As the pandemic swept the world, medics and the government emphasized staying fit to fight the virus. A healthy diet, but also engaging in regular, brisk exercise and taking up sports like yoga and Pilates that involve breath work, were also recommended. These recommendations are still in force and people are advised to stay fit as a means of preparing for the virus. Infection can be more serious in cases where people are overweight and physically unfit, therefore staying in shape is believed to offer some protection.
It was also reported that increasing general fitness would have other health benefits that could reduce the strain on health services for other conditions.
As countries and communities locked down, people took up various forms of home fitness. Yoga, CrossFit, workouts, exercise classes via Zoom, and other social platforms – even virtual marathons and races took place with the use of home rowing, cycling, and running equipment.
While gyms and in-person fitness centres were forced to close or operate with tough restrictions, online, the exercise sector flourished. Quickly, instructors switched to offering online classes and streaming instruction 1-2-1. Fitness influencers posted videos and live streams, others offered special online subscriptions. This led to people stuck in the house, flocking to kit themselves out with the items they needed to keep fit at home. Yoga mats registered a big increase in sales and are projected to reach a sector value of $2.5 billion by 2025. Treadmills, rowing machines, and cycling machines were also in demand along with weights and turbo trainers. The majority of these items were ordered online and delivered to customers for use at home.
There was also an increase in the number of fitness apps being downloaded. Weforum noted a 46% increase in the download of fitness apps globally and the Fitness App Market research report said the market grew at around 21.30% throughout the whole year. These include apps with fitness plans and those that track the fitness and progress of the individual. Subscriptions to fitness webinars and channels also grew as people looked to the virtual world to motivate them and keep them in shape.
This meant that certain sectors of the sports industry boomed, much to many people’s surprise. As per Ig Prime Hedge Fund Trends, segments such as home fitness product manufacturing is one of the ones to watch, offering prime investment opportunities in the near future. In particular, those that focus on personal wellbeing will stand a better chance of success due to people taking more interest in their own health. Furthermore, smaller businesses are continuing to flourish online, as COVID sparked a social media movement in support of smaller and local companies. This is positive news for those thinking of expanding or setting up in sports in the next year.
Sectors to consider
If you are considering starting a fitness company in 2021, you need to pick your niche wisely. Remember that as the pandemic continues, many are on reduced incomes with significantly less disposable income. Additionally, the ‘buzz’ of getting fit at home may have worn off and many will have given up. That said, following the New Year, there is likely to be a surge of interest as people seek to shed the festive pounds.
It’s probably not wise to invest in any in-person businesses such as gyms or studios until we know how things will pan out over the next 12 months. Instead, shrewd investments include online classes and programmers, virtual coaching, and of course investment in creating products that can be used at home. People are on the lookout for low cost, good quality, and logistically easy products that they can use to train in their own spaces. Applications are always a good idea, particularly if they follow the subscription model.
Lastly, you could consider the sportswear sector. Not only is sportswear always in demand for sports and relaxation, but it is also ‘in fashion’ at the moment. This could be a prime opportunity to create stylish, multi-purposes sportswear that can be worn while working out, chilling, being at home, or out and about. Remember, the price point is key!