We often hear experts say that Americans don’t exercise enough. According to one government study, only 23% of adults in the country are getting the recommended two and a half hours of exercise each week. Even the Army apparently can’t seem to find enough fit volunteers. Sounds alarming right?
Today, the realities of our lifestyle – eating out, working longer hours, etc. – are simply hard to avoid. Our dependence on technology is further making life both comfortable and complex at the same time. But despite these challenges, it’s not hard to find fitness-obsessed people all around us. Fitness centers and fitness-related activities are also on a continuous upward trench. So are the stats about America’s fitness culture really that grim or is it changing for the better? Piplsay tries to find these answers*.
It’s a step in the right direction; more and more Americans today are lacing up and running towards fitness. Call it a wake-up call from our busy and stressful lives or the trappings of social media; people are increasingly putting laziness aside and focussing on their fitness. And it’s not always the gym they are heading to in order to get in shape. Most Americans today are taking a simpler route – swimming in public pools, running in the park, doing yoga in the garden or jamming to home workout videos. Whether it’s the lack of time, money, or the need to be hassle-free, people are finding their own ways to stay fit, and that’s definitely a good thing.
Going to the gym, on the other hand, is more popular with those in the age group of 25-44. Armed with better disposable incomes, these individuals are living up to the expectations of looking good and fit, both socially and at work. Even hiring personal trainers is no longer uncommon. The growing focus on fitness has led to a spurt in budget-friendly gyms as well as expensive boutique studios, that attract people of all ages with their diverse offerings. From high-intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit, Yogilates to customized workouts for older people, they have them all. No wonder then, that, gym memberships across the country have been increasing steadily over the years, with the last known count of 61 million members in 2017.
That, close to 50% of Piplsay respondents’ workout regularly points to the growing interest and seriousness about personal fitness. However, women seem to exercise less as compared to men. They also seem to prefer cardio and yoga more, though many are increasingly getting into bodyweight training as well. The popularity of fitness apps and wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc. is another indicator of the growing fad. By putting personalized biometric health statistics at their fingertips, wearables are fast motivating people towards adopting a healthier lifestyle.
America’s relationship with fitness seems to be on the right track. Importantly, it has more to do with feeling good than just looking good.
*Based on 19,600 online responses