The health & fitness industry has taken the world by storm in recent years, as more and more people are becoming conscious of how they look, and how fit they are. It’s a combination of vanity, fused with the desire to live a long, comfortable and healthy life. As such, gyms have been popping up around the globe, offering a wide variety of exciting classes for people to indulge in. This coupled with various mobile apps that offer diet plans, workouts, and pedometers (to mention a few), is really starting to (quite literally) shape the new generation.
The transformation is noticeably kicking off in China at the moment. Whilst the global growth has been rising steadily for many years, the health & fitness industry in China has boomed exponentially. There are a number of influencing factors, however, it is the rise in Instagram and the social desire to “look good” for your online profile that is without question, the driving force behind the change. Health & fitness lovers are seeking experience. They’re looking to be a part of the next big thing, and it is this which has fueled the rapid growth of fitness centers, clothing brands, and personal trainers throughout China.
It’s all going on!
The wonderful thing is that more and more people in China are making time for themselves. They’re being supported by a broad network of health & fitness facilities that are popping up all over the country. One brand in particular “LeFit”, has a handy app which allows members to figure out a plan whilst they’re on the go. So, they can look at various classes that are going on in any one of their facilities, and they can plan their day around it. This means that if you’re on the other side of the city in a business meeting, rather than go to your usual workout spot, you’ll have instant access to a nearby facility without disrupting your day too much. This new and innovative way of operating is offering health & fitness freaks the opportunity to stay fit and healthy, without compromising their already, incredibly busy schedules.
Other companies are opting for “staffless fitness pods” where members can sign in digitally and access fitness centers on the go with a simple click of a button. These innovations are making health & fitness significantly more accessible to the affluent members of society who are always in a hurry.
The rapidly expanding sportswear market – a truly positive shift, or mass-consumerism dressed as social necessity?
OK, so that’s a bit of a mouthful. The question that we’re asking is: is trading in designer handbags for what could arguably be over-priced running shoes a truly positive change? Or is it simply mass consumerism with a new, healthier looking face?
At the end of the day, there is a good argument for both sides. The real question is however: does it really matter? Certainly, there are many companies who are going to profit immensely from the industries rise in popularity (as we’ll get to in a moment) but, if it means inspiring future generations to favour a truly positive and healthy lifestyle, then it is something that we should embrace regardless.
To give you an idea of what we’re looking at: the sportwear market is set to be $43.10 billion by 2020 in China alone. Those figures are staggering, as that doesn’t include the current $6 billion gym & fitness industry as it stands (which is expected to grow rapidly as well).
Now, whilst the luxury goods industry in China is still huge, it has slowed down in recent years as a result of the health & fitness industry. Yes, there is still a great deal of vanity involved in the change in direction, to more sports & fitness related attire. However, when coupled with the fact that more and more people are taking an active interest in their physical health, you can put the vanity factor down as a positive catalyst for healthy social change.
You see, there are some who would contend that the desire to “look great” on social media and go to great lengths to adhere to a certain lifestyle is a negative thing. Yes, there are negative connotations involved, especially if you look at the mental health effects of social media in young women. However, when you consider the fact that this change is leading away from the seemingly unattainable life of immeasurable wealth & glamour and steering towards an increasingly accessible lifestyle of self-betterment, mindfulness and physical actualization; then there really is no contest.
The natural choice
Going back to the rise in mental health issues in relation to social media, and the immense pressure that is put on youngsters to “fit in” and “keep up with the Kardashian’s” as it were, it’s important to recognize a positive shift when it’s happening.
Not only is social media largely responsible for the health & fitness craze, but it is also combating some of the mental health problems that it has helped to create in other areas. Today, there are more and more people talking about their mental health, and now they’re making changes to their lifestyle which is actively helping them to improve their state of mind.
Simply put: embracing the health & fitness industry and pursuing a healthier, active lifestyle is “the natural choice,” and one that is invariably going to give way to a much healthier and happier society. All in all, it’s an exciting prospect and we’re interested to see what new tech & changes are introduced to the industry as it expands. Now, hit the floor and give me twenty!