Over the last few decades, more and more Americans have embraced a healthier lifestyle that included better nutrition and regular exercise.
Data shows that people’s priorities have evolved a bit to reflect higher importance on self-care and wellness.
In 2019, it was estimated that more than 20% of Americans belonged to a gym, fitness studio, or health club. In fact, since 2008, health club memberships have reportedly increased by 37%.
Meanwhile, brands like Barry’s Bootcamp, Orange Theory Fitness, and SoulCycle found themselves catering to an audience of health-conscious evangelists that made physical activity look fun and cool.
Then 2020 happened and everything changed.
Gyms closed, in-person training became nearly impossible to get, and finding gym equipment required a willingness to pay non-trivial amounts of money.
Yet, at a time when it would seem like people’s focus on health and wellness would be deprioritized, the attention to this space seems more amplified than ever.
Innovative mediums are sprouting up everywhere that enable people to more easily stay active, without the traditional means and equipment.
Trainers have gone online, video-based workouts are the new normal, and high-tech home gym equipment is making its way into more homes than ever before.
People now have access to workout regimens without the inconvenience that exists with regular gyms, such as commuting or waiting for a piece of gym equipment to become available.
Previously, 50% of gym-goers quit after 6 months. When you are empowered to achieve your goals through an app or wall-mounted unit and never have to leave your home, the perception of what physical activity involves shifts to look a lot less burdensome.
Furthermore, for people who are working from home, this becomes a new outlet from work activities and external obligations, without needing to exposure yourself to risks that come from being in a crowded gym.
It’s not difficult to envision new habits being created that drive people to remain more resilient with fitness goals.
To that extent, this current environment could produce an inflection point for the health and wellness industry. This could mean more people becoming more active and remaining active.
At a time when there is so much to be stressed about, this could be something we can all celebrate.