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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Industry trends: Fitness in transit

Maintaining physical activity levels on the road can be challenging, but it’s a challenge the fitness industry is now addressing. Laura Swain, assistant editor of hospitality at innovation research and advisory company Stylus, investigates the growing in-transit fitness trend

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
Fitness in transit / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Fitness in transit / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Consumers have long accepted that getting on a plane or travelling for work inevitably involves a lot of sitting down and less-than-healthy meals. But according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2017 Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report, 22 per cent of UK business travellers say that poorer on-the-road eating habits make them want to exercise while travelling.

Indeed, from business travellers and tourists to hardcore athletes, consumers are yearning for convenient services and on-the-go fitness support to help them make the best use of their time in transit. In fact, the GBTA reports that 41 per cent of millennials say they would be more likely to continue their workout schedules on the road if they felt they had access to the equipment required to do so.

In response to this growing appetite, airports and airlines are increasingly developing strategic facilities and services that allow passengers to use their travel time to exercise and improve their overall health. It’s a move that’s led to some extremely innovative ideas in this space and something that the health and fitness industry is now capitalising on.

In-airport facilities
In the US, start-up Roam Fitness opened what it claims to be the first public-facing post-security airport fitness centre in early 2017. The gym, which includes shower facilities, is based at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and is available to members on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. The fully serviced gym facility includes fitness kit and equipment hire from Canadian athletic clothing brand LuluLemon and Brooks Running Shoes. Alternatively, customers can vacuum-seal their own kit post-workout to avoid emitting odours within their luggage. Most importantly, the gym features departure screens and alerts to ensure flights are not missed.

Closer to home, London’s Heathrow Airport has announced plans to launch FlyFit – a gym and wellness studio located in the airport’s Terminal 2 (see HCM August, p14). Offering indoor cycling, yoga and meditation classes, it will also provide rental workout kits, showers and healthy food options for travellers looking to maximise their health while waiting for connecting flights.

Airlines are also getting involved, with UAE’s national airline Etihad offering its first-class or premium-grade passengers departing from Abu Dhabi a luxury gym experience in its new First Class Lounge, complete with showers and towel hire.

In-flight offerings
Taking in-transit fitness one step further, some companies have moved beyond the airport and are focused on in-flight fitness options.

For example, US-based global aeroplane manufacturer Airbus has teamed up with sportswear brand Reebok and interactive indoor cycling company Peloton to develop fitness pods for its new A3 Transpose modular plane concept. The pods will contain Peloton fitness bikes and gym equipment, allowing passengers to fit in a workout during their flight. Airbus is also currently developing ways to add Imax projectors to the module walls to create the effect of cycling outdoors.

Meanwhile, Russian aviation company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has developed an aircraft catering specifically for athletes. Launching at the end of 2017, the 100-seat SportJet will be split into zones that include fitness equipment, massage chairs for sports injuries, chairs with in-built sensors that monitor heart rate and oxygen levels, and a toilet containing in-built hydration sensors.

There are simpler approaches. Developed in collaboration with players from German football team Bayern Munich, Lufthansa has created a series of short clips entitled Flyrobic to demonstrate how passengers can exercise while in their seats to promote blood flow.

Enabling individuals to maintain their wellbeing regimes in transit doesn’t just extend to fitness. A number of travel operators – especially airports – are enhancing modern travel with practical and calming initiatives for leveraging sedentary wait times and reducing unwanted noise.

Airline Cathay Pacific’s lounge at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has installed Shiraz Solo Chairs, which feature partitions for privacy and soft-lit reading lamps. The use of warm, natural materials such as wood and stone soften acoustics, while the lamps mimic the experience of sitting in a living room.

In the future, ambient décor and material and colour choice will play an even greater role when it comes to providing ease and rejuvenation in transit. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s plane of the future includes calming and soporific lighting projections such as starry skies on the walls and bulkheads to help promote better-quality sleep.

Hotel room fitness
The latest on-the-go fitness solutions are not limited to airports and planes. Hotel room workouts are also rising in popularity. According to a 2017 study by Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research, 46 per cent of US hotel guests travel with the intention of working out, however only 22 per cent of travellers use hotel gyms. There’s a huge opportunity here for health clubs to collaborate with hoteliers to provide guests with in-room solutions – like workout equipment and videos – that offer flexible, private and convenient ways to exercise.

Several hotels are starting to explore this concept by offering flexible in-room exercise classes, streamed live or on-demand from local gyms and fitness specialists. In June this year, global hotel chain Hilton Hotels and Resorts unveiled its Five Feet to Fitness concept (see HCM July, p50). This collection of rooms includes premium in-room gym equipment, such as indoor cycling bikes from British company Wattbike and functional training stations with weights, suspension ropes and pull-up bars.

The road ahead
In-transit and in-room exercise concepts represent a commercial goldmine as modern travellers require flexible products and experiences to accommodate a myriad of needs. Airlines are taking this on board with agile cabin designs that satisfy work and leisure requirements, while also recognising that good quality sleep is a vital part of the in-flight experience.

As consumers become increasingly eager to maintain their wellbeing and fitness regimes in transit, the need for on-the-go active solutions will grow. For health and fitness businesses, it’s about identifying how you can extend your services beyond the static gym and, increasingly, looking at collaboration opportunities within the travel industry – whether that’s in the air or in-room.

Some of the most exciting new concepts are born when different industries come together. The Reebok, Peloton and Airbus collaboration is a key example of this in practice. As consumers live more blended lifestyles, this exploration will become even more important.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Swain
Laura Swain

Laura Swain is the assistant editor of food, beverage and hospitality at Stylus. In this role, she tracks everything from global health food trends to new hotel and hospitality innovations. Before joining Stylus, Laura oversaw PR projects for brands, including Mondelez and Unilever.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Roam Fitness includes clothing hire
Roam Fitness includes clothing hire
Aeroplane manufacturer Airbus plans to develop onboard fitness pods
Aeroplane manufacturer Airbus plans to develop onboard fitness pods
Exercise bikes and massage chairs will be located on Sukhoi’s SportJet
Exercise bikes and massage chairs will be located on Sukhoi’s SportJet
Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness rooms feature indoor bikes and weights
Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness rooms feature indoor bikes and weights
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/150698_56127.jpg
In-transit fitness is a growing trend, with airport gyms popping up, and even in-flight exercise options in the works. We take a closer look...
Laura Swain, assistant editor of hospitality at innovation research and advisory company Stylus,keep fit on-the-go, innovations, Global Business Travel Association,
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Featured supplier news: Core Health & Fitness launches Schwinn X and Z Bikes
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We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
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Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Matrix provides innovative commercial fitness equipment to facilities in all market sectors including private health ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
On demand
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Lockers/interior design
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Spa software
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Wearable technology solutions
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Salt therapy products
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trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
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Skincare
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Architects/designers
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Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
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Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Industry trends: Fitness in transit

Maintaining physical activity levels on the road can be challenging, but it’s a challenge the fitness industry is now addressing. Laura Swain, assistant editor of hospitality at innovation research and advisory company Stylus, investigates the growing in-transit fitness trend

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
Fitness in transit / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Fitness in transit / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Consumers have long accepted that getting on a plane or travelling for work inevitably involves a lot of sitting down and less-than-healthy meals. But according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2017 Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report, 22 per cent of UK business travellers say that poorer on-the-road eating habits make them want to exercise while travelling.

Indeed, from business travellers and tourists to hardcore athletes, consumers are yearning for convenient services and on-the-go fitness support to help them make the best use of their time in transit. In fact, the GBTA reports that 41 per cent of millennials say they would be more likely to continue their workout schedules on the road if they felt they had access to the equipment required to do so.

In response to this growing appetite, airports and airlines are increasingly developing strategic facilities and services that allow passengers to use their travel time to exercise and improve their overall health. It’s a move that’s led to some extremely innovative ideas in this space and something that the health and fitness industry is now capitalising on.

In-airport facilities
In the US, start-up Roam Fitness opened what it claims to be the first public-facing post-security airport fitness centre in early 2017. The gym, which includes shower facilities, is based at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and is available to members on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. The fully serviced gym facility includes fitness kit and equipment hire from Canadian athletic clothing brand LuluLemon and Brooks Running Shoes. Alternatively, customers can vacuum-seal their own kit post-workout to avoid emitting odours within their luggage. Most importantly, the gym features departure screens and alerts to ensure flights are not missed.

Closer to home, London’s Heathrow Airport has announced plans to launch FlyFit – a gym and wellness studio located in the airport’s Terminal 2 (see HCM August, p14). Offering indoor cycling, yoga and meditation classes, it will also provide rental workout kits, showers and healthy food options for travellers looking to maximise their health while waiting for connecting flights.

Airlines are also getting involved, with UAE’s national airline Etihad offering its first-class or premium-grade passengers departing from Abu Dhabi a luxury gym experience in its new First Class Lounge, complete with showers and towel hire.

In-flight offerings
Taking in-transit fitness one step further, some companies have moved beyond the airport and are focused on in-flight fitness options.

For example, US-based global aeroplane manufacturer Airbus has teamed up with sportswear brand Reebok and interactive indoor cycling company Peloton to develop fitness pods for its new A3 Transpose modular plane concept. The pods will contain Peloton fitness bikes and gym equipment, allowing passengers to fit in a workout during their flight. Airbus is also currently developing ways to add Imax projectors to the module walls to create the effect of cycling outdoors.

Meanwhile, Russian aviation company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has developed an aircraft catering specifically for athletes. Launching at the end of 2017, the 100-seat SportJet will be split into zones that include fitness equipment, massage chairs for sports injuries, chairs with in-built sensors that monitor heart rate and oxygen levels, and a toilet containing in-built hydration sensors.

There are simpler approaches. Developed in collaboration with players from German football team Bayern Munich, Lufthansa has created a series of short clips entitled Flyrobic to demonstrate how passengers can exercise while in their seats to promote blood flow.

Enabling individuals to maintain their wellbeing regimes in transit doesn’t just extend to fitness. A number of travel operators – especially airports – are enhancing modern travel with practical and calming initiatives for leveraging sedentary wait times and reducing unwanted noise.

Airline Cathay Pacific’s lounge at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has installed Shiraz Solo Chairs, which feature partitions for privacy and soft-lit reading lamps. The use of warm, natural materials such as wood and stone soften acoustics, while the lamps mimic the experience of sitting in a living room.

In the future, ambient décor and material and colour choice will play an even greater role when it comes to providing ease and rejuvenation in transit. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s plane of the future includes calming and soporific lighting projections such as starry skies on the walls and bulkheads to help promote better-quality sleep.

Hotel room fitness
The latest on-the-go fitness solutions are not limited to airports and planes. Hotel room workouts are also rising in popularity. According to a 2017 study by Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research, 46 per cent of US hotel guests travel with the intention of working out, however only 22 per cent of travellers use hotel gyms. There’s a huge opportunity here for health clubs to collaborate with hoteliers to provide guests with in-room solutions – like workout equipment and videos – that offer flexible, private and convenient ways to exercise.

Several hotels are starting to explore this concept by offering flexible in-room exercise classes, streamed live or on-demand from local gyms and fitness specialists. In June this year, global hotel chain Hilton Hotels and Resorts unveiled its Five Feet to Fitness concept (see HCM July, p50). This collection of rooms includes premium in-room gym equipment, such as indoor cycling bikes from British company Wattbike and functional training stations with weights, suspension ropes and pull-up bars.

The road ahead
In-transit and in-room exercise concepts represent a commercial goldmine as modern travellers require flexible products and experiences to accommodate a myriad of needs. Airlines are taking this on board with agile cabin designs that satisfy work and leisure requirements, while also recognising that good quality sleep is a vital part of the in-flight experience.

As consumers become increasingly eager to maintain their wellbeing and fitness regimes in transit, the need for on-the-go active solutions will grow. For health and fitness businesses, it’s about identifying how you can extend your services beyond the static gym and, increasingly, looking at collaboration opportunities within the travel industry – whether that’s in the air or in-room.

Some of the most exciting new concepts are born when different industries come together. The Reebok, Peloton and Airbus collaboration is a key example of this in practice. As consumers live more blended lifestyles, this exploration will become even more important.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Swain
Laura Swain

Laura Swain is the assistant editor of food, beverage and hospitality at Stylus. In this role, she tracks everything from global health food trends to new hotel and hospitality innovations. Before joining Stylus, Laura oversaw PR projects for brands, including Mondelez and Unilever.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Roam Fitness includes clothing hire
Roam Fitness includes clothing hire
Aeroplane manufacturer Airbus plans to develop onboard fitness pods
Aeroplane manufacturer Airbus plans to develop onboard fitness pods
Exercise bikes and massage chairs will be located on Sukhoi’s SportJet
Exercise bikes and massage chairs will be located on Sukhoi’s SportJet
Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness rooms feature indoor bikes and weights
Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness rooms feature indoor bikes and weights
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/150698_56127.jpg
In-transit fitness is a growing trend, with airport gyms popping up, and even in-flight exercise options in the works. We take a closer look...
Laura Swain, assistant editor of hospitality at innovation research and advisory company Stylus,keep fit on-the-go, innovations, Global Business Travel Association,
Latest News
The Leisure Database Company (TLDB) has revealed its State of the Fitness Industry Report UK ...
Latest News
The Gym Group’s (TGG) plans and profit forecasts were presented to analysts and investors during ...
Latest News
A new physical activity programme called Big Sister has been launched in the UK to ...
Latest News
Go Fit has been selected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as ...
Latest News
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched ...
Latest News
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new ...
Latest News
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its ...
Latest News
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability ...
Latest News
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq ...
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Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We ...
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The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Core Health & Fitness launches Schwinn X and Z Bikes
Capitalising on Schwinn’s decades of experience and iconic leadership in commercial indoor cycling, Core Health & Fitness announces the arrival of its next generation of indoor cycling bikes – Schwinn X and Z.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Thousands flock to register for Elevate 2022 in London this summer
The health and fitness industry is eagerly awaiting the return of Elevate, which will take place on 15-16 June 2022 at ExCeL London.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Company profiles
Company profile: Excelsior Development Technology
We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Matrix provides innovative commercial fitness equipment to facilities in all market sectors including private health ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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