Women Are Avoiding the Gym This Year, Here’s How They’re Keeping Fit Instead

Women's Fitness Trends

A new study has shown that us women are avoiding the gym this year. Not because we’re bucking the old new year fitness resolutions – instead, setting achievable goals – but because we’re finding different ways to keep fit.

It’s not exactly surprising when COVID has made it difficult to attend the gym – between mixed mask messaging (they’ve only just become mandatory in Sydney) and lockdowns, it seems like it’s safer not to go.

Online runners’ community, RunRepeat, surveyed hundreds of gym members from 120 countries worldwide to learn just how they’ll be staying fit this year. They then compared their findings to stats from the start of 2020…remember that innocent, naive time?

Here’s what they found when it comes to women’s fitness trends – there has been a drastic drop in women who consider gym memberships as the best way to achieve their fitness goals. Last year, 46.4% of women agreed it was the best way – this year, it sits at a pretty measly 15.7%.

This doesn’t seem to bode well for gym industry, as typically 12% of all new gym members sign up in January. This isn’t even adding on the fact that gyms tend to experience a decrease in traffic after January and February – as newbies lose steam with their resolutions.

A report from Ibis World found that the revenue in the ‘Gyms and Fitness Centres’ industry is expected to fall 5.9% in 2020-2021, with industry profitability also expected to decline – due to COVID.

In lieu of this, it looks like the latest women’s fitness trend is heading outside – we’re taking up running, hiking, or cycling. In fact, the percentage of women who prefer outdoor activities has risen by 16.2% – more than half the women surveyed. Unsurprisingly, at-workout equipment has also seen a significant jump, of 10%.

At the start of 2020, online fitness courses, classes and subscriptions were the least favoured option. Now, they’re the fourth most favoured option – tied with personal trainer and nutritionist.

And our male counterparts? We’re ahead of them in most categories, but they narrowly edge us out in preferring at-home workout equipment (only by 4.1%). When it comes to sports, 6.6x more men think sport is their best way to stay fit this year.

Whether we’ll return to the gyms when COVID is over, or continue to avoid it like the…plague – only time will tell.

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