Fitness club Life Time shared results from its annual health and wellness survey, which revealed that, although only separated by just 2%, building muscle topped weight loss as the primary fitness focus for the year ahead.
This was an increase of 10% from last year's survey and a departure from "losing weight," which typically rules the New Year's resolution lists year after year. Respondents highlighted the following as their top fitness goals for 2023:
- 32% building muscle,
- 30% weight loss,
- 14.6% moving more,
- 12.9% eating better,
- 10.5% improving mental health.
Participants to Life Time's annual survey included both members and non-members answering 12 questions about their health, exercise habits, workouts and more.
Some of the interesting insights that pertain to how people view their overall health since the start of the pandemic in 2022 include 51% reporting that their health was better in 2022 compared to 2021, which was an increase of 11% from 2021. When asked about the top contributing factor for improved health, 67% of respondents noted it was because they were exercising and took charge of their overall health.
Additional Key Survey Results
- 56% said early morning workouts are when they get their sweat on.
- 18% who say, "to heck with lunch" and find it to be their most enjoyable workout time.
- 16% find their happy hour exercising post-workday while just over 10% are night owls.
- 23.4% said Pilates is the workout they'd like to try most in the year ahead.
- 31% said they learn new exercises by watching what others do at their health club.
- 53% said being overall healthy is their motivation for living a healthy lifestyle while just 0.4% do because of social influences.
- 52% said their workouts are an equal mix of cardio and strength training.
- 51% said they get an average of 5,000 to 10,000 daily steps, while 23% get more than 10,000 and 27% get less than 5,000.
- 81% of respondents noted summer and spring are the times of year they feel they're in their best shape with only 7% noting winter.
"The benefits of building and maintaining muscle go far beyond defined arms, abs and legs. In fact, it's one of the most important aspects of long-term health and longevity, so this finding is music to my ears," said Anika Christ, senior director of fitness and nutrition and RD, CPT for Life Time. "More often than not, people get fixated on dropping pounds as their priority, when the reality is building strength leads to weight loss, the ability to do more in our daily tasks, an improved mental state and so much more."