The Effect of Covid-19 on Exercise Enthusiasts

The Effect of Covid-19 on Exercise Enthusiasts

Becky O'Rourke

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of people generally fell into two main groups. The first category were those who felt restless and wanted to take advantage of the extra “me” time. These people craved getting out of isolation and used activities like exercise to maintain their mental and physical health.

The contrasting category was those of us who slowed down and turned into couch slugs. Personally, I happily fell into the latter category. I enjoyed my time relaxing, knitting, and consuming a lot of hot tea. However, for those who enjoy fitness, we see an entirely different and interesting story.

Exercise Frequency Trends Among Consumers

According to our data, the number of times people exercise per week has decreased within the past year. People who work out 7 or more times a week is down 12% since Q3 2021. Yet, exercising 1-2 times has increased by 10%.

Additionally, we found that people who work out 3 or more times a week are more likely to find themselves in the exercise need state and have a higher interest in functional health and immunity.

Exercise Enthusiasts Trends

Unsurprisingly, the more frequently people exercise, the healthier they tend to be. They also tend to be more aware of nutrition and what they are consuming. It is interesting to note that when examining the nutrition behaviors of those who exercise at least three times a week, more than half said sometimes or often it was difficult to eat healthily.

They also claimed to be too busy to prepare healthy meals for themselves or their families. This explains why health and label claims are important to this demographic. These consumers place a high value on their health and fitness and rely on their purchases to help them meet their nutritional needs.

As a result, they look for real all-natural food ingredients, are more likely to be interested in “high protein” labels, and search for food that supports heart health, as well as those that boost both energy and immunity.

Immunity Need State Among Exercise Enthusiasts

An increased interest in immunity-boosting foods translate over into this group’s main causes of stress. Our data revealed people who frequently work out are more likely to still be worried about COVID-19 than the general population. This could explain why they are working to boost their immunity. Through social listening via different social media platforms, we can see that conversations around immunity have stayed steady over the past 6 months, further indicating that it is a topic of interest for many people other than fitness fanatics.

How else do immunity and exercise corollate? What’s happening in the sports nutrition and functional food space?

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