Is Online Fitness Industry in for Long Haul or is it a Fad?

This column is authored by Rajiv Ambat Menon, Co-Founder, GetSetGo Fitness

online fitnessAlmost all the markets that were highly fragmented and disorganised have recently been going through some kind of consolidation and evolution – thanks to technology and more specifically ‘Internet’. The Internet has burrowed so deeply into our social fabric, today many companies in the B2C segment from lingerie to furniture, sell their goods and services online.

Health & Fitness industry is yet another segment that has been witnessing such an evolution. In the past 2-3 years, Health & Fitness industry in India has been going through a sea change with the advent of marketplace models of gyms, Zumba classes, fitness coaches etc. India, with its nearly 1.4 billion people and its unique demographic proposition definitely offers a sea of opportunity in the fitness space – especially with the burgeoning per-capita income, rapid urbanisation, sedentary lifestyle coupled with improper nutrition and associated lifestyle diseases! No wonder, India is already the diabetes capital of the world with nearly 60 million diabetic population according to the World Health Organisation’s report

A recent phenomenon hence has been the shift in the perception of common man towards Preventive Healthcare, of which fitness forms an integral part. The massive Indian market with a dollar value of nearly $35 bn has been growing at a phenomenal 20% CAGR, for the past few years (PWC Research Report).

In today’s busy life, with access to worldwide web at fingertips, the online fitness has a lot to offer and is here to stay for a long haul

The great power of the internet is that it allows people who do not know each other but of shared interest, to connect with each other surpassing geographic boundaries. A community of such sort built online, helps people engage and discuss their issues amongst themselves and also seek solutions to their problems.

GetSetGo Fitness as an online fitness company is deeply rooted in it being an engagement company too.. and what better mechanism to engage people, other than through online communities!

The above question asked by one of the community members in our Facebook group itself is a testimony to how can an online, community and engagement driven fitness solution can make a difference to people’s life.

How is online consulting different from hiring a PT at your Gym?

Straight to the point – 2 reasons!

  •    The world wide web has made the world a global village in its true sense. The ability to reach out to your fitness coach and clarify the queries over emails and scheduled phone calls makes one’s fitness regimen a lot more personalised and customised, even if you are not meeting your coach in person. Fitness is a lifestyle re-orientation and it requires, time and effort apart from being consistent. You are better off with a coach whom you can reach out to, in spite of your geographic location as against a nutrition expert you meet perhaps once in a month or two, even if in the same city as yours!
  • Over the several years, the fitness industry has been infested with spurious products and services with weight loss pills, bands and magic potion; no wonder many looks at such services with apprehension (Ref – Above image). An online service could implement strict quality control measures in the quality of coaches, advice etc. The technology systems if used wisely could enable seamless scale without compromising on the quality of services

While the Personal Trainers in the Gym, are reasonably good at the bio-mechanics and can help you with the right form and technique of your workouts, they lack knowledge in nutrition and diet planning. It is very important to plan the total calorie intake and also how these calories are apportioned across the basic macro-nutrients to achieve results – especially during a fat loss or a muscle gain regimen.

Further, in-depth understanding of nutrition science is very important especially for clients with lifestyle disorders such as insulin sensitivity, PCOS, thyroid related disorders etc.

With the advent of internet technology, an online fitness company could even provide exercises and workout videos, explaining the right form and technique!

If fitness as a service is provided online with reasonable flexibility and personalisation, along with accountability and definitive results; fitness and health is going to be next socio-economic boom that the country is going to witness.

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