inPERSPECTIVE / FITNESS TRENDS
Fitness Trends in Rising Generations
By Ruben Mejia
Health and wellness is a priority for a majority of the younger demographics; according to Stanford Health, 53% of millennials say it's the most important part of their lives, coming in second behind family. Millennials have been coined the "wellness generation," but with gen Z surpassing them as the most populous generation at 32% of the population, there are new fitness practices that are taking over the industry to appeal to this even younger crowd. These rising fitness trends are more interactive, less time-consuming and have eco-friendly options.
The environment is shown to be a priority for those who fall into the millennial and Gen Z category. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services.
Incorporating green initiatives into fitness is a rising trend, seen in activities such as "plogging," which is jogging while picking up trash. This fitness craze began in Sweden and became a popular way of running in the past years, helping those who do it to stay fit while cleaning up our earth.
Another green initiative that appeals to younger generations is sustainable gym equipment, which allows users to produce electricity for the fitness center where they work out, while offsetting their own carbon footprint. This type of energy-producing equipment can be plugged into a standard outlet and generate watts that are converted to AC power and sent back into the power grid—compatible with any gym, fitness studio, apartment complex, university, etc. The energy that is produced will then go on to help power lights, fans, TVs and other utilities connected to the same power grid. Facilities incorporating eco-friendly workouts, such as sustainable fitness equipment, are likely to attract millennial/gen Z members who are trying to stay fit.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a trendy fitness regime that focuses on bursts of intense intervals followed by recovery periods. In a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), fitness professionals voted HIIT as one of the top fitness trends of the year.
This interval-based workout can be seen across almost all fitness chains and is a workout that young professionals seek out due to their busy work schedules.
Group training has a strong appeal for millennials looking for a fitness center, as they want to work out somewhere that has a strong emphasis on community. It's important to have a space where working out is enjoyable and friendly. The culture of group training can also help those who like to be motivated by competitiveness; using the energy from the group can help make you push through a workout.
Group fitness classes, such as cycling, offer a fun environment with music and motivation from instructors. These classes have seen major growth due to new technology and increased interest for group courses. Because of this, cycling studios generate 55% more revenue than other gyms, according to the Association of Fitness Studios.
Millennial and gen Z generations are prioritizing their well-being and taking over the fitness industry compared to older generations. Fitness centers that are looking to attract this demographic, which consists of a majority of the population, should look toward eco-friendly options, quick workout classes that deliver results and group sessions where participants can push one another to work out harder. When these fitness trends are incorporated and leveraged, fitness centers can see an increase in members from younger generations, mutually benefiting the fitness centers and those wishing to become members. RMRuben Mejia, executive vice president at SportsArt Fitness, has five years of experience in the fitness industry, previously holding the title of CTO. Prior to his work at SportsArt, Ruben held leadership roles within the technology and ecommerce spaces.
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