Gyms are not a recent phenomenon: if you think that it is just a place linked to vain and obese at fault you are wrong. The 'gymnasium' was the ancient Greek space that housed the physical exercises and training of athletes. The first gym in the form we know came out in the middle of the last century, with a point of no return: the creation of the first working treadmill, in the 60s, which allowed the first ardiemntosi to start running in all weather conditions. .
Without this indispensable premise and waiting to go into the forecast of the near future, here is the state of the art of gyms.
Today the fitness and wellness industry is one of the most profitable: between spas, gyms and various centers there are more than 10 million Italians at stake, with a turnover of nearly 14 billion euros. Despite the pangs of the crisis and a wave of increases (in some cases up to 20%), the recall of the muscle holds up with an essentially unchanged number of registrations. Mind you, not all of them work seriously and to tell the truth most of the members ruminate empty and then get tired, but this is a fact indicative of a principle: the number of people willing to invest in physical health, even if there are excellent free alternatives (run outdoors! Take a bike!)
The phenomenon is not only Italian: all over the world we are witnessing a continuous expansion (especially in Latin America, Germany and China) with a constant increase in demand. The key role in this trend is played by diversification, with entire gyms aimed at women and 'mini' gyms integrated almost everywhere in the urban fabric. What will happen next?
Where there is health there is home
For years, gym equipment has had great diffusion and low prices, but the phenomenon of the 'home' gym has always been reduced compared to that of the traditional center. This month Nike e Microsoft have started a training project based on Kinect, the hands-free entertainment device thanks to a system of motion sensors: it will allow you to start physical programs to do at home without equipment (bending, jumping and other exercises) and the possibility of competing and competing with opponents connected to the network. This is obviously a solution that will be ideal for those who need to do a light exercise.
And then there is a whole plethora of pedometers, gadgets (even waterproof ones) and mobile apps that keep track of everything, from speed to covered route, passing through calories: think of Runtastic, for example, a mobile program that acts as a 'virtual coach' and which has recently extended its functions to physical exercises (previously it was only dedicated to jogging) to be practiced indoors.
Yet there remains an irrepressible human desire to be social animals (fortunately): people like to meet and do something together. It is clear that technology offers and will always offer an almost boundless range of possibilities for those who want to take care of their body: yet, pending a prediction on the future, the social aspect must also be taken into account. The solitary practice of the gym will hardly replace the 'social' and collective one.
Let's try to imagine:
A glimpse into the future
One of the factors to consider when making a prediction is this: Are we sure that the home gym and the outdoor gym are mutually exclusive?
You can exercise indoors in the winter during the week, and you can enjoy a nice Saturday afternoon running around outdoors: in short, you can explore both worlds. And this is a key point, too. Gyms could consider opening a bridge to the digital world. Gym equipment could record our results on mobile apps, and we could continue outdoors with sessions that started indoors.
A matter of a few years, the time to find an important standard (Runtastic could become one, after all) and it will be possible to start running in the woods, go home and do another half hour of walking on your treadmill while the tv sends us images of the place we passed through outdoors. There may be special consoles or applications that allow us to confront at home with personal trainers who will follow us from a distance from the screen. Connectivity and Cloud will start to do their part.
There is a gym in California which can be accessed by scanning fingerprints, almost totally devoid of instructors (who guide the 'athletes' through large television screens also crossed by special personalized playlists for each user). Inside the structure, everything you see around can be purchased simply by scanning a QR Code placed next to drinks, supplements, products.
Very little staff. Maximum flexibility.
The model will be able to evolve into a 24-hour gym, with authorized access and many surveillance cameras, which can be entered even once, as well as over a longer period and by subscription. This system will reduce operating costs and increase users, allowing the use of the facilities to be adapted to any personal need or expectation. The tools will 'dialogue' with our mobile devices (I am thinking of smartwatches) to remember our performance and report records and improvements to us.
The gym of the future: connected, automatic, open.