New Ways Gyms are Connecting with Members
For many people, hitting the gym is a satisfying ritual. They go before or after work to de-stress, get fit, and sweat it out. For others, it’s just about staying healthy. But these days, fitness doesn’t just happen inside the gym. Today, fitness centers are harnessing the power of technology to connect with their members and encourage them to be active both in and out of the gym.
Fitness centers are playing an increasingly important role in members’ health. Technologies such as wearables are enabling fitness enterprises to expand their influence outside the walls of the gym and engage with their customers even when they’re not working out. Here’s what’s happening in the world of portable fitness and smart gyms—and what it means for our health and fitness goals.
Extending the Reach of the Gym
Wearables, mobile marketing, and connected devices are all helping gyms to connect with customers and help them on their fitness journey. More than 76% of fitness center members bring a mobile device with them to the gym, and many want to be able to integrate their devices and wearables with the gym’s exercise equipment.
Instead of logging a workout manually in an app, users want to be able to sync that information effortlessly in order to seamlessly track their fitness in and out of the gym. Not only does extending the reach of the gym help fitness centers retain members, but it also leads to better health and fitness overall.
Fitness centers that really want to go above and beyond in reaching their members can install new smart equipment and even create a proprietary app. Members are more likely to stick with regular workouts and be loyal to their fitness center if it’s easy for them to access entertainment options and personalize their workouts seamlessly.
Fitness Centers Are Getting “Smart”
For many people who hit the gym these days, technology is key. Many say they would go to the fitness center more often if there was better technology available to elevate the experience, but few facilities currently offer these amenities. Smart gyms are still fairly rare, but they’re on the rise.
What makes a gym smart? First, the equipment, including treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. Smart equipment can sync with user’s devices, allowing them to log workouts and set preferences that they don’t have to change every time they hop on the treadmill. Integration could also allow for improved entertainment and social media options, allowing users to share their progress and watch videos from their phones on the machine itself.
Smart machines can also help individuals meet their fitness goals by automatically adjusting resistance and incline according to the member’s workout plan. That personalization may become key for centers in retaining membership and getting people to stick with their plans.
Even getting into the gym could get easier as fitness centers get smarter. Biometrics may one day soon make membership cards obsolete. Smart gyms break down obstacles that keep people from consistently meeting their workout goals.
Don’t Forget About Safety
Injuries occur every day at fitness centers across the country and on the field or court. In fact, there are over 1 million student-athlete injuries reported every year. Athletic activities always involve some risks, but there are ways to minimize the number of injuries that occur, especially with the introduction of new wearable technologies.
Now, fitness franchises can coach members on how to use wearables to protect their health. New apps can collect data on heart activity during workouts and establish a baseline. If any unusual activity occurs, the app can alert the user and help them prevent stress on the heart.
Integrating Fitness and Technology
It makes sense that the Internet of Things, cloud data, and other innovative technologies would eventually make their way into gyms. The really surprising thing is that it has taken this long to pick up momentum. Today, people expect to be able to sync their devices and personalize their experiences wherever they are.
For many people, just getting the motivation to visit a fitness center regularly can be a challenge. Gamification, step trackers, and other features of wearables can help motivate gym members to integrate fitness into their lives.
Fitness centers may need to make a considerable investment in new equipment in order to offer the experience that consumers are starting to request, but making these upgrades can help attract new members and help gyms retain existing members. In the end, integrating fitness and technology pays off for everyone.