Three in five Americans believe gyms will become a thing of the past due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.
A new survey of 2,000 Americans found going to a gym is becoming more and more obsolete due to the pandemic, with three in four saying it’s actually easier than ever to maintain their fitness routines in the comfort of their own homes.
The study asked how people have used their time during quarantine to change up their fitness routines, and 63% said they’ve used their time in quarantine to get into better shape.
Another 64% of respondents are more interested in at-home fitness options now than they were before quarantine.
Surprisingly, results showed that Americans exercised on average 25% more often during quarantine than before.
Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe they don’t need a gym to keep up with their fitness and over half said they now feel so confident in their ability to stay fit at home that they plan to cancel their gym membership altogether.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AI fitness and lifestyle app Freeletics, the survey found that 52% of Americans are working out at home simply to pass the time in lockdown, while over half of respondents are working out to improve their mental health.
With 70% of those surveyed agreeing that fitness has now become a bigger priority for them since the pandemic, respondents shared they’ve invested an average of $95.79 in their at-home fitness over the last three months.
The top fitness equipment respondents invested in during lockdown included yoga mats, resistance bands and dumbbells. A quarter of respondents even went big and purchased an exercise bike and 21% purchased a treadmill or elliptical.
But quarantine was also an opportunity for fitness apps, with 74% of respondents using at least one while in lockdown. For over four in 10 respondents of those respondents, this was the first time they had ever used a fitness app.
As respondents have been adapting to their new lives indoors, the average respondent has used two fitness apps and have taken four online fitness classes.
With this new-found time to devote to fitness, 65% of those surveyed said working out at home alone during this uncertain time has been a confidence booster.
This may be more beneficial than respondents initially think too, as 65% of men and 55% of women surveyed were in agreement that they often feel intimidated when working out a traditional gym.
“COVID-19 has changed the way that people live and move. In this new normal of working from home, it is more important than ever to actively seek out exercise,” said Dr. Peter Just, Team Lead Coach Experience at Freeletics. “By finding and sticking to an at-home fitness routine structured around everyday working life, people can reap an overwhelming amount of mental and physical health benefits. Additionally, these at-home fitness options offer more flexibility than stationary gyms and remove barriers that people once had like commuting time, financial strain, and experience level.”
But physical fitness wasn’t the only new priority for Americans during lockdown, as 34% of those polled said the top exercise they’ve done during their time indoors has been meditation and 29% have also opted for yoga to keep themselves active and mindful.
Seventy-three percent of respondents were also in agreement that they’ve been exercising more to positively affect their mental health. In fact, more men than women shared this sentiment – at 80% vs. 67%.
During quarantine, 63% of respondents developed a newfound appreciation for meditation and mindfulness due to their health benefits.
It’s not surprising that 78% of those surveyed agreed that their mental health has now become a bigger priority for them since the pandemic began.
Nearly seven in 10 respondents also said they’ve used their exercise routines as a successful coping mechanism to deal with the stress of lockdown.
“There is a strong link between physical activity and mental health. During and after exercise, the body releases ‘feel good hormones’ that prompt the mind to experience a sense of achievement and mental clarity,” added Dr. Just. “When pairing a workout with a mindfulness exercise in the cooldown phase, there is an additional positive effect on the mental state. Regular post-workout meditation or other mindfulness exercises can also help tremendously in promoting positive overall mental health and wellbeing.”
TOP EXERCISES TRIED DURING QUARANTINE
- Meditation – 34%
- Running – 32%
- Walking – 31%
- Yoga – 29%
- Pilates – 24%
- Hiking – 21%
- Outdoor biking – 20%
- Spinning – 19%
TOP REASONS FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME DURING QUARANTINE
- To get in shape – 53%
- To reduce boredom – 52%
- To improve my mental health – 52%
- To reduce stress/anxiety – 44%
- To strengthen my immune system – 43%
- To improve my overall health – 40%