The countdown is on to the start of a new year. What’s in store for the fitness and leisure industry? Here are some predictions from people on the inside. I’d love to know your thoughts!
Apps, gadgets, and the science of self-monitoring
This is an area that fascinates me and I’ll be keeping a close eye on it in 2014. I enjoyed my Ki Fit experiment back in 2011, and am currently trialling a few different activity monitors for a round-up blog post in the New Year.
At one of the recent UK Active Communications Forums, “digi health” was a hot topic. Have a look at Ste Davies’s slides – fascinating stuff. We’re already seeing clothing which gathers on-body data (here’s some news about technology which could be put into sportsbras which tells you whether you’re eating out of hunger or emotion) What will 2014 bring?
Technology and apps will continue to be used to track and gather data, motivate and help people reach their fitness goals, whilst enabling people to easily share stats to create a sense of community (or competition!)
I’m sure many of you already use activity monitors for monitoring everyday activity and sleep, use apps to track nutrition and exercise, perhaps train on a Watt Bike, or go to clubs which use cloud-based systems like MyZone.
Will the amount of daily data we’re able to capture and monitor about our bodies and health eventually have an impact on how we interact with PTs, coaches, even medical professionals?
We’re all familiar with the idea of HIIT training, but it’s predicted to grow in popularity, particularly in the area of health clubs and fitness classes.
Virgin Active’s “MAXercise” class will combine HIIT bodyweight training with flexibility training (perhaps indicating consumer demands for a more holistic breed of HIIT training?) Fitness First have introduced Tabata classes, based around the concept of a training session with an intense four-minute work section.
I’ve seen the amount of people entering physique competitions sky-rocket in 2013, but I’m not sure whether the stats back up this observation. Perhaps it just looks like a huge increase from where I’m sitting (within bodybuilding). I’m not just talking about bodybuilding competitions: there’s been a massive increase in the types of physique-sport contests around, from fitness model types events to beach body and bikini type contests. Add social media (and all its implications) to an increased interest in these types of competitions (often from younger folk) and you have a huge amount of issues beginning to raise their heads. Some positive, some worrying. It’s a trend I’ll be watching with interest in 2014 and maybe I’ll have something more concrete to say this time next year! For now, I’d say that bodybuilding can be a fantastic hobby to get involved in, if your head is in the right place. Get your advice from good sources, don’t rely on social media, find decent and trustworthy people to support and advise you, and don’t assume you have to have a prep coach.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.