Fitness in the Metaverse
Virtual and augmented reality workouts will continue to make waves in the new year as more people seek out immersive fitness experiences.
VR and AR workouts like Supernatural, Holoball, and Thrill of the Fight are not only fun and engaging, but they’re making exercise more accessible for people with disabilities or mobility issues.
This year, we'll also see progress on devices like cutting-edge AR contact lenses, which could provide heads-up fitness displays during workouts. Mojo Vision is currently developing augmented reality contacts and is working with companies like Adidas, Trailforks, Wearable X, and 18 Birdies to figure out the best use cases and interfaces for this new tech.
IoT-Enabled Fitness Devices
Wearable technology like smartwatches and fitness trackers have been around for a while, but the next generation of wearables set to debut in 2023 will be even more advanced. The market for IoT-enabled health devices is expected to reach a value of $267 billion by 2023.
Wearables and sports apparel like smart shoes and socks can collect biometric data on body movement, distance traveled, muscle stretch, and heart rhythm to help people enhance and personalize their home workouts.
We’ll continue to see the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into fitness wearables in 2023. AI can enable wearables to provide more personalized and accurate recommendations and feedback, helping users optimize their workouts and achieve their fitness goals.
Gamified fitness uses video game-like elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and rewards to motivate and engage users.
There are many gamified fitness programs and apps available, including fitness trackers, that allow users to compete with friends and relatives and earn rewards for reaching goals.
eSports — a type of competitive gaming — are also growing in popularity, with professional teams and leagues cropping up all over the world. Look for tournaments that feature eSports like fighting games, strategy games, first-person shooters, and more.
Artificial intelligence-powered fitness apps can now provide customized workout recommendations based on an individual's physical and health levels, as well as personal fitness goals.
These recommendations may include the type of workout, level of difficulty, number of reps, or length of workout. AI-powered personal training apps like Gymfitty and ArtiFit offer smart workouts that adapt in real-time to the user's specific needs.
The emerging field of exercise and wellness genetics will also continue to expand in 2023. You can now get a DNA analysis that provides personalized health and fitness recommendations based on your specific genetic differences in metabolism, muscle mass, endurance response, and optimal diet type.
Millions of people invested in high-quality home fitness equipment during the pandemic, and the interest in working out at home has continued since then.
Advanced home fitness equipment now includes features like cameras, touch screens, motion sensors, and access to trainers and online classes.
Gyms and studios are also using a hybrid model to offer classes to people who want to choose whether to work out in person or at home.
Biohacking, a do-it-yourself biology practice aimed at improving health, performance, and well-being through strategic intervention, will continue to be popular in the new year.
For example, one form of biohacking called nutrigenomics focuses on how the food you eat interacts with your individual genes. Using this type of biohacking, people try to map out and optimize how different nutrients affect the way they think, feel, and behave.
More extreme biohackers modify their bodies using technology like magnets, chips, or computers embedded under their skin. This year, we’ll be seeing more biohackers finding ways to increase fitness using these implanted devices.
Another trend is the growing emphasis on holistic wellness and the importance of emotional and mental health.
As a result, we will likely see more fitness programs that focus on stress management, mindfulness, and nutrition coaching in addition to traditional workouts.
Fitness wearables can now track sleep patterns, stress levels, and other indicators of mental health, then provide personalized, holistic recommendations and resources to help people manage their individual issues.
The Experience Economy
As part of the experience economy, more fitness clubs are shifting from selling physical products to selling services and experiences. Companies are focusing on creating unique, meaningful, and memorable experiences for customers in order to stand out from their competition.
For example, Flywheel now offers competitive cycling experiences in their classes that feature stadium-style studios, leaderboards that enable you to compete with classmates, and the ability to customize your resistance and revolutions.
Orange Theory offers group classes in their in-person studios that feature OTbeat™, an exclusive heart rate monitoring technology that lets members see real-time data during their workouts.
Fitness for Older Generations
As the baby boomer generation ages, many companies are focusing on helping seniors stay fit. Virtual and augmented reality offers the possibility of working out from anywhere, at any level, as seniors’ bodies change and people face age or health-related limitations.
Smartwatches and wearables can also provide personalized workout recommendations and even send fitness and diet information to health providers. This can help healthcare practitioners coordinate care with virtual health monitoring.
We’re all short on time, and the busier we are, the less time we seem to have for working out.
One big trend we’ll see in 2023 is the continued popularity of shorter, optimized workouts and classes that are designed to be efficient and effective in a short amount of time.
These types of time-optimized fitness programs will include things like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training routines that combine strength and cardio exercises. Some time-optimized fitness programs also incorporate technology, like wearable fitness trackers or virtual reality workouts, to optimize workout efficiency.