Americans spend more money on fitness than college tuition, a new study suggests
Investing in health and wellness is priceless for these motivated millennials.
The price of fitness for a lifetime weighs heavier on wallets than college tuition, according to a new study from sports and nutrition company My Protein.
The study surveyed 1,350 US adults aged 18 to 65 and found that the average American spends $155 per month on their health and fitness, that’s $112,000 in their entire lifetime, and $13,000 more than a public four year college education which averages about $98,440.
Included in that number, Americans on average spend $33 on gym memberships, $56 on health supplements, $35 on clothing and accessories for working out, $17 for healthy meal plans and $14 on trainers, My Protein reports.
With the new year just a little underway, a reported 87% of Americans say paying for the gym or fitness classes are high priority, and some are paying much more than the monthly average.
Just ask Carrie Morris, 26, a brand communications specialist from New York City who spends around $500 a month ($6,000 a year), on her favorite boutique fitness classes like spinning at SoulCycle ($34 per class) and boxing at Gotham Gym ($100 per month). She says investing in the pricy classes has helped her overall mental health and wellbeing.
“For me, at 26, that is a lot of money, but it’s an expense I would never consider cutting from my budget,” Morris tells Moneyish.
Morris has stuck to the rigorous routine of going to a SoulCycle class at least twice a week, and then attends two boxing classes to work different muscle groups balancing cardio and strength training. It pays off, she says.
“I’ve tried a million different classes in the city and dabbled in good old fashioned running, but the motivation and inspiration I’ve found in the classes I’m loyal to today have overhauled not just my physical health, but my mental health too,” she says. “Working out is a huge stress reliever for me.”
Instead of taking a strictly boutique fitness class approach Peter Messina, a financial planner, does a combination of both. He pays a flat $243 all-access membership fee for classes and fitness machines at Equinox. Occasionally, he’ll throw in a class at Barry’s Bootcamp, a high intensity workout that burns up to 1,000 calories per class and costs $36 per session, or he takes a spin with friends at SoulCycle. All together, he spends a little over $3,000 more per year.
“It’s almost worth every penny,” Messina says. “I go five or six times a week, which is why I justify spending so much on the gym.”
In 2014, boutique fitness studios represented 42% of the market, a 100% increase over 2013, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. The 2016 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report found that millennials in particular prefer specialized classes like cross-training, pilates and yoga as opposed to Gen-Xers who are perfectly fine on the elliptical. Rather than pay a more affordable $20 a month at a no-frills gym like Planet Fitness, millennials are going to workout for the experience at niche studios specializing in barre, kickboxing or high-intensity interval training. And the intimate, social environment makes the 45-minutes to an hour long classes feel more like a club than a sweat zone, experts say.
“As more and more Americans take an interest in their health and fitness, it becomes increasingly clear that US adults are adopting a more hands-on approach to their exercise and well-being,” says Arabella Ogilvie, a fitness expert at My Protein.
The consumer demand for health and wellness products and services has reached a record high with the global wellness market estimated to be worth $3.4 trillion, making it three times larger than the $1 trillion worldwide pharmaceutical industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute. And under that massive umbrella, there’s been an 108% increase in the healthy eating and nutrition market to $276.5 billion, and a 78% increase in personalized health to $243 billion, proof that Americans are willing to spend more when it comes to their health.
Investing in working out can make you a better worker, too. Those who get the recommended 2 ½ hours of exercise each week are more energetic in the office, and take fewer sick days, according to one study. And employees who spent up to 60 minutes of their lunch hour working out were 15% more productive and didn’t suffer an energy crash at 3 p.m., another study reports.
Sure it’s good for your health, but it actually pays to sweat a little, too. Research suggests that employees who regularly exercise earn 9% more than their lazier colleagues.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved