The digital face-lift of nutrition
How the nutrition and fitness industries have become digitally transformed in the application economy.
For those of you who don’t know – this month is National Nutrition Month. There is always a new diet trend, workout style or popular “healthy” food item being introduced into mainstream culture. However, at a time when everyone is constantly connected to their desktop, mobile devices and the cloud – the nutrition and fitness industry has come a long way since Richard Simmons’ workout videos. How has nutrition changed over the years? Let’s investigate some of the latest trends.
The argument that every industry is in the software business is becoming more prevalent than ever especially in the nutrition and fitness industry. From nutritionists, large Fortune 500 companies such as Reebok and Nike to small- and mid-sized businesses or fitness studios – most entities are identifying how they can leverage the application economy to cater to their consumers. The new economy demands new ideas – and many companies are doing just that.
Software programs can act as your nutritionist, with the ability to perform nutrient analyses of food labels, diets, menus and recipes. Nutrition professionals have several options when it comes to choosing a nutrition analysis software. From software to Web-based programs, the USDA has a compiled list of “approved” software programs for nutritionists.
Wearables and the Internet of things (IoT) are transforming the health business. As products become inter-connected, individuals can combine their love for technology with being active. Products designed by Fitbit are designed to be worn to help track and achieve an individual’s goals. One of Fitbit’s latest products “Charge” is able to read your activities, formulating steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes – all while being enabled with a caller ID, alarm clock and wireless. Users enjoy being able to compare their day-to-day stats among friends and family.
The days of reading about nutrition tips in a magazine are dwindling, individuals can be notified around the clock of cutting edge fitness tips, leading them one step closer to their personal health goals. From tracking calories, identifying ingredients on nutrition labels, monitoring your heartbeat – mobility has taken over the fitness world. Apps are constantly being introduced to consumers with sleek attractive interfaces, allowing users to easily access information and get acquainted with the application.
Nike, for instance, began selling fitness apparel/equipment and is known today as one of the largest brands among sports businesses. Nike has expanded its business with a major help from software and mobility. Its mobile apps such as Nike+, have a strong following. The app allows users to track routes, distance, pace, time and calories. It also provides coaching and feedback to assist users in their end goals of being more active.
Another mobile app that has become enormously popular is ClassPass. Transforming the traditional gym membership, ClassPass offers a monthly membership to boutique fitness classes within participating cities. Members receive unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. This not only allows users to take multiple classes but also gives studios exposure to a wider audience that they may not have captured prior.
There are even mobile apps like Waterlogged that remind you to drink water periodically throughout the day, something so simple yet beneficial.
New York City yoga instructor Margo Budzynska taps mobile apps in her daily life, one app in particular keeps her better connected.
“I often use Mind Body Connect to discover new classes and studios. As an instructor, you’re constantly taking classes, improving your technique and learning from other instructors. This app exposes me to new studios and classes in whatever neighborhood I choose and lets me schedule the class too. It’s a win-win,” she says.
Software is truly changing how people track their nutrition and keep up with their fitness.
“Software can help with organization, recording information and providing tips, but it’s essential that you are honest with yourself and committed to living a healthy lifestyle,” Budzynska says.