Health And Fitness Structure

To-day health and fitness or wellness services industry is also a fast growing sector in India. In the previous unit we have discussed about the hospitality industry wherein offering health club services are considered as an additional feature of a hospitality business. Now, in this unit let us discuss exclusively about the health and fitness industry that is booming in India. This segment includes a number of services such as beauty treatment services, therapy based treating products, personal health counselling, rejuvenation such as yoga, spas and last but not least the fitness developing centres viz. various gymnastic clubs or centres. In fact the field is experiencing a healthy growth rate and currently has an estimated market size of USD 120 million. The visible trend of surge in wellness business is the increased range of wellness books, products, and wellness holidays on the offer of the concerned person or that particular product manufacturing company. India has emerged as a big player not only in medical, tourism industry but also in developing domestic fitness and health centres in addition to the supply of the fitness product made to the individual by the manufacturing company for doing the exercises with those products to keep them fit. As on 2008, there were 765 fitness clubs in India with total membership of 2.3 million members. (Source: Statistics of the IHRSA Asia Pacific Market Report, 2008) In fact the Indian fitness industry is an immensely under penetrated market compared to several developed and developing countries in the world. For example, 16.0% of the US populations have fitness club membership whereas in India, a survey taken in seven metro cities shows that it is only 0.4%. On the other hand you know that India has the highest incidence of diabetes in the world. That is 40 million people are affected and it is likely to go up to 70 million by 2025 if left unchecked. This sudden increase is due to the changes in the lifestyle. You can notice some major changes in the areas of food consumption, lack of physical activities, longer commutation, lesser or change in sleeping time etc. among the working class population. The point is most of them in this class are well aware of the correction they need to necessarily make in their living styles. Therefore, there is a huge emphasis on regular exercise to prevent obesity and diabetes. An entrepreneur can start a business of fitness centre with the equipments and tools which are being sold by many manufacturers. The habit of people living in main metro cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi etc, ladies in particular utilise these centres to make them fit for a healthy live. Some of the equipments are Aerobic stepper, forearm flexor, anti microbial speed rope, resistance bands, skipping rope and many more equipments and products are available for doing exercises. The equipments like treadmill, stretch, and rovers, elliptical are also available to do exercises safely for everyone who wishes to keep their body fit in all aspects. There is a scope for the entrepreneurs to start this type of health institutions, gyms, fitness centres etc. Since these equipments are given to customers on a fixed time basis they come to the centres regularly, and the entrepreneur can earn a considerable amount.

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AC Nielsen’s global online consumer survey findings released in Feb 2009 said that 54 percent Indian respondents think they have issues with their weight. About 80% people said that they exercise at least once a week. Going to a gym is second most preferred option for exercise after walking.


After studying this unit, you will be able to

explain the concept of health and fitness

list the types of health and fitness activities

classify the types of health and fitness services

describe the business opportunities

list the advantages starting a health and fitness centre

list the challenges of managing a health and fitness centre

commencing a health and fitness business

10.2 Concept

Health is defined in the WHO (World Health Organisation) constitution of 1948 as “a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of any disease or infirmity”.

Health is optimal well-being that contributes to quality of life. Being free from ailments alone cannot be considered as healthy although it is essential to good health. Optimal health includes high-level mental, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness within the limits of one’s heredity and personal abilities.

Health is the state of being and wellness depicts the quality of life or the state of living a healthy life style. Wellness reflects the positive aspects of health that can help expand your potential to live and work effectively. Wellness is possible for everyone, regardless of whether you have a diagnosed disease

Fitness refers to being fit enough to perform our personal and social obligations in an active manner. To achieve this, sufficient energy and strength levels are important. Being fit need not mean being an athlete or sport person but a capable and independent human being in general.(

The concepts of health and fitness are related. If you are fit, you have a higher chance of being healthy. For example, if we observe the people who go for a walk or jogging every day, we can notice that they enjoy a healthy life, free from stress and illness. This is because their persistent walking improves their physical fitness, and also their mental well-being.

Well being refers as an organised set of activities fabricated to help the individuals and families and maintain the behavioural pattern which in turn help to reduce the risk of them and simultaneously enhancing the ability of them in order to perform the tasks.

The health and fitness industry is focused on the supervision of exercise and physical activity – either in an individual capacity or within a group – in a controlled environment. The industry provides various services and facilities that encourages and promote physical activity and the general concept of promoting “wellness”.

In health and fitness industry, you also need to know the five major health related physical fitness components, namely:

Cardio -respiratory endurance

Body composition


Muscle endurance

Muscular strength

Let us now discuss each of these in detail.

Cardio – respiratory endurance: This refers to the ability of the heart, its functions, blood, and blood vessels including the total respiratory system. The required power and oxygen will be supplied to the muscles and allow them to do the exercises. Any person who does the muscle exercises can be bodily fit and can do physical activities for a longer period of time without any stress. Cardiovascular exercise offers the individual major benefits to the health and to those who are regular and constant with their exercises. The exercises for cardiovascular activities are swimming, cycling, jogging, and swimming, and pedalling and riding a machine which is elliptical in shape used in health institutes and fitness centres.



Body composition: It comprises of bones, muscles, fat and tissues etc. An individual who perform regular exercises will have normal percentage of fat. Body composition refers to your percentage fat in the body. The bone, connective tissue, muscle and internal organs are fat-free and termed “lean mass”. This mass is superior to fat mass and should be checked and maintained by taking healthy foods and regular exercises. Everyone who wants to keep the fat in control can improve body composition by losing fat, increasing lean muscle or a combination of both. For example, weight training adds both muscle mass and bone density.

Flexibility: It is refers to the movement of joints in a body. The movement range may vary from person to person. There should be a free movement of such joints to have the flexibility. It is affected by length of the muscle, the structure joints etc. An individual can move his joints to the maximum level and full range for engaging himself in his duty and play as well.


Muscle endurance: This refers to the repeated usage and ability of the muscles. An individual can repeatedly move his muscles for a longer period of time without any tiredness.

Muscular strength: This refers to the ability of the muscles to carry out the external works such as lifting the weights and keeping the arm and shoulders in good shape and strength. You can perform this for maintaining the external force and lifting of weight and controlling of your body.


A health and fitness professional must be able to measure the components to advise clients about their health related fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated. It is intended that all 5 components contribute evenly to make up a holistic health related physical fitness.

Self Assessment Questions
Fill in the blanks:

_________ reflects the positive aspects of health that can help expand your potential to live and work effectively.

The health and fitness industry is focused on the supervision of _____________ and physical activity either in an individual capacity or within a group in a controlled environment

10.3 Categories of Health and Fitness Activities

You have learnt that being healthy and staying fit means meeting all our personal and social needs independently and actively. Let us now discuss more about general health and fitness scenarios.

Wellness incorporates all aspects of health, including the physical, mental, spiritual and environmental. Wellness programs are those that work to positively influence these areas of a person’s life to improve overall health and well-being. The term “wellness program” is most often associated with corporations and work-sites however wellness programs may also be offered through community organizations such as schools, Cooperative Extension Offices or public health departments

However, as we are going to discuss about fitness industry more, let us also have a closer look on the health related issues in this section. The fitness centres differ from the nature of exercises they offer. Some of these are;

Meditation and yoga therapy centres for deriving peace and pleasure and keeping good health

Fitness centres and health spas for keeping the health fit and rejuvenated.

Gym and dance

10.3.1 Meditation

As we are from the land of Buddha we are not new to many of his thoughts though we do not practice them in our real life. Meditation is considered to be a way for attaining spiritual bliss and peace, ultimately for healthy living. Every culture and tradition has its own distinct and exclusive styles of practicing meditation.

The basic concept and understanding i.e. to concentrate and focus towards one issue or object for a longer duration may not be feasible for all. But once we get habituated to do this in a systematic way the result is there. In India there are many missions conduct programs and classes on various captions involving meditation to teach this. Here, all you can attach yourself as a member and practice meditation for individual benefit to attain the ultimate benefit which the modern science proves true. There are many groups in all the main areas of the cities and they are teaching the meditation to group of people at different timings. This meditation controls the anger of a person and it induces us to concentrate on what we do.

As per Michael J.Baime the meditation educates to have an emotional stability which allows the meditator to experience the intense emotions. One can gain insight and proper understanding of his thoughts. If you do the meditation regularly you can conquer your emotional intense and can get rid of the emotional imbalances. This helps in full relaxation of the body. The entrepreneur may get the knowledge about the meditation from the leading group of institutions and in turn this meditation will help to fell comfort and confidence including self control in his life. And he can also conduct such training centres for the benefit of the residents and can earn money with the knowledge of meditation. Meditation gives a sense of calm and acceptance of oneself and the others as well. This technique is being done for many years. Irrespective of caste and creed many people practicing the meditation for their wellness. Hence there is much scope for an entrepreneur to start such centres or visit schools and colleges etc to teach the meditation.

10.3.2 Yoga therapy

India was the origin of Yoga. It is a simple but useful technique for doing exercise which works as union among our body, mind and soul. It consists of gestures and postures. It is called Asna in Sanskrit. Yoga helps you to keep your body fit and maintain the balancing and to get self enlightenment. And it helps to control the emotions of the mind. As you know yoga is simply one sort of physical exercise involving stretching and balancing. This is mainly to keep the physique fit thereby derive fitness. But ancient legend would speak much about this theory and there are therapies developed in modern days to either prevent or cure various illnesses. However, you must appreciate that a right postures play a very important role for health & fitness.

As said above Yoga means ‘union’ and aims at the realisation of the unity of our whole being. It is a Hindu discipline aimed at achieving a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity. In the West, the term is most commonly understood as the physical exercises that are practiced as part of this discipline. Human health & fitness depends not only on the general physical fitness but mental peace. The entrepreneurial company can do the business of teaching Yoga to the people in and around in his area. He can also conduct group wise and offer packages of services of Yoga and there is a scope for him to earn money out of it.

10.3.3 Nature cure

Naturopathy is a science of healthy living and a drugless system of healing. Nature Cure is rightly defined as a system of man building in harmony with constructive principles of nature on physical, mental, moral and spiritual. This is a technique for keeping you fit by using herbals and other naturally grown food. In nature therapy green vegetables, spinach and fruits etc are given to the people who want to cure their disorders. Since it is also a simple technique the entrepreneurial enterprise can invest money in this business and can earn some return from the investments made. Naturopathy deals with treatment of disorders by balancing the condition of homoeostasis and up-keeping the equilibrium through addition and deletion of substances. This type is available only in some places and the entrepreneur can opt for this business.

Now-a – days the public are fully aware of these techniques and they are known about the facts of maintaining wellness. Yet they know that these are inexpensive and there is no side effect for these techniques. For the entrepreneur it is a good chance for them to start the business as there is no much competition in India. He can start many branches across India even in abroad also. The public are eager to know about their health conditions and they want to learn more and more about the nutrition, diet and exercises to be followed etc for maintaining their wellness.

Physical Exercise

There are many institutions which deal with physical fitness for the wellness of the people concerned. You have already learnt that fitness is about being in shape or in good physical condition. Wellness refers to being free from illness. Living fit requires not only consuming healthy diet but doing some regular exercises along with diet.

Exercising can be done by means of special equipment for lifts, squats & presses or in various other ways like aerobic exercises viz. cycling, running, biking, swimming, rowing, gymnastics such as pull-ups and push-ups. Doing all these exercises in different combinations will increase our withstanding power and stamina.

In USA there are more fitness and recreational sports centres which are equipped with latest machineries. These are running as a successful business unit. Some of them are:

aerobic dance and exercise centres

athletic club and physical fitness

health spas


fitness centres


health studios

weight training centres nutrition

strength development centres


Hence, in this unit we discuss about catering to the ever increasing demand of people in the field of fitness by setting up commercial units such as gymnastic centre or centre for yoga and other related therapies. Many publications are also available for the people to do exercises which are re commended in that.

People in India use the fitness centres to do exercises. These centres have instructors and trainers to teach the people how to do exercises or meditation etc. They are conducting group exercise classes with audio and video facilities for making the people to grasp the techniques.

Various fitness centres in India are:

spice world fitness centre -New Delhi

fitness flash- New Delhi

fitness studio- New Delhi

fit line- New Delhi

Ozone fitness N spa- New Delhi

Satguru machine fitness-Mumbai

Proline fitness- Mumbai

Herbal life- Mumbai

Body grace- Mumbai

Park health club-Kolkata

Enkon body gym- Kolkata


The entrepreneur can very well start his fitness centre in any place. It is undoubtedly a good business for him as people are very much interested in maintaining their body, mind and soul to survive as a fittest.

Self Assessment Questions
State true are false:

Pathology clinics are meant for diagnosing and analysing various biological factors.

To concentrate and focus towards one issue or object for a longer duration is very easy and feasible for all.

Naturopathy deals with treatment of disorders by balancing the condition of homoeostasis and up-keeping the equilibrium through addition and deletion of substances.

10.4 Classification of health and fitness services

The health and fitness services are classified according to the nature and technique provided in the centres. There are more services available for the entrepreneur to chose. It is required by the entrepreneur to gain knowledge about these health fitness and wellness products. There are facility and service providers who are mushrooming in India across the urban areas. Let us now broadly classify them.

The classifications are:

Gymnasiums with workout areas (fitness building): The Bodybuilding is always unique; it joins the unknown elements of human nature with nutritional science, exercise and psychology. Your workout in the gym will vary from other Bodybuilders. You have to determine the goals such as lose fat and tone up or gain weight or doing both at the same time. But it will be difficult and can lead to zigzag diets. Some workouts will provide good results and other workouts will be a waste of time.

Aerobic dance and exercise centres (Physical fitness): At first, the main aim of the step-aerobic dance exercise was to achieve a heart rate of 50-60% as per the age of the individual. This was raised to 70-80% of the heart rate. The step-aerobic dance exercise was performed by all in the experimental group for the total of eight weeks time. These were choreographed by a professional step-aerobic coach. The movement were simplified and was to learn, required the use of both the upper and lower extremities and the back. Verbal and tactile prompts were given during each step-aerobic dance exercise class. The subjects in the experimental group participated in three groups of 40 minute sessions per week for four weeks initially, followed by three 50-minute sessions per week for another four weeks.

Athletic club facilities, (Physical fitness keeping the sport in mind): Athletics club are offering mind body programming and facilities which can help you to obtain new level of goals of the fitness and wellness. These clubs are having a management team and provide childcare enrichment programs, nutrition and private training etc.

Exercise centres and fitness salons (Physical fitness and stress relieving): These are providing the regular exercise programs. They are equipped with modern equipments which are necessary for the wellness. To remove the stress they teach meditation along with the exercises. This stress leads to unnecessary problems of the individual. Hence the technique to overcome the stress is being taught and training is given by these clubs.

Fitness Spas (health building): These spas offers house spa, hydro spa, and massages etc. They provide phenomenal facilities to their customers. In addition they are providing group class training programs, including personal training.

Ice skating rinks or roller skating (fitness as well as entertaining in sport): It is a place of ice skating where high tech plastic is used to skate on. And they use synthetic ice skating rink surface for easy skating. They provide ice skating and play hockey, figure skating and public skating.

Squash club facilities: These squash club provides the facilities of viewing gallery for men and women in addition to the coaching given for the indoor games. There are trainers and at some clubs these training are given free for the members.

Swimming pools: Constructing of such swimming pools will yield a good income to the entrepreneur as many products are to be supplied along with the construction of pool. They are to be provided with cleaning chemicals, swimming pool covers and rollers, pumps and fittings, lightings and ladders, safety equipments , separate room for men and women for their urgent needs etc.

Tennis club having court facilities: These sports club is used by some people only in the society. Since this game is not that much popular and do not attract the viewers only a few are using this to play to keep them fit and proper,

Tai chi studio: Tai chi referred to as meditation in movement. It is a martial art which combines physical movement and stretching technique. It teaches and promotes the health, well being and longevity.


An entrepreneur can opt for this business as it is attracted many youngsters including the women. The regular exercises practices in gym help the individual to build the body and the structure including shaping. A gym is an integrated part of a health club or leisure centre which allows the users whether members or non members to exercise effectively using a wide range of resistance and cardiovascular machines. Presently many gym centres provide necessary classes on aerobics, body buildings and the ways to use the available equipments and fixtures to prevent a loss or damage to both the operator and the users.

In the case of health club it may be necessary to equip a spacious fully equipped gym facility, exercise area, giving initial training, constructing a swimming pool, steam room, sauna and a club room for various social activities and a small snack cum juice bar. By adding more facilities such as internet access etc. the founders of the club will initially arrange for membership enrolment to have more viability in its operation.

Gyms with workout areas

Some of the health clubs have a main workout area, which primarily consists of free weights including dumbbells, barbells and exercise machines. This area often includes mirrors so that exercisers can monitor and maintain correct posture during their workout. A gym which predominately or exclusively consists of free weights (dumbbells and barbells), as opposed to exercise machines, is sometimes referred to as a black-iron gym, after the traditional colour of weight plates.

Gyms with cardio facility theatre

A cardio theatre or cardio area involves many types of cardiovascular training-related equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines, stationary exercise bikes etc. These areas often include a number of audio-visual displays (either integrated into the equipment, or placed on walls around the area itself) in order to keep exercisers entertained during long cardio workout sessions.

Health Clubs offering various exercising facilities

Most of the new health clubs offer group exercise classes that are conducted by qualified fitness instructors. Many types of group exercise classes exist, but generally these include classes based on aerobics, cycling (spin cycle), boxing or martial arts, high intensity training and muscle training. Health clubs with swimming pools sometimes offer aqua aerobics classes in addition to their coaching on various swimming styles.

Health Clubs offering only sports facilities

Some health clubs offer squash courts or boxing areas in addition to swimming facilities. In those cases, additional fees are charged for the use of these facilities.

In addition to the above larger health clubs generally include health-shops, snack bars, restaurants, child-care facilities, member lounges etc. Where these facilities are available it is not unusual for a sauna, steam shower or wellness areas to be made available.

These clubs generally charge a fee to allow visitors to use the equipments, courses and other available services. A fairly new trend is the advent of eco friendly health clubs which incorporate principles of “green living” in its fitness and in their systematic way of giving therapies.

Due to the influences of all the above factors it results in the monthly or annual membership fees varying differently.

10.5 Equipments & Accessories

Now let us see the various fitness equipments and its classifications.

Cardiovascular Equipments: Treadmills, stationary bicycles and stair climbers etc. comes under this category. In some places it is common to see rowing machines also.

Weight Training Equipment: Weight lifting machines, barbells, various types of benches bars and racks are considered as weight training equipments. These are meant for body shaping and buildings especially for the sport communities.

Weight Reduction Equipment: Weight reduction or weight loss equipment consists of more methods than any specific equipment in any particular formation. Still there are small tools like jumping rope and other handy products etc. for the needy to do exercises as all the above models of equipments mostly involve weight reduction. The exceptional ones are that you use for body buildings that too with specific in takes.

The fitness industry has a huge growth potential as only 1.5% of the urban Indian population regularly practices workout. When we talk about the points of end-user segment, they are divided into two.

1) Residential or Home Segment

2) Institutional Segment

Equipments for Home Segment

The entrepreneur can manufacture the equipment needed for maintenance of the wellness of the people. He can supply to these clubs and fitness centres. Apart from that he can supply these equipments to the individuals who want to do exercises at home. For this he advertises in media and informs the features of the products including its spares. He sends the equipments by VPP or courier to his customers. New products with additional features are being introduced from many countries like Japan and China. The entrepreneur can deliver the equipments for residential usage some equipment. If the entrepreneur buy them for the usage in his fitness centres it is called institutional segment.

The entrepreneur can save cost if purchases additional quantity of the different equipments. He can get quantity discount from his supplier. Cost The followings are the top and the entrepreneur can supply or lend them on rent to the individuals those who are not able to make use of the gym facilities are the following ones.

1. Treadmills, this will cost approximately Rs.30,000/-

2. Bikes for exercising will cost approximately four thousand to forty thousand depending upon the models and amenities available in it.

3. Small multifaceted gymnastic machine will cost Rs.18,000/- For example Home Leaper 16H, Pro Leaper 16P etc.

Equipments for Institutional Segment

There is a vast requirement for these equipments. The fitness equipment markets there are opportunities for the entrepreneur to start the fitness centre for the maintenance of the wellness. In India it is estimated to be worth Rs 12.5 billion in the year 2008 and is expected to reach Rs. 63.3 billion by 2012. The annual growth rate is expected to be around 50%. Hence the entrepreneur can start this fitness centres in many places of a city and can control all the branches through effective management system. The following equipments are generally installed in the fitness centres and the entrepreneur can purchase considerable quantities for meeting the demand in his centre. The important requirement for the entrepreneur is the knowledge about the equipment and the way they are to be utilised. The company which manufactures these fitness equipments are conducting training for the entrepreneurs and teaches them how to use those equipments including the trouble shooting process.


The cardio equipment in a gym is among the most popular equipment because it is the most effective equipment available there to help people lose weight and the treadmills are also of that category. Cardio equipment has one main purpose i.e. to get your heart pumping and functioning normally. Treadmill is important equipment and now-a-days insisted by many insurance companies to have the facility of treadmill even in diagnostic centres. If the necessary equipment is available with the entrepreneurial for the wellness he can earn more revenue out of it and this will be fetching for ever as this industry is growing day by day.

Elliptical Machines

An entrepreneur can include these Elliptical machines in his fitness centres since they used by many for performing cardiovascular exercise. Like a treadmill, this machine will be in an elliptical shape and is stationary but allows to simulate running or walking by using a rolling or gliding ramp that are moved by feet. Many elliptical machines also have handlebars that move, allowing you to get an upper-body and lower-body workout at the same time.

Weight training equipment

These can also be found in most gyms and generally comes in two varieties. One is for free weights such as barbells and dumbbells that can be moved around from place to place in the