Mr. Green

Spas, Health & Fitness

Armed & Ready: Fitness Trends Affecting Your Business in 2010

By Bryan Green, President & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products

The New Year is alive and kicking, and I wanted to provide an overview of the key trends that are going to influence the business of fitness in 2010. While it may seem like the "same old story," the challenges we face due to our current economy will continue to a have a significant impact on all of us. Furthermore, the lifestyles of active-minded Americans continue to be action-packed, making time a luxury that most of us can not afford to waste. These two themes will play prominent roles, influencing the business of fitness and the choices that hospitality-based fitness center owners and managers make throughout the year.

Consumers will be looking to manage their fitness regimens, both at home and on the road, with time and money in mind. Tighter budgets and hectic schedules will undoubtedly force cost-effective and time-efficient workout alternatives to the forefront. A trend toward non-traditional or "alternative" fitness programming will continue. And in terms of demographics, we will see a growing emphasis among aging adults who are consciously increasing activity and exercise, in order to maintain and extend an active healthy lifestyle.

So with that, let's take a deeper dive into the specific fitness trends the hospitality industry needs to be reckoning with in 2010:

Workouts with Cost in Mind

The impact of the economy continues to affect the choices of fitness enthusiasts and health clubs alike. This is being realized within the mainstream health and fitness industry. Health clubs and independent gyms are already altering programming and business models, often times creating fee-based a-la-carte program options to better serve the needs of the cost-conscious member. In hospitality, hotels and resorts need to remain relevant and recognize that travelers believe that the price they pay for their room INCLUDES a great fitness amenity. In larger hotel- or resort-based spas that charge supplemental fees, the exercise experience needs to be worth the price of admission. If you're charging for fitness, you'd better deliver. Coming up short in this area will quickly put you at risk of upsetting your valued guests and creating substantial customer satisfaction and churn issues.

Time-Efficient Workouts for the Time-Pressured American

Most of us in the industry are strapped for time. We are working in the business of fitness and ironically finding it difficult to carve out time for workouts of our own. If this is the case for us, it's certainly the case for our customers. To address this dilemma, the fitness industry continues to create shorter, yet higher-intensity workouts that are more appealing to those with busy schedules. These time-efficient alternatives provide significant fitness rewards within a minimal investment of time. Functional training methods have emerged from this need for time-efficient alternatives, because functional training exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing individuals to accomplish a broader set of fitness goals with fewer exercises. Travelers are no exception. For this reason, hotel and resort fitness managers should consider introducing or increasing the availability of functional fitness products and machines. Another important measure is in making sure guests have enough of the right equipment to efficiently accomplish their goals without having to wait for equipment to be available during peak periods. Circuit training and depth in cardiovascular equipment are the keys here.

Exergaming

Exergames will continue to climb in popularity. Gaming-based fitness alternatives like Wii Fit, and virtual-reality technologies have forced the fitness industry to make training entertaining. These innovations and, most importantly, an expectation amongst consumers for these more entertaining alternatives, are here to stay. Companies such as Trixter have created innovative ways for guests to have lots of fun while they get their workout in between meetings or pool time. Particularly for premium hotels and resorts, where luxury and innovation is a staple of the brand experience, these entertainment-focused fitness alternatives need to be considered before you fall behind the times.

Active Seniors- An Important Focus

Growing numbers of boomers recognize the multitude of benefits that come along with regular exercise participation. This reality is only increasing the segment of fitness-minded guests and creating an even-greater demand for fitness services that cater to them. Therefore, it's important to not only be aware of the increased demand from this demographic, but most importantly to insure relevancy within the specific equipment offering. Companies such as Scifit and Star Trac have produced active-adult-friendly equipment with lower step heights and features particularly friendly to the aging population.

Functional Training Workouts

Functional training is designed to enhance our capabilities and efficiency in performing the movements and actions that dominate or day-to-day lives. It represents a fundamental shift away from fitness for purely aesthetic improvements, and toward improving our ability to perform effectively in our daily physical lives. As I mentioned previously, most functional training mechanisms not only target specific muscle groups, but also engage our core and the stabilizing muscles that provide critical support to the major muscle groups. So we effectively achieve more benefits from each specific functional training exercise, than that which conventional muscle-group-specific exercise methods offer. There are different types of functional training modalities, including user-defined, cable-based equipment and sports-specific workouts such as boxing and mixed-martial arts which are growing quickly in popularity. However, balance is key here. The good news is that less is often more, in terms of the variety of benefits that functional training equipment offers. But you'll need to consider space when considering functional training equipment. With functional fitness methods typically requiring and greater degree of lateral movement, you'll need to account for this necessary space beyond the footprint of the equipment itself.

New Technology = New Tools

Technology is continuing to infiltrate the fitness world. Major manufacturers are creating integrated systems that allow your guests the ability to store their workout information while on the road and upload it to their computers when back at home. Staying connected in life and with one's fitness regimen is certainly the trend, and offering your guests such an experience will leave an impression and keep them coming back for more. We are seeing a rapidly increasing amount of online and virtual training programs that provide customized training regimens through mobile phones and other hand-held entertainment devices. These downloadable programs are providing your guests access to customized guidance whether at home or while they're traveling regardless of the specific fitness environment.

These are the trends in 2010 that fitness professionals need to be considering and reacting to in an effort to remain current, relevant and successful with today's active-minded consumers. I highly recommend a conscious effort to incorporate some level of attention to each of these trends within your hotel- or resort-based fitness amenities. Like anything else in business, or in life, the early birds enjoy the fruits, while the late birds get the scraps left behind.

Bryan Green is a fitness expert and advisor to core & non-traditional businesses alike in industries including hospitality, multi-family housing, corporations, and Academic institutions. Mr. Green serves as President and CEO of Advantage Fitness Products (AFP), a leading provider of innovative fitness and wellness-based solutions for commercial facilities worldwide and specialized residential environments. AFP offers expertise across multiple facets of the health & fitness industry, including facility design, equipment supply, and ongoing support. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Miami, New York, San Francisco, Phoenix, & Las Vegas. Mr. Green also serves on the Editorial Board for Fitness On-Site Magazine, and advisory boards for leading industry equipment and content providers TechnoGym, Star Trac, & Netpulse. Mr. Green can be contacted at 310-559-9949 Ext: 110 or bgreen@afproducts.com Extended Bio...

HotelExecutive.com retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.com.

Receive our daily newsletter with the latest breaking news and hotel management best practices.
Hotel Business Review on Facebook
RESOURCE CENTER - SEARCH ARCHIVES
General Search:

MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Sandy Asch

Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and especially Millennials, who now make up more than 50 percent of the workforce, want a sense of purpose at work. It’s clear that today’s workforce is increasingly concerned with doing good. People are tired of just showing up every day to perform a job. They want lasting fulfillment at home and at work. In his book, Drive, Daniel H. Pink suggests that we are in a time where individual desire to have a positive impact in the world often ranks higher than pay scale when selecting a job. Millennials, in particular, want to feel like their work has real purpose, and they want to be home for dinner. READ MORE

Whitney Martin

As new properties explode on the scene and traveler choices abound, hotels know they have to pull out all the stops to make every guest experience a positive one. Are staff friendly are courteous? Are rooms clean? Are meals excellent? Are bills accurate? We rely on our employees to execute their jobs, not just correctly, but with enthusiasm. And, if they don’t, business suffers. We do our best to hire good people (in a competitive market), we give them a little training, and then we HOPE they create raving fans. Ever heard the expression “hope is not a strategy”? READ MORE

Joyce Gioia

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from front line housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what’s working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties. READ MORE

Paul Feeney

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that close to 3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs a couple of years ago, a 17% increase from the previous year, proving that opportunities for employees are abundant and we have shifted back to a candidate-driven marketplace. Why is this important? Employee retention should always be of utmost importance, but requires awareness as to why employees leave to begin with. Numerous statistics show that the #1 reason people quit their jobs is a disconnect or poor relationship with their boss or immediate supervisor or manager. This shows that turnover of staff is mostly a manager issue. READ MORE

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.