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From AI technology to hormone-focused workouts to holistic exercise for longevity, we’ve scoped out some of the most fascinating trends in fitness to help usher in a happy and healthy new year.

Read on to stay ahead of the game and discover the future of how people will invest in their health this year.

Are there opportunities to embrace some of these at your gym, health club or leisure centre?

AI fitness apps

Following fast on the footsteps of ChatGPT, AI fitness apps are set to revolutionise workouts by offering personalised workout plans based on individual’s goals, fitness levels, health considerations and training preferences.

Designed to deliver optimal training programmes by using complex algorithms to crunch massive amounts of data, AI apps can pair with wearable fitness devices and cameras to give real-time feedback to improve form, prevent injuries, and report on gains. From Fitbod to My Fitness Pal, there’s a growing array of apps available to suit particular fitness goals, health tracking requirements and interactivity preferences.

These smart apps can provide nutrition plans, talk you through a workout and give encouragement in real time, or track your sleep to give holistic feedback on your health. They can also make it easier to access expert advice that might otherwise be expensive and time-consuming to track down in person, removing barriers to access.

An AI app or trainer might not actually care how high you jump when it tells you to jump, but if it can offer you the ultimate tailored training experience by analysing amounts of data no human trainer could handle, does it really matter?

It looks like the future will feature both AI and old-fashioned human personal trainers, so making sure your gym or leisure can cater for both may be a wise move.

Workouts designed to stimulate hormone production

The famous ‘runner’s high’ caused by dopamine release is a great example of how hormone production can be activated by a specific type of work-out. Other hormones affected by exercise include serotonin, testosterone, oestrogen and cortisol, all of which need to be in the right balance to maintain good health and achieve maximum fitness performance.

Men and women naturally have different optimum hormone balances, and individuals suffering from a particular hormone imbalance require different types of exercise to stimulate the hormones they require.

Modern workouts and trainers are taking a science-based approach that looks at more than just calories and considers other key factors, including which hormones are stimulated by any given workout or nutrition plan. If you have a healthcare professional onsite who is qualified to offer advice, they may be able to guide your clients to a particular exercise regime to activate production of a particular hormone to improve their overall wellbeing.

In any case, a simple way for leisure centre and gym customers to optimise hormonal balance is to maintain a holistic approach to health by choosing a well-balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep and managing stress effectively.

Exercising for long-term health

Holistic health practices such as yoga, tai chi and Pilates have become more mainstream and more people are approaching exercise as a way to increase longevity rather than purely to lose weight or achieve short-term goals. Mindfulness and flexibility, in addition to more traditional cardiovascular and strength training, are recognised as essential tools to keep people living longer and happier.

Scientific studies clearly demonstrate the connection between regular physical activity and improved cardiovascular health, enhanced cognitive function and a reduced chance of chronic disease – making exercise of the best ways to improve longevity. According to Harvard Health Publishing, calculations based on a famous Harvard Alumni Study undertaken in 1978 suggest that for every hour of physical exercise men do, they can increase their lifespan by around two hours.

“Move it or lose it” is a neat way of summing up this trend. With some experts estimating the human body to be capable of functioning effectively for at least 100 years, it’s a smart move to play the long game by thinking ahead and future-proofing your health to enjoy your life for as long as you can.

Meaningful fitness experiences

In 2024 we predict more and more people will be looking for an extra dimension to their workout, provided by a more holistic or immersive experience that touches the parts normal fitness regimes can’t reach. Think unique types of exercise, interactive technologies, self-expression or group experiences that satisfy mind, body and soul – not just tone the torso.

This trend has resulted in a shift away from the ingrained ‘no pain no gain’ approach to fitness, towards a more enjoyable and fulfilling approach that features self-development and self-discovery.

To satisfy this trend you might consider including alternative sessions such as conscious dance classes, circus acrobatics lessons, or a guided ‘yogic sleep’ meditation in your timetable.


Traditional mat-based and Reformer machine Pilates workouts are experiencing a surge in popularity. According to the Australian Sport’s Commission National Sport and Activity Participation Report, released in October 2023, Pilates is now the fifth most popular non-sport recreational activity among females over 15, and sixth most popular among males over 15, with more than 1 million Australians now participating.

Although Pilates is regarded as low impact compared to other regimes it is recognised to be one of the most challenging core and flexibility workouts around. Improved muscle tone, stability, posture and body awareness are some of many benefits experienced by Pilates practitioners. Its founder, Joseph Pilates, described it as the ‘thinking person’s exercise’.

While there are many similarities between traditional Pilates and Reformer Pilates, the use of a reformer machine allows practitioners to use its springs, pulleys and straps to create adjustable resistance and target every muscle from head to toe in a greater variety of positions than can be performed on a mat.

Making room for Pilates sessions and investing in some Reformer machines, if you haven’t already, are great ideas likely to strike the right tone with your clients.

These are just some of the key fitness trends we’re picking to make their mark in 2024. If you want to make sure your gym, health club or leisure centre is ahead of the curve, it may be worth considering if the time is right to leverage them to keep your clients happy, healthy and more satisfied than ever.

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