Health clubs, well aware that the fitness needs of people in their youth, 30s 40s and upwards differ greatly, will be offering more age-appropriate workouts in 2011.
This the prediction of the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association), the global fitness trade organization. which also forecasts that group exercise classes, both traditional and novel, will continue their upswing in 2011, as will personal training, sports-specific workouts and wellness programing.
Clubs are being very specific to their demographic market,” said IHRSA spokeswoman Meredith Poppler “They are realizing they can’t be one-size-fits-all.”
Many clubs and trainers will ride the silver tsunami of baby boomers, the oldest of whom will turn 65 this year, with programmes tailored to the fitness needs of older adults.
“Baby boomers are obviously the fastest growing market for operators across the board,” said Poppler. “They have more free time, and in many cases, more funds.”
The second fastest growing demographic is, more surprisingly, children of ages 6 to 17.
“Youth programing is hot topic,” said Poppler. “Obesity is a problem all over the world.”
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years and family-oriented clubs are programing everything from fitness-oriented play groups to sports specific training to curb the epidemic.
“Group exercise was actually on the decline in late 90s,” Poppler said of another trend. “Gyms were dismantling their aerobics rooms. But it’s definitely back on the rise now due to better programing.”
Latin and/or choreographed dance-type exercise, such as Zumba, or cardio striptease, are red hot, according to Poppler, because “it’s new and different and fun and it doesn’t feel like exercise.”
Bootcamp, group cycling and strength classes are also very popular, along with cross-training classes for sports such as tennis, triathlon and skiing.
The fitness and leisure industry is demand-driven and recreation professionals must be prepared to market and deliver a wide range of leisure opportunities to serve the boomer generation.
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