Amaresh Ojha, Business Head, RoundGlass Gympik

An IIM Bangalore alumnus, Amaresh Ojha is a renowned name in the Indian fitness industry. Driven by his passion for fitness and its implications in urban life, Amaresh founded Gympik in 2013 with an aim to aid the discovery process of fitness solutions for end users. His vision to offer value to customers has led him to develop an integrated fitness ecosystem that revolutionises the way users discover ways of leading healthy and fit lives. RoundGlass Gympik has been able to lead this fragmented space by leveraging technology and co-creating value for its affiliates by facilitating direct interactions between fitness providers and seekers. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the fitness landscape and how. We saw fitness enthusiasts working out from the comfort of their homes. Gym trainers and yoga coaches, on the other hand, drove online workshops and training sessions actively. Even the laid-back crowd was seen ordering fitness accessories and enrolling themselves in fitness programs over the internet to boost immunity. In a nutshell, the viral outbreak witnessed the industry-wide adoption of technology to adapt to the new normal and keep the fitness machinery whirring.

Although gyms and fitness studios have reopened their doors this year following the vaccination drives, the trend of home fitness and digital workouts is not going to fade anytime soon. Technology – as it assures convenience, precision, and a choice to work out from anywhere – will continue to personalise fitness experiences in the years to come. Likewise, gyms are expected to incorporate AI-driven tools and apps that will provide customised and effective fitness routines to their customers. With this backdrop, let’s look at five innovative AI trends that are going to redefine fitness experience in 2022 and beyond:

Smart wearables

Popularized in 2016, wearables have been massively contributing to the growth of the global digital fitness industry. Beginning with smartwatches designed to monitor the user’s heart rates and help them time their exercise sessions, wearables today have expanded in the range of options and use cases. For instance, Intelligent clothing or e-textile, a type of advanced shirt, track pants, and shoes, is a recent addition to the smart wearables category. Equipped with AI and inertial sensors, these wearables can accurately generate data about temperature, calories, heart rate, posture, stride rate, and sleep. By offering a greater range of more accurate information to the users, the wearables-driven fitness economy aims to further empower people by understanding and training their bodies better.

Personalized high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

The most popular HIIT sessions involve sprinting and jogging in quick intervals to build endurance and stamina in the body. However, HIITs can be modified in a variety of ways ranging from intensity levels to time duration and number of workouts per week. What makes the HIIT regimen so popular with users is that it helps one achieve results in just a few weeks. The AI-driven personalisation in HIIT sessions can help fitness enthusiasts customize their workout routines to fit their goals, needs, and preferences. This kind of solution reduces the time needed for workouts, improves post-workout recovery, and ensures that one is doing enough exercise even when they are on the go.

Advanced fitness apps

Already a part of fitness circles, mobile apps that help one design their home workout timetable will see a surge in adoption going forward. Designed by sports scientists, these apps offer workout modules according to the preferences and goals of the user. For instance, people can choose their fitness goals, which muscle group they want to work on, how much time do they want to exercise, and so on. Taking these data points into consideration, the AI curates customized workout plans for the individuals while also connecting them with fellow trainees who are following a similar workout regime. Now, the advancements in tech and the miniaturisation of electronics are taking everything up a notch. The coming years will see the rise of advanced solutions that can monitor metabolic activities and vitals of the users. Such solutions will use these insights to create more accurate workout plans that deliver far better outcomes. 

Smart diet planner

While exercises and training are crucial for maintaining a fit and healthy body, the role of dietary and food habits cannot be undermined. That said, knowing what amount of nutrition one needs, and what food items should one include in their next meal can be difficult to assess and analyze. However, with an AI-based diet planning roadmap, fitness enthusiasts can both identify their food requirements and design their dietary routine according to their fitness goals.

Powered with data analytics, a smart diet planner recommends nutrition plans, ingredient-specific recipes, and weekly food maps from large sets of data available on types of food, body composition metrics, weight change rates, sleep patterns, and hunger, among others. Apart from suggesting new food behaviours, these apps also encourage users to share knowledge and experiences with others in the community.

Smart fitness tools as components of digital health care

Tackling health care in an age of data is one of the most significant challenges in the industry. Artificial intelligence technology has made it possible to manage vast amounts of data and make sense of them with greater ease. Since the quality of analytics is based on the quality of data, medical professionals can harness the data of an individual’s vitals and other information derived from smart fitness devices to aid in designing a more personalized and effective treatment algorithm. With AI, there are no limitations for exploring different health conditions with better accuracy. Since it can access any form of health information including genetic, clinical, and cognitive data, there is no opportunity to miss out on insights. Consequently, besides improving fitness outcomes, AI-based devices, wearables, and virtual platforms can also support the holistic wellness program by aiding the delivery of enhanced digital health care. 

According to a recent report, the fitness industry is expected to reach a stunning figure of US$23,127 million by 2024. From prioritizing personal fitness growth and goals to engaging with an online community, fitness enthusiasts are expected to actively use AI-based tools and devices that provide them with an immersive experience, customized diet plans, and reliable strategies. The future of fitness is increasingly tech-based. The question is: Will you sign up for this better, smarter, and much robust workout experience sooner… or later?

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