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How Global Wellness Trends Will Impact The Future Of Fitness


If our industry were to pick just one fitness topic to talk about in 2023, it would be about what global wellness trends will create the biggest impact on fitness. Wellness is a $1.5 trillion(USD) market globally, according to McKinsey research, and will continue to grow by 5–10% a year.

We’re seeing evidence of that growth daily, as wellness trends such as recovery, sleep and stress management, mindfulness, and biohacking continue to gain traction. Biohacking refers to making incremental changes to your body, diet, and lifestyle to improve your health and well-being. Some changes might include tweaking your diet or exercise program, adding more mindfulness practices to your life, or using wearable fitness tracking devices.

Countless devices and wearables have emerged to track activity, sleep, and nutrition and more. Fitness providers, from gyms and health clubs to corporate wellness providers and hotels, are working to meet this new demand with tailored products, services, and advice.

What’s more interesting is how hard it is to identify and keep track of the many emerging wellness trends that continue to unfold beneath the broad umbrella term of “wellness.” You must be able to identify the positive long-term opportunities for your fitness concept and implement them quickly.

Who better to shine a light on these trends and opportunities than the Global Wellness Summit (GWS). Their annual Global Wellness Trends Report is compulsory reading for all those working in the increasingly convergent health, fitness and wellness sectors. The 2023 report was released in January and available for purchase here.


How global Wellness Trends Are Shifting Fast

In the 2023 GWS Trends report, the food for thought begins as early as the preface.

As the authors observe: “Because the world opened with such a bang in 2022 with people rushing to return to life, to people, to travel, and to real-world wellness experiences, in 2023 we can base the trends on some actual observation and evidence instead of theorizing a ‘post-pandemic’ wellness consumer and market.

The 2023 GWS trends report revealed that big wellness changes are here and they’re real, but even they were surprised by the wellness momentum.

Particularly “extraordinary” is just how profoundly consumers have changed their perception of what ‘true wellness’ is. Consumers now seek more science, they’re less selfish (more concerned about each other and the planet), and they want solutions that are science based, meaningful and really work.

So what does this mean for health and fitness providers? What are the wellness trends that will shape our products and services in 2023?

In 12 powerful chapters, the Global Wellness Trends Report outlines 12 fascinating themes. They are more significant because they don’t even feel like trends, but movements.

Some are admittedly beyond the remit of most health and fitness providers: we’re talking things like the merger of Wellness + Cities, which explores opportunities to rethink urban infrastructure along wellness lines. GWS also discusses the merger of Wellness + Governments where the shift is towards legislation to improve wellness which results in alleviating the crippling societal and economic costs of unwellness.


virtual fitness for global wellness trends


Top Global Wellness Trends Impacting Fitness

Yet there are numerous wellness trends within the report that have direct relevance for fitness providers, from health clubs to hotels to those offering corporate workplace wellness. Here, we dive into our top trends.


1. Fitness Centers And The Social Connection

Let’s start at the top, with a wellness trend that’s resoundingly relevant across the fitness sector and, in particular, for gyms and health clubs.

The Wellness + Gathering topic describes how ‘Wellness resulted from the loneliness epidemic. The biggest wellness trend is the development of new spaces and experiences that bring people together in real life, creatively and with intention. Social connection is the burning center of the concept.”

Why? Because with remote work, people now need to socialize and belong.

Of course, this is what we’ve already seen in health clubs the world over. This post-pandemic world is still dominated by hybrid workers. Now fitness members have returned not only for the facilities, but for the long-missed social interaction and human contact.

It’s why group exercise studios in particular have been packed because of the need to be among like-minded people. It’s also why the demand for virtual group fitness has soared as clubs seek to cost-effectively meet this demand.

Health clubs must continue to build on this powerful wellness trend by reinforcing a sense of community and social connection and embracing the very fact that they are health and wellness hubs.


2. the workplace wellness revolution

New opportunities exist for fitness providers for corporate wellness in the workplace now.

Wellness + Workplace is unquestionably a focus for many businesses now. According to GWS, “Workplace Wellness is finally starting to mean something. Employees are frustrated and have mental health concerns. Remote work has contributed to ‘workplace wellness’ (finally) moving from a false promise to a meaningful plan of action”.

This is the opportunity for traditional fitness providers to come in and deliver programs, facilities, and services for employees in need. But with remote work here to stay, it’s also where technology has a huge role to play. For example, Wexer’s technology provides an extensive library of wellness and fitness to provide to employees delivered virtually via recorded or live streaming, as well as availabe on digital devices for on-demand services. Now employers must be able to address the physical and mental health of employees by having access to world-class content at any time of the day (or night), wherever they may be.

The GWS verdict: “The workplace wellness reform is well underway, and it’s set to change everything, from how we connect with co-workers to what we look for in a job.”

3. New Opportunities For Hotel Fitness Offerings

The other big trend GWS identified is Wellness + Sports, where they address new business models for hospitality.

The GWS report explains, “Savvy hospitality brands are responding to demands from wellness-focused clients looking beyond the basement gym, in search of pro-athlete-level equipment, fitness classes and wellness programming, whenever and wherever they travel. Some hotel brands are even creating facilities that cater to entire amateur or professional sports teams, expanding the function of the hotel and ensuring professional quality for the rest of us.

“We predict businesses that support this trend will become the go-to brands for future generations.”

It’s about the quality and scope of the physical provision, of course. But it’s also, as noted above, about “fitness classes and wellness programming” and that all-important on-demand availability “whenever and wherever the consumer wants it.”

In the 24/7 environment of a hotel, technology is key to delivering these experiences to a consistently high standard. That might mean workout and wellness content made available through a channel on guestroom TVs, perhaps with some small pieces of fitness kit on-hand in the room or available to check out at the front desk. It might mean the providing fitness or wellness content via online or a mobile app for the duration of a guest’s stay. It might mean scheduled or on-demand virtual classes in the fitness space.

Whatever the requirements, with Wexer, your guests enjoy an unparalleled fitness and wellness content library any time they want it delivered a variety of ways. Each session is led by world experts, plus there’s an option to upload your own signature content too. Everything is delivered via the most robust virtual and digital platform on the market for a service you and your guests can rely on.


4. Consumers Want Science Based Products That Work

And let’s not forget the crucial observation from the preface of the Global Wellness Trends Report that consumers now want science-backed solutions.

Where 2019 was “the highwater mark of a hyper-consumerist, product-flooded wellness market, with so many zany wellness trends-a-minute often sorely lacking evidence,” the post-pandemic consumer is actively seeking out products that work.

The evidence that physical activity and fitness benefits physical, mental, and emotional health is undisputed. Our challenge in the fitness industry is to deliver the long-term solution to help improve wellness based on scientific evidence. The pandemic has benefited our industry, as consumers today are focused on wellness and are more willing than ever to listen.


5. Utilize Consumer Data

So what more can we do, beyond the reams of compelling research that already exists?

One thing we must certainly do is look inward to the large volumes of data already being gathered within our facilities and through our customers’ devices. It goes back to using that data to develop a comprehensive program of professional and science-based advice for consumers. Consumers are now overwhelmed with wellness data. In their phones alone, they carry more data than a medical doctor who used to be the only one to have access to only a decade ago. Consumers don’t know what to do with all the data.

As fitness providers, we don’t have to try to deliver every aspect of a wellness offering. There are specialist providers and technology that will do a better job in some areas than we could ever hope to achieve. But we can, and should, understand where the latest wellness trends intersect. And we can, and should, be able to analyse and interpret all the data, helping our customers to optimise their wellness under our expert guidance and programming.


Wexer Delivers Fitness Content To Address Global Wellness Trends

Wellness is certainly an area we’ve doubled down on at Wexer, with a wealth of new content launching on our platform in 2022. We now have everything from a dedicated Breathe channel, Stretch and Recover category, meditation sessions, Sleep Stories by Sweat Factor, an ever-expanding array of mind-body classes, and even wellness breaks with the Office Fit by Sweat Factor.

The uptake has been phenomenal and we’ll continue to place a strong emphasis on wellness and fitness content in 2023, making the development of this category a key focus of our content strategy.

Find out how Wexer’s unparalleled technology and content library can help you implement these trends by contacting us at info@wexer.com



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