Fitness Industry Roundup: Consumers Exercise More, Gyms Rebound

Consumers note that they’re focusing on their overall health and wellness and exercising more since the pandemic and investors are betting on the fitness industry.

The fitness industry is earning some good media attention for all the right reasons. More consumers are returning to the gym to build their overall health and wellness or getting started on an exercise routine with activities they enjoy. Plus, investors are betting that the fitness industry is bound for a comeback.

36% of Consumers Exercise More Regularly Now Than Before the Pandemic

“For many, the pandemic has elevated the importance of gyms because they can assist with mental health, give exercisers time for themselves, stick to a routine and socialize with fellow gym-goers,” said Rebecca Watters, associate director, household & health at Mintel. In a press release, Mintel revealed eye-opening findings about how consumers view gyms. According to Mintel, 29% of regular exercisers enjoy the community aspect of fitness facilities. Furthermore, about four in five Americans say that the main reason they exercise is to maintain mental and emotional well-being. Watters added that more than half of Americans said the pandemic convinced them to take care of their mental health with 36% of consumers exercising more regularly now than before the pandemic.

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Gym Chains Attract Major Fundraising From Wall Street

The Wall Street Journal claims that “Americans are tired of working out at home” as private fund managers flood gym chains with hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the past nine months, stock and loan prices have rebounded for IHRSA members Planet Fitness, Life Time, and the Bay Club Company. Investors are betting that the fitness industry will continue to grow as consumers make their way back to gyms, health clubs, and studios. One consumer said, “I was doing exercises in my living room purely to make sure I kept some kind of toning and muscle mass, but I didn’t particularly get the satisfaction that one gets at the gym. It’s been nice to go back to that routine.”

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Exergaming Influences People to be More Active

Exergaming—active video gaming—decreases sedentary time, increases physical activity, and gives players autonomy over their exercise regimen, according to University of Georgia research. “I see exergaming and technology-enhanced exercise as a stepping stone. It’s the first step in the right direction, especially for people who are not involved in any kind of exercise,” said Sami Yli-Piipari, study co-author and associate professor at the Mary Frances Early College of Education. UGA Today reported that the study findings highlight that exergamers found their workouts—e.g., Just Dance, Kinect Sports, and Zumba—more enjoyable than those participating in traditional exercise. Researchers predict that this coupled with a sense of autonomy makes it more likely that exergamers will continue to be active.

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Source: Dorothy Kozlowski / UGA Today

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IHRSA Tests Listen to This Article Audio Feature

Here at IHRSA, we’re always looking for new ways to repurpose our content to fit our audience’s—really, your—needs and wants. Podcasts and audio storytelling have taken off with demand increasing yearly. We know how busy our members are, and that sometimes it can be tricky to find the time to sit down and read through a full article. Because we believe that both our resources and your time are valuable, we were inspired to beta test a Listen to This Article feature in several existing IHRSA articles. When you’re on the go or want to give your eyes a break, or simply want to check out our new feature, listen to our content!

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Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to pr@ihrsa.org, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

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Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications and Digital Content Producer. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content to shape IHRSA's image on a variety of digital platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.