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Entries in fitness trackers (11)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Peleton CEO Stresses Importance of Group Exercise Environment

Peleton CEO Stresses Importance of Group Exercise Environment
Boutique studios continue to grow in popularity among consumers, and some savvy health clubs are offering boutique-style classes to remain competitive. But boutique fitness has its limitations, such as location, price, and availability. In a recent interview in The New York Times, Peleton Co-founder and Chief Executive John Foley talks about how he hopes to solve those problems by providing users with a boutique experience in their own homes. “What the consumer wants, what is making people addicted to these classes, whether it’s yoga or boot camp or spin or high-intensity interval training or whatever, it’s the group environment,” he said. “It’s the other people. It’s the instructor. It’s the music. It’s the motivation.” 

Meet the IHRSA 2017 Keynote Speakers

A talent management guru, an internationally acclaimed branding expert, and an entrepreneur with an unlikely success story will keynote IHRSA 2017. This March, the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show returns to Los Angeles, CA, and will feature more than 100 education sessions taught by some of the most successful individuals in the health club industry. Here’s a preview of three dynamic keynote speakers who will set the tone. 

Fitness Trackers Might Be Detrimental to Weight Loss Efforts
Some people buy fitness trackers with the goal of losing weight—but perhaps they shouldn’t. A new study found that wearing a fitness tracker may undermine weight loss efforts. For the study, 470 people were put on a low-calorie diet and asked to exercise more. Soon, all started losing weight. After six months half the group began self-reporting their diet and exercise, while the other half were given fitness trackers to monitor their activity. After two years, both groups were equally active—but those with the fitness trackers lost less weight. "These technologies are focused on physical activity, like taking steps and getting your heart rate up," John Jakicic, a researcher of health and physical activity at the University of Pittsburgh and the lead author on the study, told NPR. "People would say, 'Oh, I exercised a lot today, now I can eat more.' And they might eat more than they otherwise would have."

IHRSA Generates Support for PHIT on Capitol Hill
(Click to enlarge)Several IHRSA members and staff, along with members of the PHIT Coalition, conducted a lobby day on Capitol Hill today to generate additional support for the PHIT Act. Members of the PHIT Coalition, co-chaired by IHRSA and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), met with members of the House and the Senate, asking them to co-sponsor the PHIT Act. Currently, PHIT has 101 bipartisan sponsors, with 88 from the House and 13 from the Senate. PHIT, the Personal Health Investment Today Act, would allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos and youth sports league fees. If passed, it would allow individuals to tap their pre-tax account up to $1,000 per year to cover these expenses—families would be granted up to $2,000. Read our full coverage of the PHIT Act lobby day.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity

Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity
A new holding company called Fitness and Lifestyle Group Pty Ltd (“FLG”) (funded from Quadrant Entities) has entered a binding agreement to purchase the Goodlife business in Australia. Chris Hadley, QPE executive chaiman and chairman of FLG, said, “we are delighted to join the team at Goodlife, the business fits our investment strategy of bringing together a great brand, strong management team, and culture, with industry growth opportunities. We intend to invest significant capital to further grow the business.” The acquisition by Quadrant is an exciting opportunity for Goodlife and testament to the successful business strategy led by Goodlife Health Clubs CEO, Greg Oliver, which has seen incredibly strong trends in member growth and retention over the past 18 months. Read the full press release on Goodlife Health Clubs. 

IHRSA Prepares for the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil in São Paulo

We’re gearing up to head south to the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil, Latin America’s largest fitness industry conference and trade show, held in São Paulo, Brazil, September 1-3. Since Brazil has been struggling with an economic recession and political instability—all on top of the Summer Olympic Games—much of this year’s event will focus on change and transformation in the industry. The program is designed for all types and sizes of clubs—from established clubs to those that are just starting out in the industry. The program provides educational opportunities in a variety of interactive formats: traditional seminars, how-to sessions, and best practices. IHRSA is committed to investing in Latin America, which, with 55,809 health clubs, has more clubs than any other region worldwide, according to the IHRSA Global Report 2016. The Brazilian health club industry is the largest in Latin America by far, with 31,809 clubs and nearly 8 million total members. Learn everything you need to know about IHRSA / Fitness Brasil. 

McDonalds Removes Fitness Tracker Toy from Happy Meals
In recent years McDonald’s has been trying to improve its unhealthy image—especially when it comes to Happy Meals. The fast food giant has been offering more nutritious options, allowing kids to swap fries for fruit and soda for water. But the chain suffered a major setback last week when it had to recall the fitness trackers that were distributed with Happy Meals because it was causing wrist irritation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The toy tracker began appearing in Happy Meals in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 9, and its removal from Happy Meals is voluntary, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said. “We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.”

Highlights from the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo

Earlier this month, IHRSA staff attended and exhibited at Canfitpro World Fitness Expo in Toronto, Canada—the largest fitness expo in Canada, attracting more than 16,000 fitness professionals, business owners, and consumers from all over the world. The Canadian Industry Forum—presented with the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC)—featured several topical discussions, including boutique fitness studios and the advance of technology. Read our full coverage of the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Legislators Attend #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair on Capitol Hill

U.S. Legislators Attend 3rd Annual #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair
IHRSA and the Congressional Fitness Caucus hosted the third annual #WhyGetActive Health Policy Fair on Capitol Hill this Thursday, gathering members of Congress to highlight national efforts and policies to promote physical activity. The day-long event featured interactive exhibits from IHRSA members and IHRSA allies, free body composition screenings, massages, and a group workout. “This is so, so important,” Rep. Ron Kind (WI) said in a speech during the fair. “As we know, we’ve got to change the culture in America, we’ve got to make it easy for more people to be more active. Basically, we have to make healthy choice the easy choice in peoples lives—that means not only physical activity, but nutrition.” Rep. Bob Dold (IL), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI), Carolos Cubelo (FL), Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR), and a number of congressional staff also attended.

Rep. Robert Dold (IL)

Social Media Might Be Behind Popularity of Inversion Yoga Poses
A growing number of yoga participants are striving to master inversion poses, according to The New York Times. The fixation could be caused by social media, where images of yogis doing handstands and other complex poses are popular. An analyst with market research firm IBISWorld said yoga poses lend themselves to showing off—a statement supported by Instagram search results, where the hashtag #yogaeverydamnday has more than five million posts, and #handstand and #handstands have over 400,000. “There’s a level of badassness to it,” Metta Murdaya, 41, told The Times. Murdaya, who has been working on her handstand for two years, said her inversion practice made her feel more confident, fearless, and focused. “Literally, you succeed because you refuse to fail.”

Running Boom Slows as Millennials Opt for Noncompetitive Fitness
After two decades of growth, the popularity of competitive running is starting to slow due to decreased participation from millennials,
The Wall Street Journal reports. The sport is traditionally dominated by young adults, but statistics show those aged 18 to 34 years old are choosing noncompetitive fitness over running. The number of footrace finishers decreased by 9% in 2015, according to Running USA. While the research group reported the sport reached an all-time peak of 19 million runners in 2013, it has since dropped to 17 million in 2015. “Of course, most runners don’t compete in marathons, half-marathons, 10Ks or 5Ks,” The Journal reports. “But the larger pool of noncompetitive runners also is shrinking—especially among millennials, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Overall, the number of adults who run 50 times a year or more declined 11% from 2013 to 2015.”

Fitness Trackers Move to Basketballs and Socks
Fitness trackers have evolved from the clip-on pedometer to the ubiquitous wristband. Now, The New York Times reports that the next iteration of fitness trackers is taking new forms. In the article, The Times details several fitness trackers that are embedded in basketballs, socks, and other unconventional items. The Wilson X Connected Basketball costs $199, and was created to track shots in real time to help players develop shooting skills. A sensor embedded inside the ball records made and missed shots, which it relays to an app. Sensoria’s Fitness Smart Socks, $199, feature textile sensors that transmit data to a mobile app via anklets that are connected to the socks. “As cumbersome as that sounds, the socks are comfortable and the anklets are unnoticeable and stay securely attached,” the reporter wrote. “When used with the Sensoria Fitness app, the socks produce a wealth of real-time feedback on cadence, foot landing, pace and speed (for instance, I found out that I landed on my heel too often when I ran).”


This Week In the Fitness Industry: Former Twitter CEO Announces Fitness Platform, SoulCycle Partners with Target

SoulCycle Partners with Target for 10-City Retail Tour, Apparel Collaboration
SoulCycle is teaming with retail chain Target to bring co-branded workout attire and cycling classes at select stores in 10 U.S. cities. “SoulCycle’s signature studio cycling classes are a rising trend—the 45-minute, high-intensity workouts (complete with candlelight and rocking music) have already captivated fitness enthusiasts in several U.S. cities,” said a Target press release. “Now, we’re broadening the program’s reach to give even more guests unprecedented access to this highly sought-after experience." The SoulCycle parternship is Target's first fitness collaboration; past partnerships have involved high-end fashion houses, such as Lilly Pulitzer and Rodarte. Read more in The Atlantic’s “Sweat: The Hottest Accessory.”

Brunswick Adds Cybex to Its Life Fitness Division for $195 Million
Brunswick Corporation, owner of Life Fitness, announced that it has acquired fitness equipment maker Cybex International for $195 million. Cybex’s cardiovascular and strength products span the commercial fitness market, including treadmills, exercise bikes, the Cybex Arc Trainer, plate-loaded weight equipment, and free weights. Cybex’s 2015 sales were estimated at about $169 million. Read IHRSA’s coverage of the acquisition here.

Study: Yoga Improves Mobility for Adults Over 60
Yoga can improve mobility for adults over age 60 and may help to prevent falls, according to research by The University of Sydney. For the study, researchers analyzed six trials, with a total of about 300 participants. The programs were each led by a certified yoga instructor and tended to include 60 to 90 minutes of yoga once or twice weekly for a total of two to six months. “These results are exciting but not particularly surprising since there is evidence from other research that similar types of exercise programs, Tai Chi, for example, can improve balance and mobility in older people,” the study’s senior author told Reuters. “What is exciting about the results is that significant improvements occurred in balance and mobility as a result of relatively short programs of yoga—the average number of hours offered was 20 hours.”

Former Twitter CEO Plans to Launch Personal Fitness Platform
Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said he is launching a new personal fitness platform, according to The Wall Street Journal. He co-founded the company with Bryan Oki, CEO of health and wellness consulting firm Fitify Inc. "We're building a software platform that reimagines the path to personal fitness," Costolo wrote in his announcement on Twitter. "This platform will go beyond measurement to motivate and drive improvement and make the road to personal transformation fun and social. For wellness professionals, from fitness coaches to physical therapists and nutritionists and more, out platform will be the easiest and most flexible way to extend expertise and guidance by orders of magnitude."

Study: Fitness Trackers Encourage Walking, Discourage Fun
A new study has found that, while fitness trackers succeed in encouraging wearers to walk more, it also zaps users' fun. Researchers from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business conducted six experiments for the study, which will publish in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, New York Magazine reports. They gave 100 participants pedometers and covered some of the displays with tape. Results showed that 70% of those with visible displays checked them regularly and it made them take more steps, but ultimately made walking feel like work.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Under Armour CEO Dreams of Beating Nike, Exercise Prescriptions Help Type 2 Diabetes

Under Armour CEO Talks Strategy with Inc. Magazine
Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank likes whiteboards, leadership maxims, and winning, reports Inc. Magazine. In the feature article, Plank discusses how he built Under Armour into a $4 billion brand, the nearly $1 billion the company spent buying and investing in mobile apps, and why he wants to beat Nike.  

Washington D.C. Eliminates Fees for City-Run Fitness Centers
Health club membership will soon be a little cheaper in the nation’s capital—fees for Washington D.C.’s city-run fitness centers have been eliminated in 2016 and beyond. Before the New Year, residents paid $125 for yearly access or $5 for a daily pass. The fees generated about $10,000 annually, but Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said the benefits of making exercise more accessible to residents outweigh the cost, The Washington Post reports.

Report: Exercise Prescriptions Benefit Type 2 Diabetes Patients
A new report recommends physicians give patients with type 2 diabetes exercise prescriptions that specify the type, duration, intensity, and frequency of workouts, adapted to the individual, according to Reuters. “Exercise and physical activity can help to control type 2 diabetes,” the report’s lead author told Reuters. “There are many successful case-studies of patients who reversed metabolic dysfunction only with lifestyle strategies (exercise plus diet),” but the benefits disappear when healthy diet and regular exercise stop, he said.

Daily Burn Promotes Workout-on-Demand Video Series
Workout and nutrition brand Daily Burn is targeting new customers with two TV commercials promoting its daily workout-on-demand videos. Each installment in the Daily Burn 365 series is only available for one day before it disappears. "The beginner workout market in fitness is underserved, especially in streaming, and as a result we see an opportunity to help a large portion of the population live healthier, fit lives," Kevin Ranford, head of marketing for Daily Burn, told Ad Week. "By providing community and support to help beginners stay motivated and engaged, we see a big opportunity in 2016 and forward."

Brand and Design Matter Most to Smartwatch, Fitness Tracker Shoppers
Branding and aesthetics—not functionality—differentiate smartwatches and fitness trackers among consumers, according to a report. "The Gear Fit and several other more recent models of fitness wearable like the Fitbit Charge HR and Surge, as well as the Razer Nabu, offer notification services for calls and texts as well as fitness-based functions, giving the ability, in some cases, to answer calls from the wrist," states the Juniper Research whitepaper. "This is due to the miniaturisationUpload a File of components enabling their insertion into devices with minimal impact on their aesthetic. Depending on the parent brand, this allows devices either to be a positioned as watch with fitness tracking capability, or a fitness tracker with notification capability, even if the underlying functionality is ultimately identical."


Scanner Helps Show Workout Results

Fit3D scanner takes away having to check out yourself in the mirror. (Image courtesy of stockimages at Week in the Fitness Industry is back. Well, it is Friday.

In today's installment we have the following:

  • full-body scans that aids workouts
  • ACE studies accuracy of wearables
  • popularity of cardio theaters
  • best health and fitness TED Talks

Check out all of these in This Week in the Fitness Industry.

Click to read more ...


Report on Those Who Exercise and Are Sedentary

I know you have heard this before, but this version of This Week in the Fitness Industry may be the most diverse yet in its three years in its current format. To wit:

  • What are the demographics of fitness trackers vs. smart watches
  • Physically active may not trump inactivity
  • Technogym at Clinton Health Matters Initiative
  • Fitness trends and items through the decades

Read on to see more in This Week in the Fitness Industry.

Click to read more ...


Garmin's latest combines runner's watch and fitness tracker

Garmin announced this week that it will be coming out with the Forerunner 15, which combines its popular GPS running watch with the Vivofit that will add fitness tracking to its already popular product.

The Forerunner 15 will track distance, pace, calories, personal records, and heart rate1, while adding daily activity tracking and alerts when the user has been inactive for too long. 

It can be used with Garmin Connect, a free online fitness community when one can keep track of progress and goals while also sharing with other users.

For more on the new product and estimated date of availability, visit the Garmin blog.


No limitations on uses of wearable technology and fitness trackers

For those who aren’t involved in technology on a daily basis, it can be very confusing. Not just how it works and how to work it, but the ever-changing landscape and players are different from one day to the next.

This is no different in the world of wearable technology and fitness tracking. That is, for the wearable technology illiterate, monitoring devices like Jawbone Up, Fitbit, Polar Electro's FlowLink, MYZONE M250 watch, and even your phone, to name a few.

These devices can do simple tasks like count the number of steps taken during a walk or workout, or show how many calories have been burned. More advanced devices can detect body movement, identify what you are doing, and report on a number of biological signals, like body temperature, pulse and oxygen level.

The questions now are: what is next and who are going to be the players.

Read on to see what the future holds.


The Threat of ‘Ubiquitous’ Fitness

Hossein NoshirvaniThe world of commercial exercise is changing—in part because of low-cost clubs; in part because of the proliferation of niche studios; in part because of online exercise offerings; and, in part, suggests Hossein Noshirvani, a regular CBI Unbound guest contributor, because of wearable fitness technology. ON World, a technology research firm, estimates that 250 million such devices will be shipped, worldwide, by 2017. What does it portend for health clubs when sound information about nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle behaviors, and the means to easily track one’s personal progress, become available—virtually for free? Noshirvani, the cofounder and executive vice president of Motionsoft, Inc., has some thought-provoking ideas on the subject. Read on—

Click to read more ...