Let’s peek into the crystal ball of fitness for 2018. It’s a safe bet that the industry will continue to evolve with the times, but what does that evolution look like?
From new technology and emerging equipment to refined research and the ever-changing desires of society, here are five predictions I have for the health and fitness industry in 2018.
Streaming Services Flourish: In a society that values convenience, smart money’s on pressing play at home becoming a favorite way to work out in 2018. On-demand streaming services have made it far too easy to trade the commute to the gym and the monthly membership fees for top-notch, at-home options.
Plus, these high-quality workouts are becoming available on every device imaginable — you can literally claim your spot in class at award-winning facilities around the globe from the comforts of your own home — thanks to services like FORTE. Streaming is here to stay.
Heart Rate Tracking Gets Sexy: Long gone are the days of bulky straps requiring major effort, a quick spit shine, and a helping hand from lady luck to give you a shot at tracking your BPM. Oh, and those archaic consoles of yesteryear rarely provided accurate data despite the overwhelming effort it took just to get ‘em on.
Nowadays, unobtrusive, slip-on trackers provide spot-on data directly to your phone or smart device. These new-age options are already becoming staples of brick-and-mortar facilities and they add an element of competition and objective measurements to exercise. Better yet, 2018’s version of trackers are intuitive, sleek, and discreet. In a matter of seconds, you can slip ‘em on for accurate and actionable data to propel your exercise to greater heights. I’m all-in on heart rate tracking.
New Niches Captivate Us: SoulCycle, Orange Theory, and anti-gravity yoga (you may know it as “aerial yoga”) are just a few of the niches to explode in popularity over the past year, and I anticipate more niche markets will pop up in 2018.
While predicting what will hit it big is like finding a needle in a haystack (who knew aerial yoga was a thing a couple of years ago?), my bet is a surge in unique combo classes will complement the unpredictable newbies that will become commonplace in 2018. I’m picturing things like Cycling and TRX, Hot Yogalates, and Dance and Strength. You can expect new niches to come and go annually.
Supplements Become (Slightly) Transparent: Will it be perfect? No. Will there be more effort to inform us of ingredients? The optimist in me says yes.
Before clamoring about how the industry will never be fully regulated (you’re correct), keep in mind the average consumer has become more and more informed of the pitfalls of supplementation. We’ve wised up and we’re no longer tossing things with ludicrous claims into our bodies without a little extra research.
While I wouldn’t assume a seismic shift on the shelves of GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and notable online retailers, I do believe more nutrition companies and influential individuals will team up with highly-regarded researchers to produce more transparent products (or at least back off of the “proprietary blends”). Take a look at Dr. Jim Stoppani’s line of supplements for an idea of what I’m talking about. Proprietary blends, be gone!
Recovery Hits It Big: I see a lot more R&R on the horizon. From Cryotherapy (those ice-cold tanks you see all over Instagram) to Fascial Stretch Therapy (a unique form of assisted stretching starting to make waves in the industry), I’m confident recovery options are going to stake their claim in mainstream fitness. Average exercisers will see (and experience) the value and invest more in recovery.
For clarification; this doesn’t mean never-before-seen recovery modalities will suddenly emerge. My hunch is many of the under-the-radar recovery techniques already in use will garner headlines and go mainstream.
Cheers to another year!
P.S. Speaking of next year, if you haven’t already planned your health and fitness goals for 2018, here’s my 3-step blueprint to set goals you will actually achieve this year!
Clay Manley is a word nerd with a fitness background. A Certified Personal Trainer who took his talents to the keyboard. You can give him a shout and find more of his work here.