Digital Technology is Taking Over Fitness Centers
There’s a digital revolution happening at fitness centers—but don’t look for it on your smartphone. Sure, there’s an app for that. But a lot of what’s happening at fitness clubs takes place on the walls … and even more on monitors embedded in the exercise equipment. Technology has finally made some measurable strides toward making your time working out a more rewarding experience. Digital signage is popping up everywhere. It’s helping us select better exercise regimes, as well as connecting us with fellow members.
Quickly fading are the days when your aerobics or cycling instructor faced you and shouted out what’s on tap. Today, they’re just as likely to be your virtual tour guide as well as your fitness leader. Giant digital screens transport gym-goers to digital destinations that move along with them as they exercise. Sound and color cue you to change your exertion, while informative data streams on the monitors tell you how you’re doing. The interaction doesn’t stop there. Sharing is caring, so your personal heartrate is up there on the screen along with anyone else who has a connected pulse monitor. It’s all about motivation. The solo act of suffering along on your elliptical or treadmill now has the option to compete against others as you move through your virtual route. That fellow exerciser might be on the machine right next to you, or in another city. It’s all about keeping you motivated.
Your digital personal trainer
Ask the average member what they like least about personal trainers and they’ll tell you it’s the expense. No one argues that having someone plot shape an optimal workout for them isn’t valuable—but often this is a significant cost on top of a membership payment. Some may need that in-your-face coaxing to stick with the workout, but most people just want a way to track and validate their exercise regime. To meet this need, human personal trainers are being joined and augmented by digital displays throughout fitness centers. These digital signage boards can act like a combination between a concierge and a personal training expert. Members tap in their information and these resources display individualized fitness plans.
Personalized training used to require personal trainers. It was a luxury most everyone wanted, but not all could afford. Technology in the form of interactive digital displays is removing that luxury status, while at the same time creating massive value for the fitness centers and health clubs investing in it.
Personalization and health-related information stays in front of exercisers. It’s a way for owners to deepen branding and cross-sell other services. Safety increases, too. Welcome to the age where a digital personal trainer not only tells you which machine you’ll move to next, but where it is and how to use it. Just about the only thing they can’t do is embarrass you into doing those last few sit-ups … yet.