A recent health-club industry report found that Generation X and Millennials are the largest representation in their membership. However, Generation X rarely goes to the gym when compared to Baby Boomers and Millennials. This tells us that we want to be fit and the gym seems like a good idea but that it doesn’t fit into what a typical Generation X member wants from fitness.
What do they want? We’ll we’ve addressed this a bit in the past. We want fitness to be fun. It needs to provide more benefit to our lives than burning calories and increasing a heart rate. It should be social and enjoyable as well. For the big box gym, this is a problem. Most people don’t find running on a treadmill in the middle of a large room fun and it certainly isn’t social. While gyms are adapting and providing more small group classes and variety to their operations, members of Generation X are turning to alternatives. Let’s look at those. Maybe you’ll find something that appeals to you.
CrossFit is a high intensity approach to fitness that incorporates community, variety, and measurable performance goals. These features have a strong appeal for many of our generation and a particularly large appeal to females. Middle age women make up more than half of the membership in CrossFit gyms around the country.
Bootcamps are also a fun way that many in our generation find fitness. It provides a social outlet along with the expertise of small group training. Each person in a boot camp gets guidance and motivation from their trainer. Bootcamps are also something that can be leveraged to kick-start a fitness program or add some vitality to a program that is getting a bit boring. Again, they embrace variety, athletic goals, and social connection.
Online Training Programs
You might be surprised how much our generation really leverages technology. We’re not dependent on it like some generations, nor are we afraid of it. Instead, I’d like to think we have a healthy relationship with technology. We use it when it serves us. Online training programs and technology have definitely made their way into the Generation Xer’s living room. You can now ride your bike in the Swiss Alps, get a personalized training program from an online trainer, or stream any type of fitness program on your computer. You can do yoga, HIIT, kickboxing and so much more right from your computer.
According to a study of Generation X by MetLife, most of Gen Xers rate their health as good to excellent, and the most common wellness activities they incorporate in their daily life are exercise/sports and special dietary habits. In short, we take our health and fitness seriously. It’s not a chore or an item to cross off of our list. We want to be healthy. We believe that it can be fun and enjoyable as well. We’re open minded enough to know that there’s no one size fits all approach to fitness and smart enough to explore our options.
If you’re ready to start a fitness program of your own, remember to start with activities that you find enjoyable. Look for benefits that matter to you like community, physical performance, and even relaxation. Many members of Generation X enjoy distance running because of its Zen-like benefits. Find what works for you. Next time we’ll talk about health and fitness concepts that are important to our generation and how to integrate them into your lifestyle.