to evolve and present new methods to enhance the user experience – be it through a shortened burst of energy in 30-minute classes, stacked classes, combining wearables with programming to alter performance measurements and let’s not forget the newly popular leaderboards and friendly competition. There’s no denying that programming will be getting a makeover over the next year that blurs the lines between home and office fitness that not only benefits the fitness enthusiast and operators, but also campuses, developers, HR & Benefits directors, and the like that are finding ways to attract and retain people and clients for years to come.
Renovating or building a fitness center in 2022? The Active Team can help. When Team Active renders a new facility, remodels an existing center, or purchases new equipment, you’ll gain the competitive edge that’s earned by investing in a thoughtfully-planned project. Schedule a free consultation and learn more about our Design & Procurement services here.
Alex’s role as the Procurement & Design Lead is an integral part of our commitment to providing our members with a world-class fitness experience. Having worked in several different markets in high-end commercial, residential, and boutique fitness management, Alex understands the need to embrace the client's mission and drive their pulse through his expertise and foresight; be it through design conceptualization, renovation, or engagement. With over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry, Alex provides direct support to all Active sites with equipment and product recommendations, forecasting and budget planning, and procurement needs.