By Amanda Vogel MA
With 2018 now on our minds, it’s a good time to ponder how the fitness industry might change in the upcoming year and beyond. One thing’s certain: technology will continue to integrate with pretty much everything related to health and fitness. Where will you fit in?
It can feel intimidating trying to keep up with all the fast-paced technology iterations—that’s understandable. However, it’s better to make small tech updates to your knowledge and services now than to fall so far behind that you have to overhaul everything when you can no longer compete.
Moving beyond the basics of fit tech doesn’t mean you must create your own app or know everything about wearables. Rather, the goal is to develop a simple strategy for staying relevant through awareness, open-mindedness and action. Consider the following steps for getting up to speed on fitness technology as we start 2018.
There are thousands of fitness apps available to download. Where to begin? Do a Google search for something like “Best Fitness Apps” or “Top Health Apps.” Check article dates to make sure the content is as current as possible (in fact, it’s a good idea to add the year—2017 or 2018—to your search).
Via Google, you’ll find a slew of app-related articles from popular magazines, technology blogs and reliable tech authorities, such as PCMag, 9to5mac, Tech Crunch, Wired, Techradar and Mashable.
Scan through a bunch of articles to identify which apps are repeatedly mentioned. Then, take a deeper dive to investigate the five or so most noted ones, including downloading them on your phone. This shouldn’t be a large expense: a lot of fitness apps are free to download but offer optional in-app upgrades.
In your quest to learn more about wearables, start with activity trackers that people wear on their wrists. These have been around for a while, and many of your clients probably have them.
There are dozens of trackers on the market. To narrow your focus, do a Google search just like you did for apps, e.g., “Best Activity Trackers” or “Top Fitness Trackers.” Scan the roundups, taking note of which devices pop up most often.
You will find that Apple Watch, Fitbit and Garmin are among the most mentioned, so visit the websites for these respective brands to see overviews and videos explaining the major features associated with various tracker series and/or styles. Do the same for any other brands that receive a lot of press.
Beyond the Basics
Next, it’s time to advance beyond the basics of what has already become well established in the fitness industry. To begin, go to the website for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) (ces.tech). This major technology conference takes place every year in January. You can peruse fit tech highlights from the most recent show here.
Still thinking ahead, Google the terms listed below, clicking on a few top hits to investigate further.
- “Apple Gym Kit”
- “artificial intelligence fitness”
- “virtual reality fitness”
- “augmented reality fitness
- “smart workout clothing”
The more informed and aware you are about what’s emerging, the more prepared you’ll be for future business success.