Throughout the generations, we’ve seen a huge variety of fitness trends and have certainly come a long away from the vibrating belt in the 1950’s. More recently we’ve seen a rise in popularity of Barre, HIIT training and a movement towards data-driven performance through the growth of wearable technology.

Technology is continuing to be an inherent part our lifestyle so it’s not surprising immersive fitness is the latest fitness trend, but is it a fad or will it transform the fitness industry?

What is immersive fitness?

Immersive fitness involves adding additional sensory elements to a physical workout such as sight and sound. Originally commercialised by Les Mills through their audio-visual spin class, immersive fitness is a new way to engage people in exercise. It is inspired by cinema, live concert experiences and even interactive gaming and aims to take your work out into a new dimension.

Why should we care?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic, 63.5% of Australian adults and 27.4% of Australian children are overweight or obese. This is an alarming statistic!

Excess weight, especially obesity, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 3 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers. As the level of excess weight increases, so does the risk of developing these conditions. In addition, being overweight can hamper the ability to control or manage chronic conditions.

Poor diet is the main factor contributing to the epidemic, and the fact we are moving less. It can be fairly argued that technology has driven the sedentary lifestyle we all live. Easy access to transport means we walk less and computers at work encourage us to be static for most of the day.

Australians spend more time in front of a screen than they do sleeping! A study by Lonergan Research showed Australians spend more than a third of a day (9.4 hours) glued in front of a screen. Technology will only continue to be ingrained more in our lives so why not embrace it and use it as an opportunity to address health problems.

Is immersive fitness the future of exercise?

Immersive workouts bridge the gap between virtual entertainment and physical movement. It encourages people to work-out, enhancing traditional exercise methods and providing an exciting new way to pick up a sweat. As quoted by Schwass, CEO of Les Mills Enterprises, “Immersive Fitness is a way of attracting younger people to try and get fit in a new and exciting way. They’re used to screens and technology, so all we’re doing is taking screens and technology into the fitness space.”

Is it the future of the fitness industry? Possibly. Like anything, it all comes down to preference. We can, however, safely assume that technology will continue to become more a part of our everyday lives and the fitness industry will adapt to remain relevant.

Photo: Chroma Yoga