The easing of lockdown measures may not be the end of trouble for gyms in the US, data from one survey shows. According to TD Ameritrade recently released results of a survey on Americans’ lifestyle and finances. It said 59% of those asked won’t renew their gym memberships once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
For gyms, which were forced to close for several months during the height of the pandemic, this makes the future even more uncertain. As some are just starting to reopen, they may struggle with keeping their gym memberships to pre-lockdown levels.
In fact, 56% of those asked, said the pandemic helped them figure out how to live a healthy lifestyle while spending less money.
Before the pandemic, Americans who “live a healthy lifestyle” reportedly spent a monthly average of $177 on gym memberships, fitness classes and personal training, the survey claims. That totals $2,124 a year.
Molly Passantino, senior retirement specialist at TD Ameritrade, commented she believes Americans have turned to cheaper fitness apps, outdoors activities like runs and walks and buying their own home workout equipment during quarantine likely causing the shift.
“There’s also an element of uncertainty. Americans are likely questioning how gyms would work in the post-pandemic world. Will it be safe, will it be feasible to go?” Passantino says.
Data from some of the larger US gyms like Crunch Fitness Worldwide shows the brand’s gyms that have reopened are doing fine. (Crunch has 304 locations in the US, 169 of which have reopened.)
“Our workout volume [number of members coming into workout each day] has been lower than last year, but our sales volume [number of memberships sold] has been higher and our cancels [cancelled memberships] have been relatively steady,” compared to last year, Crunch Fitness chief executive Jim Rowley said.
Rowley says he is discouraged that certain states like New York and New Jersey are keeping gyms, malls and movie theaters closed until the state Health Department determines whether air-filtering causes Covid-19 to circulate. While New Jersey Govenor Phil Murphy has not allowed unrestricted access to gyms, he has allowed individualized indoor instruction by appointment only and outdoor classes.
Rowley says Crunch conducted its own survey with 1,551 members in late April and found that 47% were dissatisfied with their at home workouts but 83% said they were likely to keep their gym memberships when gyms re-opened.