Americans are spending less on fitness and choosing different activities, according to new survey data from aSweatLife, which has surveyed 500 people annually over the past three years about their fitness habits.
According to the survey, respondents average monthly spend on fitness options in 2018 (like classes or gym memberships) was between $26-175, while a quarter of respondents spent $75-125 each month. Respondents tended to work out anywhere from 4 to 6 times a week.
Overall, year-over-year data showed average fitness spending had declined. Respondents to the survey spent an average of $112.47 per month on fitness in 2018, while in 2017 they spent $123.37 and in 2016 they spent $125.50. aSweatLife points out that 84 percent of their survey respondents were millennials who are perhaps less financially well off than previous generations.
Preferred workouts have changed over the past three years. Strength, HIIT and yoga workouts, in that order, topped the most popular ways to stay fit. Running was a little less popular than it has been in previous years. In 2018, only 60 percent of respondents made running a part of their workout routine, compared to about 70 percent in 2017.
Respondents also showed that they’re more likely to participate in on-demand fitness programs from streaming services, while also preferring to work out with friends. Over 80 percent of respondents said they wanted to work out more with their friends at fitness events or special classes.
Anecdotally, what it means to be fit is also changing. The survey found that more women are hitting the weight room, responding that “strong is the new skinny.” Along those same lines, respondents recognized that body inclusivity and positivity are trending. Respondents said that classes are more fun when striving toward the next goal instead of feeling guilty about what they did or didn’t do.