When the COVID-19 hit, the fitness industry took a heavy toll as gyms and fitness studios closed. Although it had translated into heavy losses for everyone involved in fitness & wellness businesses, there was certainly a silver lining not far away.
Indeed lockdowns throughout the world had made it impossible for people to hit the gym but more people than ever were now becoming conscious about health and wellness. They weren’t just wearing a mask and using sanitizers, they were tracking what they’re eating and how they could improve their immunity.
So, despite the heavy restrictions on gyms and other similar studios and clubs, people were working out at home, making the most of technology – fitness and wellness apps, virtual consultations, and video-conferencing with trainers, and more.
In a way, the pandemic was opening new doors while closing the old ones for anyone involved in the fitness and wellness industry.
And that’s not all.
People are finally seeing wellbeing as a holistic self-growth rather than just focusing on fitness. People have become more aware of the role of nutrition and healthy food, the effects of stress, and the need for mental well-being. More people than ever are now concerned about mental health which has led to many people looking out for ways to help themselves (and others) in keeping their mental wellness in check.
Rise of digital technology for mindfulness and meditation
As soon as the digital wave of wellness started online, many fitness studios and influencers were quick to jump on the bandwagon, coming up with innovative ways to spread awareness and provide personalized coaching or training for their customers – either through apps or through conference calls (or even reels and live on Instagram).
One of the most sought-after mindfulness practices has been Yoga throughout the last year. Staying locked in, working long hours at home, and sleepless nights had led many people to reluctantly adopt a more sedentary lifestyle along with enormous amounts of stress and anxiety. Yoga is where most people seem to have found solace.
Online yoga classes weren’t the only ones to have soared during this time. Mindfulness meditation apps were also among the most popular applications in the segment as well. It was an eye-opening experience for everyone who is in the business of wellness. It was evident that people no longer wanted just physical fitness, they wanted more.
Hitting the gym is no longer an elusive desire. People now know they could have a hybrid setup where they can work out at home along with meditations and mindfulness on days they can’t hit the gym.
How fitness and wellness brands are adapting to change
With so much of everything online, the sweeping consumer trend has been self-care because people no longer have the support system that they might find in a gymnasium. They need to be more independent in taking care of their nutrition, fitness, and mental wellness.
If there’s one thing that brands are continuously doing, and for good reason, is moving their business online. Companies are finding innovative ways to engage their customers online, whether it’s partnering with influencers in the industry or creating guidance apps for customers. It’s an ongoing development that is seeing a lot of intersection of various fields with the ultimate goal of providing one holistic solution for all wellness problems – physical, mental, or spiritual.
One app that comes close is perhaps Fitza – a holistic platform that offers everything one might need for better wellbeing – nutrition, healthy food recipes, fitness, mindfulness, meditations, NLP techniques, positive self-affirmations, and more.
However, this trend is still new. It’s crucial for health and wellness businesses to keep an eye on consumer behavior to ensure they grasp the changing needs of their customers and offer services that serve those needs.
Inspiring proactive approach to health
Before Covid-19, people had a very reactive approach to health. They’d only eat the right food and work their bodies when they fell sick or if there was the risk of developing something and the doctor recommended change.
However, this is changing fast. People are finally realizing that having a proactive approach to health and wellness is the first step towards preventive self-care which could help them not only stay healthier and happier but reduce the risk of many chronic ailments significantly.
Chronic ailments like diabetes, obesity, hypertension and others are a result of an unhealthy lifestyle more than some inherent disorder or condition. With little lifestyle changes, people can easily avoid these ailments and save themselves from years of struggle with the same.
Even in conditions like PCOS/PCOD, something that a lot of women face, having a healthier lifestyle can reduce the symptoms and find solace in their condition rather than fighting it since there’s no cure for it.
The role of corporations in the shift towards holistic wellbeing
Major companies have started taking notice of this upward trend in holistic wellness and the positive effects it has had on the productivity of their teams. What’s more, mindfulness and better mental wellbeing can also reduce the effects of burnout in the employees which has been a major issue for most remote workers.
Creating a great work environment is no longer just about having plants in the office or having an open-door policy, it’s a lot more. It’s high time wellness and mental well-being are openly talked about in offices because it’s where most burnouts start and tracking the mental health of teams and identifying the signs of burnouts can help employers help their employees in coping with their condition at the right time.
For instance, companies are adopting a mental health day as a monthly practice to give a break to their employees and help them cope with stress. Although that’s good practice, it’s not enough. Employers need to empower their employees with the right tools to help them adapt to preventive self-care.
The change is huge and the ripples can be felt across industries but the fitness and wellness industry can serve as an interjection where true transformation happens.