Holiday fitness

The end of the year is fast approaching, and we’ve recently covered festive subjects such as travel plans, holiday cards, and drinking trends. But what about the not-so-glamorous subject of holiday excess and weight gain? Using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform, we polled Americans to better understand their current workout routines and how the holidays and the COVID-19 pandemic affect them. 

Holidays Vs. Everyday

With hectic holiday schedules, 46% of Americans surveyed say they work out less during the holidays. Festive foods, less daylight, and added seasonal stressors lead 55% of respondents to feel they usually gain weight during this season. The same percentage (54%) also say they often make health and wellness-related New Year’s resolutions. 

But are the holidays to blame or is it just a sedentary lifestyle? American habits are certainly mixed. Over 30% of Americans we polled don’t regularly exercise but another 42% say they work out at least 3-4 times a week. 

Independent Active Lifestyles

Our survey showed that Americans currently prefer working out on their own. The most popular type of regular exercise is performed independently outdoors by 22% of respondents, followed by working out with instructional YouTube videos (19%). 13% of Americans prefer to exercise on their personal gym equipment and an equal amount favor working out with apps on smartphones, tablets, and TVs. 

When asked what their favorite type of guided exercise instruction was, responses were tied between dancing, walk/run coaching, and stretching. But with so many new exercise apps available, which do Americans prefer? According to our survey, BeachBody and Apple Fitness+ are the most popular, favored equally by 14% of respondents and Peloton ranks the third.

Fitness Apps

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

What About Gyms?

Only 12% of respondents said they regularly work out in a gym or studio. Is the COVID-19 pandemic to blame for the lack of current gym memberships? Perhaps. 22% of Americans say they worked out in a gym more frequently pre-pandemic than they do now. 

Just 30% of the respondents we polled say they are comfortable working out indoors at a gym. While many cities now require proof of vaccination to work out indoors that doesn’t seem to be putting minds at ease. When using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform to filter by vaccination status, we saw virtually no change in comfort levels. However, men are almost 20% more comfortable exercising indoors than women. 

Working out in gyms

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

While Americans may not be quite as active in the next month as normal, when they do return to regular exercise there will be many options waiting for them. Gyms and studios will be well served to offer more autonomous workouts as apps continue to increase offerings. Here’s hoping that 2022 will bring more exercise comradery. 

Curious to dive deeper into our data set? Email us at

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PureSpectrum interviewed 226 online respondents on November 23, 2021, using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform. The platform is integrated with the PureSpectrum Marketplace which combines proprietary measurement tools and third-party data validation to quickly collect high-quality insights. The study was fielded in less than 20 minutes and was cleaned and ready for analysis in under an hour. We targeted respondents within the United States and consisted of a general population audience of 18+ years old. This study uses a 95% confidence level to examine the data.

About PureSpectrum 

PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system,  PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality.

In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.