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#8 Reasons why Popularity of Gyms is Increasing Exponentially In the recent years, healthcare has become one of India's largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment

By Vikas Jain

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Today, the gym and fitness industry is flourishing in the country with many national and international players mushrooming in the segment. To some extent, the credit for this boom goes to the Bollywood actors and divas, who flaunt their well-groomed bodies and muscles on screen and inspire many youngsters. However, there are various other major factors behind the popularity of fitness gyms in the country.

Here is the list:

Growing Health and Fitness Awareness

These days, an increasing number of individuals are going to gyms so as to counter the side-effects of their hectic urban lifestyles. It is necessary too. In fact, exercise increases the cardiovascular fitness and boosts overall health. Also, regular workouts help in reducing stress, anxiety and depression and other diseases affecting health.

Further, rising cases of osteoporosis and lowering of bone density are also prompting people to take health, diet, and fitness seriously. Earlier, only the men showed interest in the gyms, but today even women are hitting the gyms. Thanks to the access to the internet, TV and growing education levels, there has been a paradigm shift in perspective of everyone, including women, who now consider exercising a serious affair.

Age is No Bar for Fitness

Through multiple sources like doctors, researchers etc., we are constantly reminded about the benefits of exercising, which is right too. People of every age group, from the 20s through the 60s and beyond, need to work hard to remain fit. Also, it needs to be kept in mind that the human body has different requirements at different ages and aging is an indispensable part of life. Realizing this and coming to terms with the fact that those who exercise regularly are happier and healthier compared to those who don't, people are increasingly hitting the gyms.

Penetration of International Brands

Increased cases of obesity and diabetes have led to a revolution in the Indian fitness industry. If we look around, we will find that weight loss advertisements are everywhere. This is one of the main reasons behind the growth of health clubs and gym memberships in the country. A preventive approach to health care has not only led to an increase in demand for services but products too. Big and established fitness chains and gyms are expanding their products and services portfolios to tap into the market in each and every possible manner and reach out to the potential customers. Many such companies have acquired public equity to fuel their growth plans. Given the growing demand, franchising of fitness gyms is also catching up really fast. Multinational fitness chains and gyms are increasingly taking the franchisee route to enter the Indian market.

The Growth of Gym Culture

The gym culture which is at an infancy stage in India at present is growing at a very fast pace as more and more people are joining the gym movement for great health and long life. In fact, a large number of Indians in metros and Tier-II cities are fast becoming health conscious and have started hitting the gyms. While the gym culture is apparent in urban areas and metros, it still needs to catch up in Tier-III cities and smaller towns and villages of the country. Well, gradually, they are embracing the gym culture and gyms are increasingly becoming a necessity for people to lead a healthy life. People who come to gyms have different targets in mind. While some come for power enhancement, others seek to build a fit body. There is yet another lot which is a gym addict. They visit the gym regularly and don't like to miss it at all. Having said that, the gym culture will surely get a boost in the future.

Access to a Variety of Equipment

One of the biggest advantages of joining a gym is the availability of a wide array of equipment including cardio machines, strength machines, weights, boxing kits and various functional training gears (TRX, fit balls, resistance bands etc.) that aid in the regular exercise. It is this primary reason that drives many fitness freaks to the gym.

Availability of Personalised Fitness Training Programmes

In the present times, people don't hesitate in spending quite a sizeable amount for looking and feeling good. The sheer number of people hitting the gyms is a testimony to this trend. However, not everyone knows what exercise to do, how to do, when to do, what to eat etc. Here the role of personalized fitness training program comes to play. One of the other most important reasons why people need a personal trainer is that they help bring in accountability and sincerity.

Also, personalized training helps one to keep up to the target and follow a systematic workout module to suit their respective fitness needs and goals. It also provides professional advice on techniques and importance of correct equipment and diet. Hence, today, personal fitness training has become the new mantra in the fitness industry. Now, working out with a personal fitness trainer is not just for the elite or stars. Nor it is a costly affair anymore.

Rise in Personal Disposable Income

Earlier, spending on fitness and taking gym membership was seen as a luxury, but now it has become a part of people's lifestyle. Growing urbanization, rising middle class, and increasing disposable incomes are boosting the need for gyms. Further, since the young working-age population with adequate disposable income in hand is leading a sedentary lifestyle, thereby, attracting various diseases, the demand for gyms is only expected to move northwards.

Government Allocation on Health and Fitness has Increased drastically

In recent years, healthcare has become one of India's largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. Out of the total market, the fitness and slimming industry comprises Rs 60 billion. Fitness equipment also forms a major segment in focus. This segment comprises of retail and wholesale sellers of gym equipment like dumbbells, treadmill etc. Even fitness service in the form of gyms has got a major boost from the government.

As a result of all the above factors, the gym and fitness industry in the country is seeing bright days at present and further has golden days ahead. Poised to grow by 20-30 per cent every year, this sunrise industry has ample growth opportunities for established and emerging players in the segment.

Vikas Jain

Managing Director, Anytime Fitness

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