What does Brexit mean for the fitness industry?
Britain has voted to leave the EU and all of us, regardless of age or industry sector, are wondering what effect this will have on our economy and future.
Whether its concerns about jobs, mortgage repayments, and the price of goods, pensions or holidays, there are many unknowns about the practical implications of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Whilst the immediate shock-waves saw sterling plummet to a 31 year low the longer term effects are harder to predict.
What does this mean for the health and fitness industry?
Well some things definitely won’t change overnight.
For a start we still have worrying levels of obesity and inactivity in Britain. People will still get married, injured, ill, older, and pregnant. Mental health and well-being will sadly continue to be an issue for many people of all ages. Athletic endeavour and sports activities will remain an important part of life for many and whether it’s running a marathon or competing in CrossFit, people will always seek ways of challenging their physical limits.
So what this means, for established fitness professionals as well as those just starting out, is there will always be people who need our services.
Our role as leaders, motivators, and educators will always be in demand. Our ability to be creative, inspire and engage clients is our greatest strength. We’re used to competition and challenges, whether it’s hitting a new personal best in the gym or studying anatomy and physiology, and just as muscles adapt to a stimulus, get stronger and learn to overcome resistance, we may need to apply these same principles to our fitness career.
Five Ways Fitness Professionals can prepare for post EU Britain
- Open yourself up to new opportunities. If you’ve been sitting on the fence for some time, unsure of whether to purse your dreams and take your first steps in joining the fitness industry then hesitate no more. Exploring new career paths, whilst currently employed, is a brilliant way to keep your options open. At this point none of us know what the future holds post EU Britain but ensuring you gain new skills, and a route to self-employment, is one way to empower yourself in uncertain times. Deciding which training provider to invest your time and money with is an important process and one we recognise, that’s why we have teamed up with Trust Pilot, allowing potential customers to read reviews from current and previous students before embarking on a diploma or course. You can read these reviews here.
- One of the biggest challenges we may face is dealing with clients who become more anxious as a result of our exit from the EU. Uncertainty and financial concerns can negatively impact mental health and well-being. Stress and the resulting increase in cortisol levels leads to excess fat storage. It’s up to fitness professionals to recognise the importance and relationship between physical health and mental well-being. Our role is to assess the impact exercise prescription has on clients and make adaptations where necessary. It’s worth considering how you can incorporate sessions that promote feelings of wellness and aid relaxation. Pilates is a wonderful form of exercise that helps release unnecessary tension in the body and can be an effective way to manage stress, both of which may become more important to clients in the months ahead. More information on Future Fit Training’s full range of Pilates teacher training courses can be seen here.
- The ability to adapt may be crucial to our survival in post EU Britain. If these early days of economic uncertainty persist we can expect our clients to become more cautious financially. Value for money is important but even more so when people are looking carefully at their outgoings. Non essentials will always be the first thing dispensed with, when faced with financial concerns, so making sure you deliver an outstanding service is vital. Creating new and affordable ways for clients to train will also be important. Offering small group training or classes may be more cost effective and Future Fit Training provides a range of CPD courses to increase your knowledge and understanding in how to deliver different formats, such as circuit training and functional equipment training.
- Take a close look at your existing client profile and consider how your typical clients may be affected by economic uncertainty. Older clients, who are mortgage free, with disposable income may be less likely to suffer in an economic downturn than those who are middle aged, with mortgages and in sectors that are often hit first. As clients age challenges to health often increase though. Making sure you are skilled to work with this population could be important in post EU Britain. Future Fit Training’s Exercise Referral for Health Management course will allow you to provide a more specialised service to these clients, as well as build a relationship with local GPs accepting referrals for those looking to manage and improve medical conditions.
- Consider upskilling, developing new revenue streams or branching into different areas. Extend your business know how by joining the Future Fit Training PT Skills Gap Programme, discover ways to increase client satisfaction, and how to develop a brand and be profitable. Katie Bulmer Cooke, PT Skills Gap Champion, recognises the need for trainers to improve their business knowledge ‘The industry is crying out for courses like the PT Skills Gap, unfortunately, the current skills gaps mean that fantastic trainers are not being successful or enjoying the PT career they had hoped for’.
No-one knows for sure what will happen to Britain post EU, even the best economists can’t predict our future. Whatever unfolds those of us working in the fitness industry will continue to adapt and find ways to meet our clients’ needs, and all of us will be doing our best to not only survive but to actively thrive.
‘Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future’ Steve Jobs
Written by Jacqueline Hooton