Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Exercise Trends Two To Three Years Into The Pandemic.


When the pandemic hit, no one could go to the gym or even go outside.  We were stuck figuring out how to continue our fitness programs when we couldn't go anywhere.  It was a struggle to exercise while maintaining our healthy eating and keep the weight off. 

As time went on, the restrictions eased and we could venture outside as long as we stayed isolated and then the gyms opened.  Between March 2020 and June 2021, the fitness gym industry lost 29.2 billion dollars of business. By January 2022, over 30 percent of the fitness studios had closed but the digital/online fitness industry has increased and is predicted to increase.

We are now a couple years into the pandemic with no signs it will be going away completely so how have things changed in terms of our exercising habits. During the pandemic, about 75 percent of the people live streamed their workouts and 70 percent preferred the option of using on demand videos due to their flexibility.  In addition, people purchased exercise equipment such as Nordic Track, Peloton, and Mirror to use at home.  This means that many people started using the subscriptions used with the associated programs.  For instance, Peloton whose stationary bike was popular and who would provide on demand spin classes saw their subscription base increase from 700,000 to over 3 million people.

One advantage to the digital platform is that it allowed people who would never consider going to the gym, a change to start exercising at home if they didn't feel comfortable going to the gym, or didn't have time to go. 

Unfortunately, the down side is that many people missed the social aspect of working out with others and many did not have the necessary equipment at home to continue their programs.  It is projected that gyms and the fitness industry will not really recover to pre-covid levels for another year or two for two reasons.  First, about one third of people have said they are not returning to gyms even after they've been vaccinated. Second, the people who invested in an in home gym setups with digital memberships will not return because they have what they need to work at home.

Based on the results of several surveys, it's been found that many people plan to return to the gym but they also plan to continue workout at home some of the time.  Others have stated they will return to the gym if the gym offers them digital classes as part of the gym membership.  Thus a hybrid model is one that meets the needs of some people. 

Another area that experienced increased interest was in outdoor classes. As a matter of fact, outdoor activities found itself in 3 rd place in the list of top 20 fitness trends for 2022 per the American College of Sports Medicine.  In addition, 72 percent of gym members said that running and other outdoor activities were considered the best way for them to achieve their fitness goals.

One last thing is that so many people indicated that exercising and working out helped them keep their sanity during Covid. Being locked down lead to mental issues and significant stress that people battled using exercise.  

It looks like the change to streaming and on demand digital exercises, home equipment, and outdoor activities is here to stay for quite a while. In fact, many people who began using alternative methods to workout are saying they are not going to return to the gym.  They plan to continue working out using digitally based exercises, home equipment and outdoor activities.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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