for those who love the outdoors

29 December, 2022

Building muscle tops weight loss as primary focus for 2023

Among the notable findings of more than 1,000 individual responses: although separated by just 2%, building muscle topped weight loss as primary focus for the year ahead.

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What's the focus for 2023?

Respondents highlighted the following as their top fitness goal in 2023:

  • 32% Building muscle
  • 30% Weight loss
  • 14.6% Moving More
  • 12.9% Eating Better
  • 10.5% Improving Mental Health

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.

Respondents to Life Time's annual survey included both members and non-members answering 12 questions about their health, exercise habits, workouts and other fun insights. For example, when it comes to having a great workout:

  • Nearly 60% of respondents said sporting new workout gear or feeling confident in what they wear to their health club makes a difference.
  • The responses were split on the style of music people listen to with .5% separating old school music like Metallica, Eminem and Salt-N-Pepa (35.9%) from top 40 hits from Lizzo, Drake and Taylor Swift (36.3%). Podcasts topped country music at nearly 16% compared to 13%.

In looking at how people view their overall health since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the trends were encouraging:

  • 51% felt their health was better in 2022 compared to 2021, which was an increase of 11% from 2021. At the end of 2020, nearly 70% said their personal health was negatively impacted by the effects of the pandemic.
  • When asked about the top contributing factor for improved health, 67% of respondents noted it was because they were exercising more and took charge of their overall health.

It should come as no surprise that our personal health is our best defense in virtually every aspect of our lives. Everything from reducing the severity of viral infections and many other diseases to boosting our mental health and longevity can be improved with movement, exercise, good nutrition, and sleep," Christ continued. "At Life Time, we have all of the tools to help people no matter where they are on their journey, and it can start with just one positive action."

Does the early bird get the worm when it comes to workout times? According to respondents:

  • 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.

Other key responses in the survey include:

  • 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 .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.

Last, and not surprisingly, 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. Christ notes, "I get it—between colder temperatures and less daylight, we're less inspired to exercise. But the benefits are too great to skip it and now is the perfect time to get going. We're gearing up for our first 60daysm Challenge of the year on January 28, which offers the perfect combination of motivation, accountability and results to start the year off right."

For those ready to start 2023 off with their health front and center, Life Time is fully open on January 1 to welcome and support people on their commitment to being healthy and happy with something for everyone 90 days old to 90+ years old. For those not located near a Life Time, the Company is providing complimentary access to its robust digital membership through January.


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