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Fitness Friday: Millennials Create New Path To Health and Wellness

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(Image: iStock.com/Christopher Futcher) (Image: iStock.com/Christopher Futcher)

It may not come as a surprise that millennials are redefining the personal fitness industry, moving away from traditional gym membership plans of older yesteryear generations. Even if you do find them in a traditional gym setting, you’ll see millennials running on the treadmill, while listening to music, while watching TV, while scrolling through their Twitter feed.

Studies also show that millenials like workout regimens that encourage them to switch it up with exercises every few minutes. Or incorporating high-level cardio like SoulCycle, CrossFit, and Zumba, which is increasingly ever so popular. That’s because they want alternative workouts that are customizable, fun, and social.

Millennials have indeed paved a new path to health and wellness. And in doing so, they have transformed both the business of fitness and the idea of what it means to live healthy. While they are an active generation, millennials prefer new forms of fitness that can be personalized to meet their needs.

What’s more, millennials don’t believe that weight is the major signifier of health as much as previous generations have, according to recent reports. Instead, they increasingly think of how many pounds they weigh as just one component of a healthy lifestyle.

According to a report released by Goldman Sachs, the definition of “healthy” is an interesting difference between millennials and older generations. Baby Boomers and Generation X are more likely to define the word “healthy” as “not sick,” whereas millennials define “healthy” in terms of a holistic approach—using phrases like “eating right” and “exercising.” Healthy habits are germane to millennials.

Millennials are leaning toward new forms of fitness, such as obstacle races and marathons. Smartphone fitness apps have taken over the market and are connecting millennials through all kinds of forms of communication that have never before been used in the fitness arena. In fact, health and fitness apps are used more by this age group than any other.

Millennials are an on-the-go generation and are loyal to brands that can keep up with them and adapt to their multitasking way of life. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s annual report found that millennials are more likely to partake in physical activity that is more focused on togetherness rather than fierce competition. Over the years, millennial participation in activities usually done in groups such as aerobics has risen sharply. For millennials, group fitness creates an environment where everyone helps to push each other to be their best; not to mention that millennials’ constant connectivity has allowed them to build larger communities of friends, both online and offline.