Throughout 2020, we talked a lot about how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global fitness industry and how exercise professionals needed to constantly adapt to changing circumstances, and to find new ways to deliver fitness solutions.
While many had hoped the New Year would usher in a return to normalcy, a new strain of the coronavirus, said to be more rapidly transmissible, has perpetuated the cycle of uncertainty about what the future of the health and fitness industry will look like.
Though no one can say for sure what the remainder of the year will look like, below we’ve outlined several ways personal trainers can provide additional value to consumers in 2021:
1. Shift focus to overall health & well-being
Before COVID, many exercise professionals pitched services aimed at helping consumers lose weight and gain muscle tone. This made sense, especially around the New Year when many peoples’ resolutions typically centered around weight loss. Post-pandemic, however, many consumers seem to be more interested in understanding what types of physical activity most effectively boost the immune system to promote full-body health and well-being.
2. Keep cleanliness & hygiene at the forefront
The uncertainty around how the coronavirus can be transmitted created widespread panic and fear that led to months-long business closures. Even after gyms and health clubs have been allowed to reopen—permitting they passed safety inspections and were able to prove their sanitization procedures were safe and effective—there still remains a heightened sense of concern among many consumers. Now more than ever, it’s important for exercise professionals to effectively communicate the cleanliness and hygiene standards they have in place to help ease patrons’ minds.
3. Provide consideration for at-risk populations
Last year we saw many businesses begin to offer special consideration to the at-risk and elderly populations by providing blocks of time when they could shop. This year, we expect to see more exercise professionals and health clubs follow suit by providing high-risk groups with more opportunities for physical activity in the form of individualized training programs, small group training programs, and at-home training programs.
4. Expand your reach
Social media continues to be the leading way consumers search for health and fitness-related information. Exercise professionals who are social media savvy and build a following on popular platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok will be more successful at attracting new business. If you’re not familiar or well-versed on how to navigate the most popular social platforms, now is the time to start learning.
5. Increase online offerings
COVID was the impetus behind the fitness industry’s shift to digital. But even now that gyms and health clubs have reopened, the desire for on-demand workout routines, remote fitness coaching and online personal training programs continues to grow. In addition to being more convenient for many people, virtual options provide a worry-free, safe and effective means for physical activity.
While the coronavirus changed the fitness industry as we knew it, the good news is that the general public is now more aware of—and interested in—how physical activity contributes to overall health and well-being. The way fitness is delivered and consumed will continue to evolve throughout 2021, but exercise professionals who are able to adapt and embrace changing circumstances have the potential to recognize tremendous growth opportunities.
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