A recent Technogym study called The Wellness Deficit: How Millennials View Health and Fitness came to my attention. The study results were not only interesting but also interesting in forecasting future trends in the health, fitness and wellness landscape.
Here are some key findings:
1. 72% find it hard to devote time to exercise (50% claim their too busy)
2. 77% would like their workout at the gym to be as interactive as possible
3. 65% think it’s important to track and monitor their fitness progress
4. 52% feel more stressed/anxious now than they did 12 months ago
5. 77% think the gym experience should be personalized to meet individual goals
6. 44% believe the traditional gym as we know it today will evolve by 2020
Given this recent data and study findings, I thought it appropriate to provide resources for those who may feel the same as these study participants. The health and wellness landscape is constantly evolving and luckily there are plenty of concepts embracing these trends.
1. When busy professionals or even parents find it hard to devote time to exercise or are too busy, they need to re-think the concept of time. As recent as 5 years ago, workouts were at least 45 minutes to 1 hour in nature and were designed to target one body part / format daily. However, in the last 2 years, the concept of High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT) as well as efficiency in exercising has become increasingly popular. What does this mean? That all you need is 10-15 minutes to get an effective, sweat-inducing workout. Concepts such as Booya Fitness allow busy people to workout anytime, anywhere. Media personalities such as Jenna Wolfe constantly offer quick, effective workout moves to perform in under 10 minutes. It’s not as hard as it used to be to get moving. You could simply take the stairs at work instead of an elevator.
2. Interactive workouts are not only motivating but also empowering. The ability to have any kind of response during a workout is an excellent way to challenge and push yourself. Classes at spin studios such as Flywheel and Peloton allow the participants to evaluate their performance as well as add a competitive twist to the workout. This is partly the reason why training for a race within a group or team -like environment has effectively demonstrated participants’ commitment.
3. So, what do all these numbers really mean? For me, it’s a reality. When you wear a heart rate monitor or a Basis / Apple watch, you are monitoring a variety of output performance by your body – while exercising or not. If you are extremely goal oriented, these numbers will help you with subsequent actions involving your diet, sleep and exercise patterns. Knowing how many calories you burned in a workout, or your minimum/maximum heart rate, or how many steps you took all have an impact on your physical health status. You can make more concrete decisions.
4. Stress and anxiety tend to originate from the pressure we place on ourselves as well as the guilt we feel when we aren’t able to adhere to such pressures. Besides accepting that time is moving fast and our long list of to-do’s or our goals are not being met as fast or as easily as we’d like, we’ve got plenty of other things to worry about: environment, family safety, global politics, etc. Concepts like Headspace will help decrease the negative emotions you feel by allowing you to filter through them in a format called mindful meditation.
5. Personalization means Individualized. This has been true for as long as I can remember because no two people are alike. What works for one person, doesn’t work for the next. It’s a beauty and a curse. That’s why health professionals such as personal trainers and dietitians exist – so that they can work with you, your life, your goals, your history, your profile and provide a plan that will hopefully allow you to execute your goals. The days where you used to just jump on an elliptical to check the box of a 45-minute cardio workout are long gone. If you’re looking for health professionals near you, check out the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics to find a credentialed expert near you.
6. What is a gym? To me, a gym is a space you create that will allow you to give yourself time to let loose – stretch, meditate, relax, sweat, burn, and work for providing your body with the best health possible. In the last 3 years, the boutique fitness studio concept took over the fitness landscape and as a result, a concept like ClassPass has grown tremendously allowing fitness enthusiasts to take their “gym” with them wherever they travel – a flexible, passport style membership to studios all over the U.S.A.
It’s clear that the fitness landscape continues to evolve and more so in an innovative and inspiring way.