Health is more than just physical strength or endurance – it’s also about our mental and social wellbeing. Looking after our health is therefore important in both the short and long term and has a lot of advantages. There are various ways of staying healthy, from regular exercise to a balanced diet, meditation or even just ensuring that we sometimes give our bodies the rest and recovery that they require. Regular exercise, in particular, can have a profoundly positive impact, not just physically but by relieving stress, improving memory, helping us to sleep better and boosting our overall mood.
The pandemic has changed the way we exercise, catalysing innovation within the fitness and health industry. Thanks to technology, one can now engage with their health and fitness when, where and how they want. We can get access to a trainer straight from home, and with real-time monitoring and reporting, we can also get an accurate measurement of how many calories we are burning and track our regular activities for a personalised fitness regime. Virtuagym is one such company that is delivering products to the world and changing its perspective of fitness.
From the time it all began.
Hugo Braam, the Co-founder and CEO at Virtuagym, was with the CEOViews team briefing his entrepreneurial journey to date. The concept of Virtuagym came to Braam’s mind in 2008, when his brother Paul and himself first founded the company. The main motivating factor was their joint vision of creating new technologies to help people to live healthier, more active lives. Originally it was launched on mobile and the web as a consumer app. In 2013 they transformed it into one of the first B2B SaaS solutions in health and fitness coaching.
Virtuagym provides an All-In-one Fitness solution for gyms, studios and personal trainers, which helps them to be more time and cost-efficient.
Since then, they have been able to grow it into an industry-leading, All-In-One solution combining an innovative coaching and engagement platform and intuitive tools for booking and management. Their solutions are now used by over 9,000 fitness businesses and more than 18 million consumers around the world. He describes this entire journey as an exciting one and remains as passionate as ever about making the world a healthier and happier place through technology.
Challenges that Virtuagym is solving
Virtuagym provides an All-In-one Fitness solution for gyms, studios and personal trainers, which helps them to be more time and cost-efficient. This further helps them in focusing on supporting their clients and successfully growing their business. For corporate health organisations and providers, Virtuagym delivers an industry-leading corporate wellness solution for holistic employee vitality management, assisting them in creating a centralised offering for all their employee wellness initiatives in one central app and web portal.
With Virtuagym, one can maximize the features most relevant to their specific pain points or areas for improvement. Ultimately, their technology solutions empower businesses and health professionals to help people create sustainable lifestyle changes.
Trends in healthcare technology
We see technological and lifestyle trends everywhere and health and fitness is no different. A major trend has been the use of online video workouts as a vital part of a modern hybrid fitness business. The live video streams, or pre-recorded videos, can be uploaded to an integrated app, website or social media channel. This digital solution will be key in giving clients the flexibility to work out when, where and how they want.
Apart from video training, the use of wearable technology to enhance the fitness experience is also increasing. Being able to easily sync health tracking devices with apps is allowing trainers and clubs to provide far more personalised training and content better suited for more realistic fitness goals.
The very recent trend has been the way in which fitness businesses are transforming themselves from “health clubs” to “health hubs” that offer a more enhanced, holistic health offering. This is now being seen more and more within corporate health and wellness too, with companies recognising the importance and short- and long-term benefits of investing in their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing.
What’s in it for fitness centres?
Answering how the Virtuagym PRO+ solution helps gyms to be efficient and increase their revenue, Hugo Braam says that, “offering a rich and engaging digital content subscription that people are willing to keep paying for is not easy and requires a lot of resources. That’s why we developed Virtuagym PRO+. It is an innovative content solution for fitness businesses, enabling them to offer clients a turnkey digital membership through their mobile app for an additional fee”.
Their PRO+ solution includes a wide array of content, including weekly community group updates on nutrition, training and wellness, 200+ virtual trainer workouts, monthly prize challenges, 1,000+ licensed workout videos and a large library of audio meditations to help reduce stress and anxiety. It also offers a robust management suite of modules, ranging from membership and billing to easy check-in software, business analytics, extensive online Club Community portals, lead management and a retention management module, giving their clients the ability to quickly identify members with a high churn risk.
What lies ahead?
The man in charge, Hugo Braam believes that innovation is in the DNA of Virtuagym and they will continue to focus on developing industry-leading technology solutions that empower business and health professionals to help people create a sustainable lifestyle change.
It’s his ambition for Virtuagym to become the number one provider of health coaching software in the fitness industry within five years. By that time, Virtua- gym wants to be helping over 50 million users around the world in maintaining a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, healthy nutrition and relaxation. This goal is what gets Braam and his team excited every single day. He feels that it is a privilege to work on the future of health and fitness with an excellent and diverse team from over 30 countries worldwide.