Focusing on the ladies, one generation at a time.
Before we forget, don’t you forget to get Mom a card (Editors note: Note to self: Get mom a card)! From Millennials to Generation X to Baby Boomers, this month is dedicated to the ladies of each generation and the workouts that, generally speaking, fit.
This article started out as a fairly innocuous guideline for Millennial females and their workouts, but turned into an enlightening look at the 25% of the American population that represents $200 billion in annual buying power. That buying power translates to the health industry in a major way, so like it or not, Millennials are going to be influencing the world for a while.
Creating a Community
The New York Post checked in with industry-leader, New York Sports Club, to figure out what Millennials wanted in their fitness. Turns out it’s community. Says Michelle Ryan, chief marketing officer: ‘They want camaraderie, to feel like they’re part of a neighborhood… We found that people wanted a little more of a boutique feel, and that means personal attention.’
Inherent in a generation raised on social media, Millennials want to feel like a vital part of a lively, desirable group, which might explain why, after years of declining numbers, group stationary cycling jumped 30% in 2011 and high-impact aerobics, usually done in groups, grew by 20%. This number has only been increasing as apps such as ClassPass and FitReserve give Millennials options to experience a wider range of social circles.
On a related note, growing up and in social media, the Y generation’s emphasis leans more towards togetherness, as opposed to the traditional competitiveness that came before them. Speaking of, La Jolla Sports Club offers some pretty awesome classes…
New Health Vs. Old Health
A report by Goldman Sachs recently sifted through data about different generations’ attitudes and spending patterns. The report found that Millennials are far stingier than older generations (perhaps due to the bottoming-out of our economy during their fledgling career years), yet outspend in one category: health and wellness.
The definition of ‘healthy,’ however, reveals an interesting rift between Millennials and older generations. According to the report, Baby Boomers and Generation X are more likely to define being healthy as ‘not sick,’ whereas Millennials define ‘healthy’ in terms that encompass whole-health, using phrases like ‘eating right’ and ‘exercising’ and the feeling that health is increasingly about living a happier life.
Millennials understand that poor health, such as heart disease, diabetes and other diseases caused by societal changes, including being sedentary, is–in many ways–preventable. The data seems to show that they’re in-tune with healthy behaviors and are making choices to be well.
Exploring this idea further, Technogym embarked on a nationwide study of 5,000 Millennials aged 14 to 34 to analyze their attitudes and habits when it comes to fitness and health.
Technogym found that Millennials recognize that physical activity is crucial to improving overall wellbeing and is a fundamental way to reduce stress. The study showed that nearly 90% of respondents are aware of the obesity epidemic and feel something should be done to address it. When it comes to their personal fitness preferences, 77% overwhelmingly said that they would like their workout at the gym to be as interactive and fun as possible. 44% of Millennials believe the traditional gym as we know it today will evolve by 2020. The gym of the future is seen as a relaxed, interactive, customized and fun environment.
The Present and the Future
Natural Awakenings states that Millennials have largely rejected previous fitness trends and instead paved a new path to health and wellness. In doing so, they’ve transformed both the business of fitness and the idea of what it means to be healthy. They’ve created a more personalized approach that encompasses the values of their generation.
Millennials’ overscheduled lives mean they value shorter, quicker and more convenient options, especially in regard to workouts and healthy meals. They are more likely than any other age group to track their own health progress and use technologies such as health and fitness apps which monitor such data as steps, heart rate and caloric intake as a complement to their fitness routines. Being healthy means more than weight loss or looking good to them. So what do they like?
Shorter, full-body workouts that are also fun
Millennials are more likely to partake in physical activity focused on togetherness instead of competition, pushing each other to be their best, instead of competing for a victory. Instead of sticking to a traditional treadmill, many Millennials have flocked to workout regimens that regularly switch exercises or use high-intensity interval training, such as Zumba, SoulCycle and CrossFit.
A more holistic approach to health
Millennials don’t believe that weight is the major indicator of health as much as previous generations have. Instead, they increasingly think of weight as just one among many key components of a healthy lifestyle. A higher percentage define being healthy as having regular physical activity and good eating habits.
Alternative workouts that are customizable, fun and social
Instead of hitting the gym, young adults tend to prefer new forms of fitness that can be personalized to their needs. From apps to paintball races to (insert next big thing here), Millennials are finding ways to keep happy and keep healthy.
As a group, Millennials are redefining wellness and changing how following generations will view health. Their preferences for fun, personalized workouts and holistic wellness have fueled trends with far-reaching implications for the food, tech and healthcare industries. And that’s just the start.
Have you found that technology or classes has helped get you healthy? What other trends are you seeing right now at La Jolla Sports Club or in the health industry in general? Leave a comment below!
See you next week, where we tackle optimal workouts for Generation X. Have a great rest of the week / end!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team