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2019 was a banner year for physical fitness, with trends dominated by lunch-break-sized HIIT sessions, wearable devices, and new levels of hybrid spinning in 24-hour gyms.

We know all of that is old hat now and you’re looking for the next big thing. With that in mind, we’ve done a little research and tried our hand at the crystal ball. And here’s what we see as we look forward to a slimmer, trimmer, faster, stronger 2020.

What’s Next for Fitness

The next big thing may be more about shrinking everything down. That’s the first point to make. Imagine workout sessions that fit into 5-10 minute breaks. Imagine wearables that fit on your ear, finger, or shirt button. Imagine micro-HIIT. Imagine smaller, more convenient, less conspicuous. That’s one facet of the future of fitness, according to several recent publications.

Another key facet to the future of fitness is the “at home” revolution. Gyms? Who needs ‘em. The home fitness ideal is back in style, with companies vying to take ownership over this promising niche with a range of new and interesting products to juice up your options for a slimmer, healthier, stronger homemade body.

It’s amazing how trends come back around and around. Remember Richard Simmons in the 1980’s? The idea of a virtual and video workout coach is back en vogue in a big way in 2020.

This helps you feel like you are receiving motivation, instruction, and community while you work out by yourself in the comfort of your own home. It’s productive and cost-effective. So, it’s coming back.

Another big innovation we expect to see is personalized nutraceuticals. It’s an obvious step, really. More and more information is available and analyzable these days for each of us – genetically, biologically, physiologically, psychologically. It’s just a matter of time before that translates into personalized supplements tailored to your specific needs.

Smaller, quicker, more convenient, more personalized. Is any of this surprising in the least? That’s how the future is generally related to the past. “Make it so I can accomplish my goals in a manner that fits better with everything else that’s happening in my life.” It’s not rocket science.

Cui Bono?

For investors, the question turns to who might benefit from these trends. The most obvious answers among publicly traded companies are Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE:PLNT), Peloton Interactive Inc (NASDAQ:PTON), and Lululemon Athletica Inc (NASDAQ:LULU).

But we would also point out that many of the big winners may not be publicly traded. This is a space that has become ripe with potential for innovators of every size and shape. The latest craze in the fitness space often comes out of left field and surprises the marketplace with a fresh take on time-tested ideas.

One thing is for sure: the intersection of technology and fitness is far from played out by wearable technology. The introduction of trends involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet-of-things, advanced communications, augmented reality, and other cutting edge emerging hi-tech fields is just getting underway.

But, no matter how sci-fi the latest fitness gadgetry gets, it still has to work in terms of getting results for users in the terms that really matter: weight loss, strength augmentation, increased energy and endurance, and perceived overall improvement in health and fitness. 

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