Health and Fitness Industry Guide

People exercising and fruit and vegetables

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the Health & Fitness industries and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Acupuncturist  BOP244 
Aromatherapist  BOP100 
Chiropractor  BOP216 
Country Sports Retailer  BOP569 
Dance Teacher  BOP072 
Dietitian  BOP555 
Foot Health Practitioner  BOP568 
Gym  BOP004 
Health Food Shop  BOP011 
Herbalist  BOP335 
Homeopath  BOP150 
Hypnotherapist  BOP321 
Massage Therapist  BOP443 
Nutritional Therapist  BOP395 
Occupational Therapist  BOP549 
Osteopath  BOP546 
Personal Fitness Trainer  BOP379 
Physiotherapist  BOP161 
Reflexologist  BOP349 
Reiki Practitioner  BOP045 
Sports and Dietary Supplements Retailer  BOP580 
Sports Shop  BOP317 
Yoga and Pilates Instructor  BOP356 

UK Market Synopsis

Health and Fitness  SYN006 

Sector Update

Complementary and Alternative Medicine  SEC016 
Sport and Physical Activity   SEC027 

Sector Research Guide

Complementary Therapy  SRG005 
Sport and Fitness  SRG010 

Business Information Fact Sheets

Compliance Guide for the Complementary and Alternative Therapy Sector  BIF444 
Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)  BIF501 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. Located within the Centre.

How To Be A Successful Life Coach by Shelagh Young (How To Books, 2009) [SBH BT.40] 
A guide to setting up a profitable coaching business.

How To Be A Successful Therapist by Celia Johnson (Gold Bridge Publications, 2009) [SBH BT.41] 
A guide to starting and running your own complementary therapy business.

How To Build A Six-Figure Personal Training Business by Dave Fletcher (Odyssey Fitness Ltd, 2012) [SBH BT.46] 
Covers the six essential stages in creating a successful personal training business: turning self-employed, defining your brand, designing your product, dominating Google, building a public profile and expanding the business. Useful advice for starting any kind of business.

The Business Of Personal Training by Mark Nutting (Human Kinetics, 2019) [SBH BT BT.174] 
Covers the roles and responsibilities of personal trainers plus many important business skills including; business plan, structure, staff, insurance, forms, contracts, marketing, services offered and pricings etc.

The Business of therapy: How to Succeed in Private Practice by Pauline L. Hodson (Open University Press, 2012) [SBH BT.133] 
Although addressed primarily to psychotherapists and counsellors, most of the information applies equally to the practice of complementary medicine. Analyses the psychological and practical issues which need to be addressed when setting up a practice.

The Complete Guide to Personal Training by Morc Coulson (Bloomsbury Sport, 2013) [SBH BT.135] 
How to set up, market and grow a successful business including training methods, training routines and schedules, health and safety, sales, marketing, financial management etc.

Vegan Ventures by Katrina Fox (Vegan Business Media, 2015) [SBH BT.199] 
How to set up, market and grow a successful business run on vegan principles. Features insights and advice from over 60 vegan business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing, PR and business growth professionals. Includes common branding mistakes, best social media practices, positive media coverage etc.

[NB There are a few books on open access in Science Level 2 in the subject area of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, plus many more within the catalogue under the shelf mark (B) 615.5].

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

GlobalData logo

  • Anti-Pollution Food and Drinks
  • Butterfly Pea Flower
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabis – Sensory & Indulgence
  • Carbs are Bad, Fat is Good
  • Digestive Health
  • Disease Management
  • Durian Fruit
  • Free From
  • Fresh, Natural & Pure
  • Functional Mushrooms
  • Goji Berry Fruit
  • Health & Wellness – 360 Degree Wellness
  • Health & Wellness – All aboard the Plant Wagon
  • Health & Wellness – “Better for You” Alcoholic Drinks
  • Health & Wellness TrendSight Overview
  • Ingredient Insights: Energy and Performance
  • Jujube Fruit
  • Mangosteen Fruit
  • Meat Alternatives Trend in Seafood
  • Opportunities in Meat Substitutes 
  • Psychobiotics
  • Sterilized Society
  • Success/Failure Case Studies - many examples available
  • Top Trends In Dairy

IBISWorld logo

  • Allied Health-Care Services
  • Corporate Wellness Services 
  • Fruit Drink & Functional Beverage Production 
  • Fruit & Vegetable Retailers
  • Gyms & Fitness Centres 
  • Juice, Mineral Water & Soft Drink Wholesale
  • Juice Production 
  • Juice & Smoothie Bars 
  • Organic Food Retailing 
  • Personal Trainers 
  • Pilates & Yoga Studios 
  • Sports Clubs 
  • Sports Facilities 
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturing 
  • Sporting and Outdoor Equipment Retailers 
  • Vitamin & Supplement Manufacturing

Mintel logo

  • Attitudes towards Healthy Eating 
  • Attitudes to Low/No/Reduced Sugar Soft Drinks
  • Attitudes towards Sports Nutrition 
  • Attitudes towards Sugar and Sweeteners
  • Bottled Water
  • Children’s Healthcare
  • Fruit Juice, Juice Drinks & Smoothies 
  • Health and Fitness Clubs
  • Health and Technology
  • Health Food Retailing
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Out-of-Home Leisure
  • In vs Out-of-Home Leisure
  • Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools
  • Leisure Review
  • Leisure Time
  • Managing A Healthy Lifestyle
  • Managing Skin Conditions and Allergies
  • Meat-Free Foods
  • Menu Trends
  • Occupational Health
  • Private Healthcare
  • Sexual Health
  • Spectator Sports
  • Sports and Energy Drinks
  • Sports Participation
  • Suncare
  • The Leisure Outlook
  • Vitamins and Supplements

Passport logo

  • Better For You Beverages in the United Kingdom
  • Better For You Packaged Food in the United Kingdom
  • Consumer Health in the United Kingdom
  • Digestive Remedies in the United Kingdom
  • Eye Care in the United Kingdom
  • Fortified Functional Beverages in the United Kingdom
  • Fortified/Functional Packaged Food in the United Kingdom
  • Free From in the United Kingdom
  • Fresh Food in the United Kingdom
  • Fruits in the United Kingdom
  • Health and Beauty Specialist Retailers in the United Kingdom
  • Health and Wellness in the United Kingdom
  • Herbal/Traditional Products in the United Kingdom
  • Juice in the United Kingdom
  • Naturally Healthy Beverages in the United Kingdom
  • Naturally Healthy Packaged Food in the United Kingdom
  • Organic Beverages in the United Kingdom
  • Organic Packaged Food in the United Kingdom
  • Paediatric Consumer Health in the United Kingdom
  • Processed Fruit and Vegetables in the United Kingdom
  • Sleep Aids in the United Kingdom
  • Sports Drinks in the United Kingdom
  • Sports Nutrition in the United Kingdom
  • Vegetables In the United Kingdom
  • Weight Management and Wellbeing in the United Kingdom
  • Wound Care in the United Kingdom

EMIS logo

  • Dietary Supplements Market to 2024
  • Global Dietary Supplements Market 2019-2024
  • Global Gyms, Health & Fitness Clubs
  • Global Functional Beverage Market 2020-2025
  • Global Functional Food Market 2021 - 2027
  • Global Functional Beverages Market 2018-2023
  • Global Nutritional Supplement Market 2018-2023
  • Global Plant Based Beverages Market 2019 - 2026
  • Global Plant Based Food and Beverage Alternatives Market
  • Global Plant Based Protein Supplement Market 2019-2026
  • Global Protein Supplement Market 2018-2025
  • Global Smart Home Healthcare Market 2020-2025
  • Immune Health Supplements Market 2020-2025
  • Plant Based Meat Market 2020-2025
  • Probiotic Supplements Market 2020-2025

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

FoodBev (previously known as Beverage innovation) (Zenith International Ltd) [(P) 338.47664005 -E(2) BUS]
Company and product news: regional news and profiles, new products and brands. Includes: fruit juices, organics, energy and sports drinks, ice tea, packaging, bottling, ingredients, sweeteners, machinery and equipment. 

IHCAN: The Practice and Science of Natural Medicine (formerly CAM : the magazine for practitioners of complementary medicine) (Target Publishing Ltd) [(P)  615.505 -E(1) Science 2]
Covers: news of the alternative health and medicines business, herbal remedies, natural and holistic therapies, detox, nutrition, functional foods, naturopathy, exercise, psychotherapy, vitamins, clinics. Includes product and service directory. 

Club Mirror (St Martins Press) [P.805/501 Humanities – Catalogue Request] 
For owners and managers of social clubs, nightclubs, sports, snooker, health and fitness clubs, comedy and entertainment venues. Includes news and features, new products, the law, gaming machines, furniture and design, large screen television, product and service directory.

Guild news (Guild Press Ltd) [(P) 646.72068 -E(1) BUS]
Monthly journal aimed at the beauty, nail and spa markets with news, latest developments and case studies. Reviews and comparisons of latest products plus salon management techniques etc.

Gym Owner Monthly (PW Media) [Digital Publication - Online only]
Monthly digital magazine aimed at gym owners and fitness professionals. Delivers news, articles, expert comment, case studies, new product and technology content to help gym owners and fitness business owners enhance their service offering. All back issues are freely available online

Health Club Management (Leisure Media Company Ltd, monthly) [ZK.9.b.8887 Humanities – Catalogue Request. Recent issues ELD Digital Store]
News, features, analysis and new products. Includes: health clubs, gyms, fitness equipment, spas, health farms, company and club chain profiles, beauty salons and treatments, property, management, marketing, training. All previous issues can be read for free online.

Leisure Management (Leisure Media Company Ltd.) [P.525/452 Humanities – Catalogue Request. Recent issues ELD Digital Store] 
News for managers of visitor attractions, theme parks, sports and leisure centres, nightclubs, hotels, stadia, venues etc. Includes: property, interior design, new developments, fitness and play equipment, travel etc.

Men's Fitness (Dennis Publishing Ltd) [ZK.9.b.15757 Humanities – Catalogue Request]
Latest developments in exercise, nutrition and products to help build muscle, lose fat and improve performance. Includes many articles concentrating on specific muscle groups and exercises and covers nutrition for growth, recuperation and repair. Workout routines are included. 

Men’s Health (NatMag-Rodale Ltd) [ZK.9.b.18555 Humanities – Catalogue Request]
Latest scientific, nutritional and exercise developments to build muscle and increase health. Includes workout routines for specific muscle groups plus articles on recuperative factors. Includes some ‘men’s lifestyle’ articles covering style, fashion, technology etc.

S&PA Professional (Previously Sport & Physical Activity, Previously Recreation) (Redactive Pub) [(P) 790.069 – E (1) Science] [ZK.9.b.30821 – Catalogue Request]]
News publication of the Chartered Institute For The Management Of Sport And Physical Activity. Covers latest development and trends with articles and opinion on current topics and news.

True Health (Target Publishing Ltd) [ZK.9.b.32880 Humanities - Catalogue Request]
Sources information from pharmacists and registered nutritional therapists to promote the benefits of natural health products. All previous issues can be read for free online.

Women's Fitness (formerly known as Health & Fitness) (Dennis Publishing Ltd) [ZK.9.b.19918 Humanities - Catalogue Request]
Covers the women's health and fitness industry with the latest nutritional and exercise developments. Includes workout routines for weight loss and toning and spotlights different specialist areas each month.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

The IHCAN Directory 2018/2019 (Target Publishing Ltd) [(B) DIR 615.5 BUS]
A guide to complementary health in the UK with listings of manufacturers, suppliers, courses, products and services etc. 2020/2021 Directory freely available online.

Health Club Management Handbook 2019 (The Leisure Media Company Limited) [ELD Digital Store]
2020 Edition freely available. Guide to the health and fitness industry with a who's who in the sector and an A-Z listing of companies and suppliers in the sector.

The Natural Trade Directory 2019 (Target Publishing Limited) [(B) DIR 641.30202541 BUS]
Buyer’s guide for the natural and organic trade industry with listings of companies, products and services, trade names and other useful addresses. 2020 Directory freely available online.

Sports, Outdoor, Cycling & Running Handbook (2019) (Maze Media Ltd) [(B) DIR 381.456887602541 BUS] 
Sports industry directory giving suppliers (alphabetically and by category), independent retailers, and names and contact details of governing bodies. 2019 edition freely available online.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

The Association of Physical and Natural Therapists

Represents trained, professional therapists in disciplines including massage, reflexology and acupressure.  

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Professional association for people interested in exercise and sports science, such as biomechanics, physiology and psychology. 

The British Complementary Medicine Association

Founded to support and protect both therapists and clients. Includes a directory of practitioners.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA)

Professional association for dieticians. It provides training and a range of publications. 

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF)

Provides information on healthy eating for schools and the general public. 

British Register of Complementary Practitioners (BRCP) 

Provides support and services for complementary therapy practitioners and provides information on Complementary Medicine to the public. Includes a directory of practitioners. 

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

The professional body for sport, physical activity and recreation management.  

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

UK regulatory body for complementary healthcare practitioners. With an online registry of complementary therapists. 

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC)

Provides the latest Government information on health and fitness, and aims to improve the overall wellbeing of the British public. 

The Federation of Holistic Therapists

A guide to available treatments, links to reputable practitioners and a number of articles on complementary therapy and its benefits. 

The Federation of Sports and Play Associations

The national trade body representing the UK's sporting goods and play industries. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) 

An independent food safety watchdog set up to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food. 

The General Council for Massage Therapy

Aims to regulate standards of training and professional practice for massage therapists. 

The International Register of Consultant Herbalists and Homoeopaths

Exists to promote skilled, ethical and professional care among herbal practitioners. 

International Therapy Examination Council

The International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) is an awarding body offering vocational related qualifications in beauty, complementary and sports therapies. 

The National Register of Personal Trainers

An online directory of qualified personal trainers.  

Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC)

Self-regulatory body and publishes a national register of nutritional therapists. It aims to promote and raise professional standards in nutritional therapy. 

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine

A directory of registered Chinese Medicine practitioners. 

The Register of Exercise Professionals

A professional register of exercise and fitness trainers, coaches and instructors. 

The UK's various sports development agencies promote the benefits of sport and deliver the Government's sporting objectives, as well as providing links to the National Governing Body (NGB) of each sport.

Sport England  

Sport Scotland  

Sport Wales  

Sport Northern Ireland

UKActive (Formerly the Fitness Industry Association)

Provides services and facilities partnerships for a broad range of organisations to improve the health of the nation via more active lifestyles. 

UK Coaching (formerly Sports Coach UK)

Guides and implements a coaching strategy for the UK, and offers information about National Governing Bodies and the National Coaching Certificate. 

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by, garthimage, under a Creative Commons license