New Year’s resolutions are in full swing for many Americans, and despite shifting priorities in goal-setting for 2024, ‘better fitness/exercise’ is still among the top priorities. Here’s a close look at four fitness trends that could take shape in the new year:

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1. In: Cross-Training, Out: Cardio

Cardio exercises saw a peak in 2020, likely a result of at-home workouts and people wanting to get outdoors, with 65% of exercising adults doing this type of workout regularly. Today, cardio is still one of the top ways people exercise, but it is down to 55% so far in 2024, as shown by CivicScience’s yearly tracking. 

Instead, consumers are taking on cross-training, competitive sports, and yoga/pilates – all of which have been on the rise since 2020. Interest in cross-training, which incorporates a variety of exercises into a full-body workout, increased the most (from 15% in 2023 to 20% in 2024).

2. Home gyms have a leg up on gym memberships.

Post-pandemic, Americans are still opting for home workouts due to overall convenience, and new data find that consumers are investing their time/money in a home gym compared to a gym membership. Twenty-one percent of respondents say they have a home gym, three points higher than the percentage with a gym membership (18%). At the top, though, are free fitness activities, such as free workout videos/apps (17%) and other free activities (30%).

Given the overall shift toward at-home workouts, ‘hybrid’ gym memberships (a mix of online and in-person classes) could pick up interest. A separate CivicScience poll shows that 3% of U.S. adults currently have a hybrid gym membership, where they can attend classes at their gym or online. Adults under 35 are far more likely to have a hybrid gym membership than those 35+.

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3. NordicTrack and Peloton lead the smart-home gym equipment ranking.

Reports predict that the home fitness equipment market will reach over $17 billion by 2030, as a result of the increased demand for at-home workouts and rising interest in smart, interactive fitness equipment (e.g., Peloton, Lululemon’s MIRROR). That said, where does smart home gym equipment (machines that wirelessly connect to apps, internet, etc.) stand among consumers today?

According to new CivicScience data, 22% of U.S. households own at least one smart home gym equipment. In particular, NordicTrack machines (treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc.) take the top at 8%, with Peloton equipment (bike, treadmill, and/or rowing) at a close second with 7%. Another 3% own a Tonal strength training machine, and 3% own the Lululemon MIRROR (which announced a partnership with Peloton last year). 

4. Gamification could be a big win for fitness brands.

Smart home equipment and even fitness wearables, like the Apple Watch and FitBit, are increasingly involving gamification elements. These products and services combine exercising and gaming elements to make workouts fun and competitive, such as Apple Watch’s monthly challenges and Peloton’s ‘Lanebreak’ bike that provides an immersive cycling experience, similar to a video game.

Currently, a quarter of Americans who typically exercise have tried fitness gamification. Five percent report they ‘always’ use it in their workout routines, and another 12% use it ‘sometimes.’ This totals 17% of respondents who use fitness gamification at least sometimes – outpacing the 9% of respondents who have tried it, but rarely use it. Perhaps this technology will grow in popularity as more consumers who’ve tried it use it than not.

It’s clear that fitness habits have experienced lasting impacts from the pandemic, from the type of exercise people do to where they work out. As a result, consumer tech companies are feeding the at-home workout market with smart fitness machines and sustaining their interest with gamification elements.

Fitness and wellness are just two of the many topics CivicScience is tracking in 2024 thanks to our database of 500K ‘always on crossable questions. Contact us to learn how you can stay ahead of the curve with the CivicScience InsightStore.