by Matt Weik
If you think back a few years, digital fitness wasn’t even talked about when it came to exercise and fitness. Sure, you’ve had some apps that made exercise programs available to people, but nothing like what we’re experiencing today. With the advent of digital fitness, it became a landmark moment in which more people become active who initially put off “exercising” because they were not comfortable attending a commercial gym or did not have the financial means to do a monthly one Pay for gym membership.
We would be naive to believe that everyone is comfortable in a gym. There is a ton of equipment, a ton of people, and those who walk around with the most physique can only dream of accomplishing one day. Introverts and newbies to fitness may be a little unsure of what they look like. Some feel like they’re in the gym, being “viewed differently” for being out of shape – which those of us who go to the gym know is wrong, but for these people it’s a real concern.
This can be the case for many women, as research has shown that feeling embarrassed and not knowing how to use the fitness equipment are some of the main reasons women avoid the weight room altogether.
Therefore, digital fitness has become a real breakthrough moment for them. It allows them to exercise at their pace and comfort in the privacy of their own home. There’s no pressure to feel like eyeballs are staring at you and judging you. It also allows those who may not have the cash to join the gym (for themselves or their entire family) to invest in digital fitness that their entire household can use and participate in.
Thanks to digital fitness, more women are exercising
As the pandemic began to close stores, avid exercisers had to struggle to figure out how to get into their workouts. While there are many things you can do at home with items in your house, some people couldn’t get over the fact that they no longer had access to all of the equipment they were using when they could go to the gym. Then came the digital fitness movement.
It was reported that 45.2% more women engaged in fitness activities during the pandemic than the year before the pandemic broke out. While women are still lagging behind men when it comes to which gender trains the most, women are slowly closing the gap.
When looking at the barriers to entry, women tend to find it more difficult to get involved in an exercise program. While there is still a wage gap between men and women, women who are single mothers find it even more difficult to incorporate exercise into their daily habits.
Through digital fitness, many women (and men) have found free apps and digital fitness programs that they can use right on their smartphone to work out without fancy equipment or gym memberships.
Of course, you can even use home fitness equipment that has gone digital. Check out Mirror, Tonal, iFit, Peloton, and many others. Their sales soared during the pandemic, and many of the people who have bought such home devices said they have no plans to return to gyms.
Many women view digital fitness as a “safe space” where they can exercise and interact with a community of women who all share the same concerns and insecurities.
What does the future look like for digital fitness?
Digital fitness is here and here to stay. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will use it as their primary exercise tool. While something like a peloton bike is great for cardiovascular training and health, it doesn’t have the same effects as someone who does some type of resistance training as well.
While digital fitness equipment takes up minimal space in homes these days, many people still go to their gym and pay for their monthly gym memberships. However, the convenience of being able to do a workout at home (any time of the day) is still a major selling point for digital fitness.
Anyone who has the financial means to toss a few thousand dollars on digital fitness equipment at home like a Peloton or Mirror platform will do so – probably without thinking about it.
The pandemic has left many people freaking out and panicking when they buy equipment that they now have no idea what to do with as it takes up a large chunk of a room in their home, basement or garage. Those who have chosen digital fitness find it easy to use and store their equipment as it takes up little space at home. This in itself is a huge selling point for those who can afford such luxury.
Even so, we see people return to their gyms and start exercising to make up for lost time. Digital fitness may be the new kid on the block, but for many, it will just never replace gym membership and the huge amount of equipment you have on hand by joining a commercial gym.
Should the pandemic now resurface and things get locked again, we may postpone all of the above, but time will tell. But as long as commercial gyms are selling memberships, digital fitness (with significant benefits) will be difficult to overtake the gym market.