Global training shoe e-commerce platform RunRepeat surveyed 10,824 gym members from 116 countries last year to learn if they plan to return to gyms and whether they plan to keep their memberships.
The pandemic forced gyms around the world to close, which drove a shift to at-home and outdoor workouts that now seem firmly entrenched within most active lifestyles.
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Gym visits down, exercise up
Based on responses, nearly half of all gym members globally will not return to their gyms (46.67%) and more than a third of all gym members globally have already cancelled or are considering canceling their memberships (36.57%).
Interestingly, women were less likely to return to the gym (52.25%), compared to men (45.75%).
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Even though gyms were locked down, another study conducted by RunRepeat found that 88% of respondents actually exercise more now than they were during the pandemic.
Fitness trends shaping 2021
And a more recent RunRepeat survey affirms the pandemic’s enduring impact on the way we live, work and exercise.
The team surveyed 4,538 active adults from 122 countries to find out how their fitness and exercise preferences have changed since last year, before the pandemic.
The big takeout? Gyms continue to take a hit as 60.5% fewer active adults see gyms, health clubs, and group exercise classes as the best way to stay fit in 2021.
Instead, exercising outdoors emerged as the most popular fitness trend in 2021, with 59.1% of active adults choosing outdoor activities like running, outdoor exercise, hiking, and walking as the best way to stay fit in 2021. That figure is 14.6% higher compared to the start of 2020.
Interestingly, 39.4% of gym members stated that they are switching to running and other outdoor activities in 2021.
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And purchases of fitness equipment to train at home was up 49.6%, based on the research. Active American adults believe that both at-home and online fitness (up 134.7%) are the best ways to achieve their fitness goals in 2021.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.