It has never been easier to find information, communicate with others and book online, whether from your home or on the go. We all take the digital world for granted, but things haven’t always been this way.
In today’s blog, we look at the progress of automation and digitalisation and the impact this has had on the fitness industry.
Paying your way
It used to be that cash or cheques were the options for paying for goods and services – then bank transfers and direct debits were introduced.
Paying for gym membership, usually on a monthly direct debit, became commonplace in the 1980s – around the same time as Jane Fonda was popularising the celebrity workout video and the Green Goddess was leading a morning exercise routine on BBC1’s Breakfast Time.
Today, you can join a gym quickly and easily by applying online, with or without being tied into a contract.
Multi-site and 24-hour gyms
Technology has also changed the way we access gyms. Many companies now offer multi-site use, ideal for those who travel frequently with work and want to be able to work out in different towns and cities.
Automation has also allowed gyms to be accessible at the swipe of a card, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Finding out information – and your way around
Most people want to find out about classes and facilities and take a look around before joining a gym. As well as checking out pricing and timetables online, you can now often find a virtual tour on gym websites. These can save you the time and trouble of visiting multiple gyms before making your decision which to join.
From the comfort of your own home
Online resources today extend beyond visiting gym websites and booking membership or classes.
You can now access professional advice and download personal training programmes via apps to your phone or tablet, making it even easier to train at home in your own time.
These can not only save you time, but are also a lot cheaper than hiring a personal trainer to visit your home. Look out for the trainers who provide personalised plans and nutritional advice tailored to you, as these will be more effective than one-size-fits-all programmes.
One of the latest fitness trends is virtual classes, from BodyPump to spin classes to yoga.
There are two types of virtual class. First, there are free or paid-for online classes that you can follow at home. Second, there are classes held in gyms, usually during off-peak times, with an instructor and directions on a large screen.
Programmes to your phone
If you prefer to work out in the gym but need some guidance, there are apps you can install on your phone that provide a programme you can follow. In some gyms, these will automatically be updated as you enter the premises.
Training the trainers
Finally, the digital world has also helped those who want to become a personal trainer or fitness instructor to access information and training materials.
Online sites, portals and email make it easier to study, although at CMS we always ensure our apprentices and other learners are supported by classroom options and face-to-face meetings with tutors.
Technology has transformed the fitness industry and how we go about keeping ourselves healthy and in good shape.
However, the digital world and the personal touch go hand in hand for the best results and we can all still benefit from the advice and support of a trained fitness professional.