Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

August 2021


IHRSA Foundation Digs Into the New Fitness Consumer Mindset

New consumer research commissioned by the IHRSA Foundation and ABC Fitness Solutions shows motivation to stay fit in a post-pandemic world is less about having a solid physique and more about achieving a holistic approach to physical exercise and mental well-being. A study conducted by ClubIntel in June 2021 shows that the active consumer motivation for a total fitness experience demands highly personalized delivery—the fitness industry can no longer provide a one-size-fits-all approach and expect to succeed.

'The Next Fitness Consumer Report' provides answers to vital questions, such as why consumers are interested in or presently participate in exercise routines, what consumers value most about pursuing a fitness routine, and—perhaps most importantly—how routines have changed since the start of the pandemic. Delivering options for the consumer is paramount; it's about connecting home and outdoor fitness with gym workouts and trainer-led programs to stay active, feel good and connect with like-minded individuals.

"This report gave us timely insight about what the future of fitness holds for the industry," said Bill Davis, CEO of ABC Fitness Solutions. "As consumers look for more choices to create their fitness journey, they want a variety in equipment, programming and facilities. Four out of the five most relevant modalities are features in gyms and fitness clubs, making them well-positioned for growth across multiple segments and demographics."

The report offers an Active Consumer Profile that examines responses by specific segments like gender, age, ability and income. It also includes a "Fitness Mix," which discusses consumers' goals, exercise regimens, fitness mix and routines, workout frequency, exercise expenditures, equipment preferences and more.

"Fitness and wellness are top of mind for the active consumer," said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA's director of research and insights. "While the majority of Americans value regular exercise, a significant segment of inactive consumers want to engage in physical activity, presenting an opportunity for the fitness industry."

Some of the key findings found in 'The Next Fitness Consumer Report' include:

  • Two-thirds of Americans report that they are currently active, an indicator that fitness is broader than just physical exercise and inclusive of mental health and acuity.
  • Outdoor activities and digital/online workouts are here to stay—consumers want fitness delivered to them.
  • Despite growing fitness awareness, regular exercise may be a privilege of the well-off, highlighting the need for the fitness industry to overcome barriers of inequity.
  • The fitness club and studio will remain the go-to hubs of active consumers.
  • Among those who previously canceled their membership at big-box gyms, half say they plan to return in the next six to 12 months.

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2021 Report Shows Record Outdoor Participation - July 2021

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Outdoor Industry Association Paints Picture of the New Outdoor Participant - April 2021

NRPA Introduces New Resource Aimed at Eliminating Health Inequities - April 2021

ULI Report: Pandemic Led to Innovation in the Public Realm - April 2021

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Trust for Public Land Ranks Boise No. 1 for Dog Parks - December 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top-Performing Clubs - December 2020

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ACA Grant Program Aims to Promote Access and Inclusion at Camp - December 2020

2020 Voters Approve $3.7 Billion for Parks & Public Lands - November 2020

Study Highlights Parks & Rec's Role in Youth Sports - November 2020

Grants Available for Swim Lesson Providers - November 2020

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Study Shows Americans Miss the Gym - November 2020

City Parks Alliance Launches Park Funding Hub - October 2020

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U.S. Reps File Health & Fitness Recovery Act - October 2020

IHRSA Foundation, ACE Aim to Improve Exercise Inclusion for People With Intellectual Disability - October 2020

NRPA Survey: U.S. Adults Say Parks & Rec Is Essential - September 2020

Effective Date for Drain Cover Standard Delayed - September 2020

ACE Urges Governments to Open Parks & Public Spaces for In-Person Fitness - September 2020

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Before Pandemic, Fitness Was Hot, SFIA Report Says - August 2020

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