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Why Most People Won’t Renew Gym Memberships & What That Means

11/15/2020
By TDrew

Earlier this year, the country went into lockdown with gyms closing their doors indefinitely. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, businesses shut down in the hopes they could weather out the storm. As gyms begin to re-open throughout America, the health and wellness industry is facing a new issue. During the lockdown, many people turned to home fitness to stay healthy and in shape. According to a new survey, 59% of Americans don’t plan on renewing their gym memberships. So, what does this mean for the industry, the economy, and your next workout? Keep reading to find out how the coronavirus has transformed health and fitness as we know it.  

COVID-19 Pandemic: 59% of Americans Don’t Plan to Renew Their Gym Membership

A recent survey shows that over half of Americans don’t plan on renewing their gym memberships. That’s a high number. Considering that there were 64.2 million gym memberships in 2019, you’re looking at millions of people not renewing their membership. That comes at a cost to facilities where, on average, a member is worth $517 each year.

Multiracial people doing workout routine with gym membership.
Coronavirus Pandemic Has Emphasized That You Can Work Out At Home Effectively (Image Source: Shutterstock)

So, why is there such a change in mindset when it comes to working out? 

The top reason why people don’t plan to renew memberships is that the pandemic helped to find more cost-effective and affordable ways to exercise. People know that they can work out from home. But the coronavirus pandemic has emphasized that you can work out at home effectively, achieve results, and live a healthier lifestyle without paying for a gym membership.

With a massive rise in health and wellness awareness combined with financial uncertainty, Americans want to work out, be safe, and watch their spending. The result is an enormous shift to home and outdoor exercise. Many people turn to on-demand and streaming platforms, fitness apps, and home exercise equipment to stay fit and healthy. 

Health and Wellness is a Multi-Billion Dollar Market 

The global health and wellness industry generates more than $80 billion every year, with the United States contributing $30 billion. In the US, as of 2020, there are just over 800,000 people employed in the gym, health, and fitness club industry. 

Side view of two attractive sports women on running track.
The Gym Industry Struggled As Disposable Incomes Went Down, And Gym Memberships Were Among The First Things To Go (Image Source: Shutterstock)

With a potential global recession looming, the fitness industry could be in store for an even bigger hit. During the 2008 recession, the gym industry struggled as disposable incomes went down, and gym memberships were among the first things to go.

With gyms and studios closing their doors several months ago, thousands of jobs could be on the line. While virtually no businesses were ready to shut their doors for as long as the gyms, the pandemic has forced the health and wellness industry to the limit. The result is that many businesses are pushing the boundaries of the quality of content the fitness industry can deliver in an online format. 

Yes, the wellness industry has taken a hit and suffered massive financial losses, with gym owners struggling to stay afloat. With social distancing in place, many personal trainers and fitness professionals have found themselves out of work. Pilates studies in New York City have laid off 98% of their workforce. Rising unemployment will have a lasting effect on the economy as, naturally, people will have and spend less money. 

Research shows that obesity is a significant risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. With a massive emphasis on physical well-being, COVID-19 has revolutionized the health and fitness industry.   

How the Coronavirus Crisis Has Impacted the Health and Wellness Industry

With a rise in health-conscious consumers and the need to stay healthy to fight disease and illness, health and fitness are a priority. It’s essential to be physically healthy for both your mind and your body. With increased financial uncertainty around employment and money, many members are ditching the gym for home fitness.

Woman repeating exercises while watching online exercise session on her smart phone at home.
Home Fitness Caters To A Growing Audience Of Health-Conscious Warriors (Image Source:: Shutterstock)

Many health and fitness brands have found ways to connect with and support customers digitally throughout the pandemic. Digital fitness has gone viral overnight. Between home fitness equipment, streaming platforms, and fitness apps, people have a ton of ways to stay fit at the touch of a button.

People are craving affordable and effective home fitness. While some people can’t wait to step back in the gym, others are worried, and rightly so. Are gyms safe? It’s a question on everyone’s minds. This is a driving factor behind home fitness and is leading to more effective home fitness. 

Home fitness caters to a growing audience of health-conscious warriors. The wellness industry has stepped up to the challenge of finding ways to connect with clients from a distance. From Zoom workouts to Instagram Live classes, a whole new online community centered on providing affordable and accessible health and wellness has surfaced. 

No one can predict the effect COVID-19 will have on the wellness industry and the future economy. But what you can see is that the health and wellness industry is resilient. By pivoting to digital fitness services, businesses can continue to make money, hire staff, and contribute to the world’s biggest health and wellness market. 

Home Fitness and Outdoor Exercise Skyrockets

With the coronavirus affecting every part of your life, how will your next workout look? The need for social distancing and good air circulation has caused home fitness and outdoor exercise to skyrocket. 

20 Minute Workout At Home For Beginners | Full Body / No Equipment – Daniela Suarez

Lockdown emphasized the importance of health and well-being. Movement and getting outside is essential for your physical and mental health. This means that the new era of home fitness looks set to stay. 

You can do an effective cardio workout at home or go outside for a run and still be hitting your goals. The running and cycling app, Strava, saw a 47% jump in downloads as COVID-19 started to spread. This shows just how popular outdoor exercise is.  

With so much access to content nowadays, you can get in shape without paying for a gym membership. Although this is something most people knew, there is a new awareness that has come to light during the pandemic. The consumer mindset on home fitness has shifted.

The Best at Home Workouts to Stay in Shape 

If you’re unsure where to start with home fitness, there are plenty of workouts for outside. You can try strength and cardio circuits or jump rope. It doesn’t matter if you have never stepped foot in a gym and have no idea where to start. The 1AND1 Life free at-home workout series includes four weeks of workouts that will elevate your energy levels and mood. You also gain instant access to a community of experts to ask questions and help you through your journey.

Man doing abdominal exercises on floor at home.
You Need To Develop Good Habits To See You Through The Winter Season (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you make one decision today, decide to move more. Regular movement can really benefit your mental and physical health, boosting your immune system and overall well-being.  

Whether you started a new lockdown workout routine from home or not, there’s never a better time like the present to get moving. With the cold weather just around the corner, you need to develop good habits to see you through the winter season. Maybe you need to drink more water, move more, or limit sugary drinks. It takes time to develop good, healthy habits. Still, if you start now and get into a routine where you exercise regularly and make good food choices, you will be in a strong position to stay healthy as the season changes.

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