Fitness professionals, gym and studio owners have reason to be optimistic about the future, several fitness industry reports suggest.
The pandemic has caused a “shift in values” among consumers “where prevention and wellness take on far greater importance,” the Global Wellness Institute said in its latest report on the wellness economy.
This report and others say the pandemic has made consumers more aware of the importance of their holistic mind-body health— and suggest that one of the top fitness trends for 2022 will be exercise that incorporates mindfulness to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
“There is no question that wellness— as a concept, as a lifestyle priority, and consumer value— is a big winner from the pandemic,” said Ophelia Yeung, a senior research fellow at the Global Wellness Institute.
Unsurprisingly, the Mindbody Wellness Index, found that 50% of its 16,000 survey respondents said the pandemic had “negatively affected their mental wellbeing.” More than 40% reported that the reason they participated in exercise was to feel better mentally, and 37% said they incorporated exercise into their routines to support their mental wellbeing.
In canfitpro’s Fitness Trends Report, 73% of its fitness professional community agreed that fitness programs need to incorporate mind-body offerings.
One of the key principles of Pilates is its emphasis on breathing to deepen mind-body awareness, so the fact that mind-body wellness is a 2022 fitness trend should come as welcome news to Pilates instructors, mind-body specialists and Pilates studio owners.
Based on this, there could be new opportunities to expand your mind-body offerings, deepen your clients’ mind-body connection and find other creative ways of aligning your business to meet consumers’ demand for holistic mental and physical wellbeing.
Here are some other 2022 fitness and wellness trends and tips on how you can leverage these opportunities to benefit your clients and grow your business.
1. Virtual fitness drives demand for in-person training
Virtual fitness and in-person training are no longer separate business offerings. Research compiled by RunRepeat shows that gyms and studios that offer virtual workouts actually increase their in-person class attendance by 12%, proving that the hybrid model is here to stay.
Likewise, the Les Mills Global Fitness Report found that 80% of gym members plan to continue using digital workouts post-pandemic and favor a 60-40 split between in-person and at-home workouts.
- If you can, continue offering virtual workouts and use them to drive people to your studio classes. Your online offerings need to be “high-quality… motivating, fun and results-driven” but even better in-person, according to Les Mills
- Use virtual workouts to grow brand awareness and loyalty to instructors, to reach and engage new clients beyond your immediate geography, and to motivate people to join in-person sessions
2. Fitness for the whole family
With so much time spent at home during the pandemic, family workouts have become increasingly popular.
According to canfitpro’s report, 83% of fitness professionals believe there’s an opportunity to design programs for all generations.
Pilates and mindful movement workouts can be adapted for the whole family, and benefit both kids and adults by helping them release stress, improve focus and mind-body awareness. Why not move together?
3. Quality instructors are key to growth
Your instructors are your most important asset to retaining and growing gym, club and studio membership. According to Les Mills’ report, the instructor is the most important factor to group fitness class participants, and ‘great instructors’ are 2.5 times more likely to win member referrals.
“For all of the tech solutions now available to clubs, great people are the only unique selling point that rivals can’t copy. Safeguarding top talent, offering clear progression and regularly recruiting strong additions to the team will be key for clubs leveraging the ‘Live Revival’ to fuel member growth,” the report noted.
- Invest in your instructors by providing them with opportunities for growth, continuing education and professional development, like this studio in Australia
- Recognize your instructors publicly, whether that’s via social media, on your studio’s website/blog, or in your email newsletter
- Reward your instructors with health and wellness subscriptions, such as to a meditation app, food subscription service or Merrithew Connect™, gift them props of their choice, tickets/gift cards, or pay for a workshop, class or industry event they want to attend
4. Pilates was one of the most popular workouts in 2021
In 2021, Pilates was one of the most popular workouts on ClassPass and Mindbody’s platforms. This trend is expected to continue in 2022 as more people choose mind-body exercise programs.
The nature of Pilates being a low-impact, highly effective mind-body workout that prioritizes functional fitness, breathing, mobility and strength makes it highly appealing in our chaotic modern times.
- As Pilates instructors and business owners, reach new customers with intro offers that demystify the method
- Get creative with your programming to appeal to different types of clients– offer express workouts over lunch, Pilates Reformer classes that incorporate elements of HIIT, fascial movement flow workouts, Total Barre® and Halo® Training, get inspired here
- Educate prospective clients about the benefits of Pilates on social media and in your email newsletter, follow us for ideas
How are you planning to grow your business and reach new clients in 2022? Share your ideas with us on Instagram @Merrithew or email firstname.lastname@example.org.