Three Fitness and Wellness Trends for 2021

2021 will be the year people focus on overcoming their fitness fears, according to Mindbody’s “COVID Edition: 2021 Wellness Trend Predictions.”

The report is based on consumer behaviors of its thousands of fitness, spa, salon and integrative health businesses that run on its platform along with external consumer surveys.  

Mindbody leveraged data from the tens of thousands of fitness, spa, salon and integrative health businesses that run on its platform, in addition to the 1.3 million consumers who use its marketplace. The company combined that data with external consumer surveys to develop the insights. Below are three of the findings that relate specifically to fitness.

2021: The Year of Overcoming Fitness Fears

COVID has forced Americans to prioritize their health and wellness. Fifty-nine percent of people surveyed said that they have become more focused on health and wellness since the pandemic started. Of those who are more focused, 60 percent said the pandemic has made them realize that they need to be healthier in order to withstand disease and illness.

Gym intimidation keeps some from working out. Of those that shared they are intimidated by going to the gym, 56 percent said they would feel more comfortable joining a gym or fitness studio if they were in better shape first.  

With a new imperative on wellness and the acceleration of virtual offerings, 2021 may be the year where Americans are willing to break down any fitness barriers that have stood in their way in the past, according to Mindbody. How will they do so? Twenty-three percent of those who are intimidated said watching informative video tutorials would help, while 21 percent said that taking virtual classes first would put them at ease.

Virtual Fitness Is Here to Stay 

New virtual fitness options boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing fitness studios and gyms to continue to offer workouts and personal training while closed. Pandemic disruption and a new global wellness imperative have created a new wave of fitness defined by both in-person and virtual experiences. 

Americans are forming new workout habits. Thirty-seven percent joined a live stream workout at least once a week. Forty percent exercise to pre-recorded fitness videos. It’s now possible for people to stay home while trying any workout type from studios all over the world. Yoga is the most popular virtual workout of choice with an average of 60,000 classes being booked daily.

When virtual exercisers rushed in earlier this year, they quickly came to realize the benefits of virtual workouts (lower prices, no commute, increased variety, etc.), according to Mindbody. Even as in-person workouts are more accessible post-pandemic, many Americans will continue to incorporate virtual workouts for optimal flexibility and benefit.

Snackable Workouts

Workdays are more fluid than ever before. Childcare, work and wellness are all happening in the same space—and often at the same time. Americans are grabbing time to work out whenever they can, and it’s not always the longer sessions they used to log at the gym, according to Mindbody. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said their workouts are a half hour or less. 

“Snackable” workouts give Americans a chance to exercise when they might not have otherwise. Mindbody said to expect that the popularity of these bite-sized sessions will increase in 2021.