So late on a Saturday night I was reading “Growing the Fitness Sector through Innovation “ just snippets here and there on innovation, technology and mindset. It was interesting to re-read some comments, in particular “to change mindset we must change leadership” something I feel strong on and agree with. As I made my way through the pages I realised that maybe the reason we have such an obese, unhealthy people global problem is because we’ve created it! Yes, us the fitness professional, the innovator, the media, all of us.
Technology is wearable’s, apps, virtual, and so forth, agree?
Isn’t it funny how with one hand we tell business owners they should be creating a community, tribe, social network within their club to enhance the exercise experience so members come back for more and retain…. Yet here we are on the other hand. Making them lazy! We scream and yell at them, get this app, get our app and do workouts in the comfort of your own home, go to the park and do a session, why not workout at lunchtime in your office, yeah do a workout and hi 5 your friends on the app… that you’ve never meet! – Yeah this app is amazing just push a few selections and in no time you’ll be working out on your OWN!!!!! Come do virtual classes. On your OWN!!!! Our club is 24/7 come workout anytime on your OWN!!!!! Yeah I’ll train you online, I’ll never meet you in person but I’m going change your life and make you look awesome. And maybe one day I’ll bump into you in the street…hold on, no I won’t I’ve never meet you – we have no connection.
Innovation is great providing we send the right message, maybe we need more innovation developers to think community to think tribe to think group – the message we really want to send out to the fitness industry is working out in groups is fun and rewarding and technology is a bonus. Encouraging people to workout on their own is sending people into a world of isolation and we don’t want that. Isolation causes depression, makes people socially shy and so forth. Do you realise you can’t really police how many people start working out on their own with good intentions but fail – how many people find themselves getting deeper and deeper into non existent good health because nobody was on hand to encourage – where was the social network of friends to push and encourage them on their bad days? Real people working alongside one another can create change for many. Even good intentions need a helping hand. So lets go back to the start of the page – to change mindset we need to change leadership. So how do we change the leadership or direction of those that are the innovators of change?
My opinion is this
To create a healthier world where obesity and bad health no longer out weigh the opposite we need to take a look at how we encourage people to exercise and get healthy. Perhaps one way to do this is to start developing via technology and innovation more ‘community workouts’ as opposed to working out on your own. Maybe the new trend needs to be about the “FitCom” (fitness community) and not about an icon on your phone for one.
Stop the isolation!
We can have technology we can have innovation we can have it all, but without people sharing with people a common interest we have nothing but bad health both physically and mentally.
One last thought – go back 30 years how many of us told our kids to stop playing Atari games locked in their bedroom and to get outside with their friends.
Go back 20 years – “Get off the Internet and get outside”
Go back 10 years “Get off the Nintendo” ‘But I’m playing against the kid down the street”
Go back 5 years “Get off Facebook”
Go back to yesterday – How many icons on your phone encourage you to exercise on your own?
No matter what you do in life no innovation will replace community.