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3 Health and Fitness Trends to Watch in 2021

  • Rob Patterson

Much to the dismay of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, gym closures and confinement to the home has greatly disrupted their routines. However, just as consumers have adapted to the other challenges of the pandemic, so, too, have they found ways to exercise from the comforts of home. In turn, these changes in behavior have ushered in a new era of fitness. As we look forward through 2021, let’s take a look at the ways the world of health and fitness continues to rapidly transform. 

 

Ascent of At-Home Fitness

Amidst the disruption, we’ve seen consumers adapt to the limitations brought by the pandemic and find ways to get their sweat on. While many began by taking to the outdoors for a run or a hike, they also modified their own spaces to accommodate new fitness routines. Whether it’s DIYers creating makeshift exercise stations or high-spenders purchasing a Peloton or a Mirror, that trend is set to continue in 2021.

The continued ascent of at-home fitness is further bolstered by the myriad apps and online classes that are available to consumers. Offerings such as Down Dog’s yoga or Peloton Digital’s floor exercise classes allow consumers to choose a workout that fits their unique time constraints and energy levels on a given day. The interest in these offerings is sky-high, too. Searches for “short workouts” grew 76% YoY globally, and downloads of fitness apps increased 67% in May of 2020 alone. As more offerings enter the space and create clutter, brands will have to communicate to consumers how their services easily weave into consumers’ ever-changing routines.

 

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Wearables Take the Next Step

While wearables have been in the public eye for some time now, we may soon reach critical mass in terms of consumer adoption. The ability to track a variety of metrics — such as heart rate volatility, REM sleep, oxygen levels, and more — means that they aren’t just activity trackers. They enable consumers of all fitness levels to learn about their bodies and inform the decisions they make on a daily basis.

CNBC reported that wearable devices saw 30% YoY growth in sales, and it is forecasted to be a $70 billion market by 2025. While brands like Whoop and Fitbit are sure to benefit from increased consumer adoption, this underscores a greater trend that is taking place. People want to have access to data that helps them learn more about themselves and how products are impacting their lives.

 

Focus on Active Recovery

Recovery is no longer a concept confined to avid fitness consumers and athletes. Consumers of all fitness levels are beginning to understand that recovery — and taking care of the body, in general — is a 24-hour task. Likewise, the growing availability of tools that were once limited to professional athletes or physical therapists is making active recovery more accessible.

According to Google search data, there has been a 30% increase in searches for “muscle recovery” since the beginning of the pandemic. Tools like the increasingly popular Theragun, which has advertised heavily on social media, have been there to meet the demand. While a massage gun may not be a need for everyone, there are devices for people of all fitness levels. Items such as the Chirp Wheel help to alleviate the back pain that one might experience from sitting behind a desk. As this trend continues to grow, brands will need to prove to their customers that their products will help optimize their well-being in all aspects of daily life.

Is your brand looking to connect with fitness enthusiasts in 2021? Contact us today to learn how we can create brand experiences that build awareness, encourage trial, and leave long-lasting impressions.

 

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Sources: “2021 Fitness Forecast.” Healthline Media (2021), “Wearable Device Sales Have Jumped More than 30% This Year, Exec Says.” CNBC (2020), “Fitness Apps see 67% Jump in Installs During Pandemic.” Marketing Dive (2020).