By Emma Bott
Getting fit is a common New Year’s resolution. It could be based on a long-term desire to lose weight or, more often than not, a reaction to recent holiday-induced weight gain. Whatever the reason, the fitness industry gains a boost in January. Gyms and yoga studios seem more crowded than usual. The fitness industry is often seen as the front-line for preventive care. Every year, the international industry of fitness and health clubs generate 80 billion USD (according to Statista). North America alone accounts for 28 billion. People are always looking for new ways to get fit and enjoy the process.
Why is this industry growing? One thing to account for is that there is a growing demand for facilities which provide new ways of working out. Hot yoga studios, for example, are growing in popularity and, therefore, numbers. Other facilities, such as 9rounds, provide kickboxing workouts. Another thing is that because people have such fluctuating work schedules, there is a growing demand for 24-hour gyms. Different demographics are drawn to different facilities. These facilities also provide individuals with fitness certifications with different career paths and more options. It provides a chance to be entrepreneur. It also boasts a flexible work schedule that is desired today. The mindset of society has definitely shifted to focus more on fitness, health, and wellness. This is because of increased media attention on obesity and fitness. There are TV shows, videos, magazines, and books focussed on fitness. Governments are also thinking more about fitness; consider Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” or the tax credit for children’s physical activity. People are realizing that fitness can increase their health and help them live longer lives. Millennials, as a generation, want to be involved in a wide variety of activities and ultimately invest in their health.
Canada has an organization called the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, a membership for both organizations and professionals within the fitness industry. This organization provides benefits, online resources, events, networking, and keeping track of legislative changes. Initiatives areas of interest are fitness tax credit, prescriptions for exercise, national health and fitness days, music licensing, and caloric menu legislation. It lobbies on territorial, provincial and federal levels.
Some people, especially if they have large and/or long-term goals, invest in a personal trainer to help reach their fitness goals. When you are investing in something like this, always do your research on the individual. We look into houses, cars, clothing, and other long-term investments, so do some background research on your personal trainer. Because the fitness industry is growing, there are more people looking to capitalize on this growth. You need to ensure that this individual actually knows how to help reach fitness goals for a variety of people and body types and not someone who simply got themselves into shape. Don’t judge fitness experts on their looks. Just because someone has a six-pack does not mean that they will be able to get you a six-pack of your own. We don’t take business advice from people that do not run business, so we should not take fitness advice from someone who does not work in the fitness industry. If you think about it, fitness is closely linked to health, and most industries that are linked to health are regulated to the safety and health of consumers. Working out in the gym may seem like a casual hobby, but because a business transaction is occurring, it is actually professional.
Another industry that is growing is athletic apparel. Wearing old t-shirts, shorts, and sweatpants is no more. Athletic apparel is in growing demand. These products are comfortable, colourful, and come in a variety of styles. Organizations that fit into this category are Lululemon, Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Foot Locker, Finish Line, VF Corporation, BEBE Sport, and Columbia Sportswear. Celebrities are now cashing in on this with trademarks like Beyonce’s “Ivy Park” and Kate Hudson’s “Fabletics.” Products are often priced high with big-box stores such as Walmart’s “George” and Superstore’s “Joe Fresh” offering lower-priced alternatives. Retailers such as Sport Chek offer competition with sales up to 60% off regular price. This market is highly dependent on the individual brand names and often have athletes, models, and well-known celebrities as their spokespeople. This also assists the fitness industry as it increases the desire to be fit.
There is more attention, time, and money going into fitness that ever before, and hopefully, the result will be greatly positive for human health and happiness. Don’t forget to check out the Ralph King fitness facility here at Concordia!