US Exercise Trends Market Report 2021
[{"name":"Consumer and Market Trends","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/consumers-trends\/consumer-market-trends"},{"name":"Fitness and Exercise","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/health-wellbeing\/fitness-exercise"}]
 “The extended length of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced consumers to adapt to at-home exercise, permanently altering how consumers view the fitness landscape. With exercisers confined to their homes, fitness…

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)


 “The extended length of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced consumers to adapt to at-home exercise, permanently altering how consumers view the fitness landscape. With exercisers confined to their homes, fitness brands rapidly updated their digital offerings to respond to consumers’ changing expectations. Because consumers now have a vastly expanded array of both physical and digital workouts from which they can choose, brands must be able to deliver a premium experience without sacrificing on convenience.”

– Sara Nettesheim, Consumer Insights Analyst, Health and Wellness

  • The impact of COVID-19 on exercise trends
  • The majority of exercisers will adopt a hybrid routine of at-home and in-person workouts post-pandemic
  • Aging consumers are an area of opportunity for fitness brands
  • Consumers are drawn to secondary benefits of exercise like improved mental health
  • The increasing demand for holistic and inclusive fitness solutions that do not focus on weight loss
  • Innovative exercise equipment and apps allow brands to provide consumers with personalized fitness

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Impact of COVID-19 on the exercise industry
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long- term impact of COVID-19 on exercise industry, July 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Pandemic fitness solutions upend consumer expectations around cost
    • Consumer exercise data presents opportunity for innovation
    • Cater to expanding population of mature exercisers
    • Exercisers seek low-pressure, inclusive fitness
  3. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • At-home workouts become pandemic pastime
    • In-person fitness poised for renewed success
    • At-risk consumers seek to improve health through exercise
  4. The Exercise Consumer

    • US adults prioritize regular workouts
      • Figure 2: Exercise frequency, 2020 and 2021
    • Enjoyment grows while motivation lags
      • Figure 3: Barriers to exercising, 2020 and 2021
    • Parents use exercise as an escape
      • Figure 4: Exercise frequency, by parental status and gender, 2021
    • Young men exert control through fitness
      • Figure 5: Exercise frequency, by age and gender, 2021
  5. Market Factors

    • GYMS Act poised to provide aid to fitness businesses
    • Mask-less future in sight with new CDC guidelines
    • Consumer finances improve after pandemic recession
      • Figure 6: Disposable personal income, change from previous period, 2019-21
      • Figure 7: Consumer Confidence Index, 2007-21
    • Link between obesity and COVID-19 motivates consumer weight loss
      • Figure 8: Percent of adults aged 20+ who are overweight or obese, 2001-02 to 2017-18
    • Aging population looks to improve health through fitness
      • Figure 9: COVID-19-induced priority changes, by age, 2021
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • In-person and at-home exercise go hand in hand
    • Fitness influencers become fitness brands
    • Digital workouts become the norm
    • Holistic health motivates consumers
    • Inclusive and individual offerings needed
  7. Competitive Strategies

    • Peloton dominates at-home fitness by focusing on community
      • Figure 10: Peloton’s first team competition series
    • In-person fitness evolves as a result of COVID-19 pandemic
    • Big box gyms weather the COVID-19 storm
      • Figure 11: Facebook post announcing Crowd Meter, Planet Fitness
    • Premium gym brands rely on partnerships to retain members
      • Figure 12: Equinox+ app
    • Boutique studios cater to local customers to stay afloat
    • Fitness influencers become the competition
      • Figure 13: Instagram post, Isaac Calpito
    • Staying motivated with fitness apps
      • Figure 14: Top hashtags within mentions of apps and fitness/exercise, 2020-21
  8. Market Opportunities

    • Going beyond exercise to support holistic wellbeing
    • Consumers motivated to stay mentally fit
      • Figure 15: Instagram post, Liberate
    • Encouraging in-person fitness with wellness programs
    • Fitness for every body
    • Using technology to guide choice
      • Figure 16: Instagram post, Tempo
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Using fitness to spice up pandemic life
    • Motivation beyond the mirror
    • Convenience and consistency is key
    • Exercise equipment maintains strong appeal
    • Balancing digital and traditional fitness
    • Technology in service of simplicity
  10. Types of Exercise

    • Low-impact remains workout of choice for majority of consumers
      • Figure 17: Types of exercise, 2021
    • Endurance and flexibility workouts grow in popularity during pandemic
      • Figure 18: Types of exercise, 2020 and 2021
    • Increase in flexibility workouts fueled by men
      • Figure 19: Flexibility workouts, by gender, 2020 and 2021
    • Older consumers still interested in strength workouts
      • Figure 20: Types of exercise, by age, 2021
  11. Motivations to Exercise

    • Mental health moves to the forefront of fitness
      • Figure 21: Motivations to exercise, 2021
    • A modern approach to weight management
      • Figure 22: Motivations to exercise, by gender, 2021
    • Consumers recognize secondary exercise benefits amidst pandemic challenges
      • Figure 23: Motivations to exercise, by change in exercise frequency, 2021
    • Consumers build confidence by building strength
      • Figure 24: Motivations to exercise, by workout types, 2021
  12. Changes in Exercise Frequency

    • US adults take on more frequent workouts
      • Figure 25: Change in exercise frequency, 2021
    • Young men thrive on at-home exercise
      • Figure 26: Change in exercise frequency, by age and gender, 2021
      • Figure 27: Reasons for exercising more, by age and gender, 2021
    • Older consumers recognize mental health benefits of exercise
      • Figure 28: Motivations to exercise, by age, 2021
      • Figure 29: Reasons for exercising more, by age, 2021
    • Make fitness facilities safe and appealing for all consumers
      • Figure 30: Potential reasons to exercise more often, by gender and race, 2021
  13. Exercise Equipment Ownership

    • Regular exercisers more likely to invest in premium equipment
      • Figure 31: Exercise equipment bought during the pandemic, by exercise frequency, 2021
    • Interest in internet-connected equipment remains strong
      • Figure 32: Interest in future ownership of exercise equipment, 2021
      • Figure 33: Ownership/interest in internet-connected exercise machine, by household size, 2021
    • Recovery equipment’s place in post-pandemic health
      • Figure 34: Ownership/Interest in exercise recovery equipment ownership, 2021
  14. Attitudes toward Gyms and Fitness Facilities

    • Safety still a priority as consumers return to gyms
      • Figure 35: Comfort level with exercising at an indoor gym, 2021
      • Figure 36: Attitudes toward traditional gyms, by age, 2021
    • Gyms and studios hold appeal for less-frequent exercisers
      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward traditional gyms, by changes in exercise frequency, 2021
    • Fitness enthusiasts seek combination of at-home and in-person exercise
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward traditional gyms, by exercise frequency, 2021
      • Figure 39: Updated Equinox+ app
    • Digital fitness platforms provide affordable yet premium experiences
      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward gym membership costs, by household income, 2021
  15. Trial and Interest in Fitness Innovations

    • Make use of digital channels for professional fitness training
      • Figure 41: Trial of fitness innovations, by age and income, 2021
      • Figure 42: Interest in fitness innovations, by age and income, 2021
    • Demystify fitness routines to attract occasional exercisers
      • Figure 43: Interest in fitness innovations, by exercise frequency, 2021
    • Space-saving equipment holds interest for urban consumers
      • Figure 44: Trial or interest in workout equipment/machines for multiple types of exercises, by area, 2021
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report
2024 Sample Consumer Cover

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us with your enquiry and our expert global team can help.

Get in touch