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The Pandemic Has Revealed How Much Exercisers Value the Gym Experience

There’s no doubt that exerciser habits and routines have changed dramatically during the pandemic. A recently released study by IHRSA and Kelton, a Material Company, provides ample insights into how and puts a spotlight on how much exercisers value going to the gym.

The COVID Era Fitness Consumer Report, released in October, surveyed 1,171 Americans over the age of 18 who have a gym membership or recently canceled one because of the pandemic. Some of the answers were eye-opening, and plenty offered resounding evidence that exercisers are loyal to their health clubs. Check out a few of the highlights.

85% of gym members say their exercise routines have changed over the past several months, and more than half of gym goers who haven’t returned to the club yet are dissatisfied with their new routines.

The pandemic drastically altered exercise. Many have made do with home routines, but plenty of exercisers feel less motivated and challenged less when at home.

What do members miss about the health club experience?
  • Working out with others: 42%
  • The sense of community at a gym: 36%
  • Having people at the gym cheer them on through a workout: 26
53% of those who have returned to their gym say one of their goals in being a member is to elevate their mood.

It's safe to say there's been plenty to be stressed about this year. Exercise is the number one way that fitness club users say they are managing stress in 2020.

Among the favorite activities missed by gym goers during the pandemic, missing the gym was mentioned by 59% of respondents, just behind missing visiting loved ones (65%).

Hanging out with family is not surprising as the activity missed the most. But going to the gym beat out popular pastimes like going to concerts, spending time at bars or restaurants, and going to the movies.

94% say they'll return to the gym in some capacity.

The good news for health clubs is that members really do want to come back, and they want to resume the workout schedules they had before any of us knew what COVID-19 was. It's a clear sign that exercisers view going to the gym as a big part of their daily routines.