Continued growth in exercise industry expected with more home fitness options, personalized technology

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – Technology innovation and improvements have fitness professionals saying 2022 will be a year of continued growth in the industry.

Fitness no longer looks the same as it did even just ten years ago. Exercise science and technology have improved, and the pandemic expanded home-workout options.

Although the pandemic shut down gyms in 2020, that didn’t stop people from working out.

“I did a lot of walking outside actually,” said Bismarck resident Scott Westermeyer, who is now back working out in the gym.

Before the pandemic, working out from home might have meant limited instruction. Now, even as gym members returned, the workout-from-home idea has been embraced as a fitness supplement. Users are flocking to convenient, virtual classes that connect users socially and with real-time instruction. Gyms are adding virtual classes to their programming.

“You can be doing exactly what they are doing in the studio here at home. So that’s been something that’s been becoming pretty popular, especially during the pandemic, but that’s something we have been getting into as well,” said Jordan Morman, fitness manager at Proximal 50.

Instructors say both in-person training and home fitness are here to stay.

“It’s more about finding what works for you. If you can do everything you want to do at home, great. If you like coming to the gym, you know for a lot of people that’s a social thing as well, they like the community feel of being in the gym, that’s also great. I think they’re both going to be here,” added Morman.

The home-workout craze isn’t the only way people are now embracing their health. Fitness technology is allowing people to personalize training and diets to their body types.

“You know everyone’s bodies are different. Genetics play a big part in that,” said Callie Stein, a registered nurse at Proximal 50.

One piece of technology that’s being used in the fitness world is a DEXA scanner. Proximal 50′s DEXA scanner analyzes body composition. It allows people to move away from the scale and instead measure health and fitness progress more precisely.

“DEXA scan is a great way to start because we can repeat it in six months or 12 months. Maybe you don’t have any changes on the scale, but you have decreased your body fat percentage, or your visceral fat, or you have not only maintained muscle but even gained a little bit of muscle. And gaining even a little bit of muscle can help with our metabolism, in turn burning more fat. So, it is a great tool we like to use because sometimes people may not see changes on the scale, but they will notice how their clothes are fitting, and we can then give them concrete numbers in a follow-up,” said Stein.

Fitness professionals say in the future, we will likely see more tech, shorter workouts, and hybrid gym experiences persisting past the pandemic.

Last decade, a major question for exercise scientists was how exercise can better shape aging bodies and brains. Scientists say that movement of almost any kind and amount can positively change how people think and feel.

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