As almost every industry transitioned from the office to conducting their every move from behind a computer screen this year, the fitness world was no different with its pivot to online classes and offerings.
In fact, according to ClassPlass’s 2020 Fitness Trend Report, which compiled user data from its members around the world, the coronavirus outbreak led to 95,000 studios trading in-person classes for online sessions ranging from boxing to barre, to yoga, and more.
The 2020 trends, which also included popular beauty treatments like massages, reflected the dynamic nature of the pandemic where workout regulars initially acclimated to exercising in their living rooms with their instructor on a laptop, switched their daily fitness routines up to match their "new normal," or headed outdoors for a socially distanced class in the warmer months.
When it comes to specific classes that were popular this year on the fitness platform and app, it may be no surprise that fitness enthusiasts needed some namaste. Due to uncertainty and anxiety sparked by the pandemic, yoga was ClassPass's top digital workout of the year, increasing by 25% in popularity among members. Possibly proving that users longed for a sense of community while in quarantine, the practice was also the most popular choice for a user new to livestreaming a class.
“Yoga, meditation, and stretching all saw increases in demand as people looked for ways to manage stress, improve their breathing, and keep moving from home,” Kinsey Livingston, ClassPass Vice President of Partnerships told Travel + Leisure. "We also spotted an increase in beauty and spa bookings as people look for other ways to manage their stress through massages and self-care."
Other top workouts of the year included High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), pilates, barre, dance, stretching, and boxing. Workouts that required little to no equipment also reigned supreme.
And as members of the class-scheduling platform were perfecting their child's pose for the first time, they were also working out at different times as WFH-life adjusted daily routines.
For the first time ever, ClassPass recorded that 12 p.m., was the most popular time for a workout, specifically in Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Washington D.C.
Despite quarantine rules prohibiting travel, fitness enthusiasts still achieved a virtual escape for a good sweat session. In fact, according to ClassPass’ data, more than half of their members tuned into classes in different cities and countries. Members in North America were likely to “travel” to cities like London, Sydney, and Amsterdam while members in the Asia-Pacific region logged on for classes in New York City and Los Angeles.
“More than half of members have chimed into classes taught in other cities,” Livingston told T+L. “Members are eager to revisit a favorite studio they discovered on a previous vacation, or travel remotely through their workouts.”
Another alternative to at-home workouts were taking things outside for space and fresh air. ClassPass saw a 400% uptick in outdoor sweat sessions and looking into the new year, sweat sessions in the sun may be here to stay as 4 out of 5 surveyed members said they’d continue to attend.
California saw the most members take their workouts outside, while those in New York City were most likely to take an online class.
“We are optimistic about the future of travel and studio fitness, but in the meantime are giving fitness fans plenty of ways to stay active however they feel comfortable including at-home and outdoors fitness options,” Livingston said.
Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure’s Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter or posting her workouts on Instagram Stories.
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