Let’s be honest for a while Virtual Fitness. For most of us, the only workout we have ever done is walking to the kitchen to get some butter for our popcorn or pour some salsa for nachos. However, the onset of the global pandemic has been an eye-opener for a lot of us. Bringing out the complications associated with a sedentary lifestyle, showed us how important it is to be fit and healthy to fight contagious diseases and stay active throughout the day. It was more like an alarm that went off just at the right time to remind people to take care of their body and give the attention it deserves.
Even after the sudden epiphany, what we couldn’t do was hit the gym or go to the nearest activity club to get a formal introduction to fitness through a personal trainer because of lockdown restrictions.
In such instances, what has been a savior is virtual fitness. From the comfort of our homes with the help of a device and an internet connection, we could take a small step towards a better and a healthier lifestyle through online fitness.
From the wearable devices we have to the virtual fitness apps, everything has come together to empower us with the necessary resources, information, and insights we needed to take charge of our body.
As more people wake up to the importance of fitness and working out daily, more people are going to opt for on-demand fitness apps, trainer aggregator apps, and more to start their respective journeys. From a business perspective, this is an excellent opportunity to capitalize on the current change in consumer behavior and ride the wave.
That’s why we felt we had to write and share some insights on the pros and cons of virtual fitness to help you develop an airtight app. So, for those of you eyeing to build a virtual fitness app, this write-up will give you a customer-first perspective on developing an airtight fitness app that will sell in your respective market.
Let’s get started.
The Online Fitness Market
Like we mentioned, online fitness is the current rage among a major chunk of the population today. The market is just ripe for new ventures to tap into this space and deliver a quality fitness app people would love to come back to every day. Before the pandemic, the market value of online fitness was close to $6bn. However, experts reveal that after the pandemic, the value is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 33.1%, taking the value to around $59bn by the year 2027.
With that said, fitness tracking app development shouldn’t be linear like how it mostly is today. People are looking for wholesome experiences, where all aspects of fitness and a healthy lifestyle could be accessed from one single place.
That’s why fitness apps that have elements or modules for diet, fitness consultation, fitness tracking through wearables, gamification, motivation, real-time and daily reports and more are inevitable when developing a fitness app.
To understand what makes an app enriching and engaging, it’s important to understand what people go through with online fitness every single day. Here’s a quick compilation of the pros and cons of virtual fitness for you to get started with ideas.
The Pros Of Virtual Fitness
Time And Convenience
One of the major hurdles people face with regular fitness programs is dedicating time for fitness after coming back from work. They have to come back home, change to their gym or activity-based clothing and head to the nearest center, and indulge in their fitness activities. Just the thought of the chores involved in this makes people lose their motivation.
However, this is not the case with virtual fitness as people don’t have to step outside at all. With people even working from their home, flexibility has set in with respect to the time they could dedicate to exercising and working out. They could take a quick few minutes off between their meetings to work out or dedicate an hour during lunch for their activities.
All they need is an app and they could get started in no time. This helps people stick to their programs and sustain themselves in their fitness journey.
With virtual fitness apps, it is all about personalization. Several apps take in initial inputs about their users on their health conditions, lifestyle choices, food and diet and more and create a very personalized chart for their workouts and physical activities.
Some apps even go the extra mile and come up with charts with activities that their users are more interested in.
For instance, an app could include swimming to a user and include cycling to another for cardio-based on their interests. The whole point being retention. When people do what they like or are interested in, they are less likely to drop out of doing them.
Gyms and fitness clubs have always been expensive affairs. However, virtual fitness apps are rewriting conventions with their pricing strategies.
There are free trial options, 100% money refund policies if users don’t find apps useful, subscription-based models, referral programs, personalized deals and discounts for annual or semi-annual memberships, and more.
Private And Comfortable
This one is for the introverts out there, who want to work out and be active but simply don’t want to go to places where people gather at once.
Especially for activities like Zumba, aerobics, capoeira, and more where shedding inhibitions come first before shedding fat, virtual fitness apps offer convenience by making them workout from the comfort of their homes.
The Cons Of Virtual Fitness
Credibility Of Trainers
With everything being virtual, it is hard to ensure the credibility of our trainers and those who provide fitness content to us. Diet and nutrition are very niche segments that demand authority and expert opinions. With a virtual wall between users and trainers or consultants, it is difficult to tell who is a qualified expert and who is a wannabe sticking to gimmicks to sell their courses.
We only have to trust the credibility of the app we use to assume they would have conducted background checks before onboarding experts.
Self-Paced And Autonomous
The very fact that nobody is watching is also a shortcoming with respect to virtual fitness. When it all boils down to our motivation, chances are that we might stop our fitness journeys midway because there is no pressure whatsoever.
As humans, we primarily need a tribe to associate with and a leader who could push and pull us to keep us consistent. With virtual fitness solutions lacking both, we can hardly ensure we continue in our fitness journey through statistics and reports.
Also, the risks of injuries during intense workouts are high. In such cases, a trainer or an expert nearby would help us deal better with bruises or other serious complications.
Everything comes with tons of options today. Feeling hungry? There are hundreds of delicacies waiting to be ordered. Looking for an ideal television? There are myriads of models available.
When it comes to fitness, there are options as well – options in terms of resources, trainers, classes, activities, and more. When posed with so many choices, we end up making no decision at the end of the day. Decision paralysis sets in, ultimately making us lose the motivation to get started with our fitness journey.
If you notice, there are lots to learn from the pros and cons of virtual fitness and implement in our fitness app development project. Here’s a quick guide to help you get a better idea.
- Don’t give users too many options. Personalize them based on their requirements and command your users to start with their journey like how a personal trainer would do.
- Give faces to your trainers, consultants, nutritionists, dieticians, instructors, and others. Have separate profile pages for them with their credentials, qualifications, experience, verified badges, photos, and more, and make them accessible for one-to-one discussions and reach outs.
- Encourage people to leave reviews of programs or classes on your app so it breaks the hesitation others would have when making a decision.
- Give people an opportunity to have one or two instructor-led classes twice a week and don’t just stick to recorded videos or sessions. This will help in user retention.
- Personalize pricing for every user so they find immediate value in their investment.
So, these were the pros and cons of virtual fitness and some takeaways for your app development projects. Implement them and carve a space for your brand in the coming weeks and months. With the market conditions being ideal for fitness apps, we believe you would take a user-first approach in developing your app and delivering a solution that they would find helpful.