Culture has undeniably shifted in all areas of life over the last two years, including fitness. Health and wellness are now the driving forces behind consumer behavior, but a more holistic perception of well-being has emerged post-pandemic with an emphasis on environmental betterment.
Single-use plastic has become enemy number one in many circles, and handing out a plastic bottle has been compared to handing out a cigarette… most fitness studios wouldn’t do either. An increasing number of gyms and studios are looking at the bigger picture.
“To think about consumer health and wellness just through the limited lens of diet culture, fandom fitness, and niche health crazes is already archaic,” writes Genevieve Aronson, VP of Global Thought Leadership at NielsenIQ. “It is no longer just a section of a store or a segment of a person’s lifestyle. To consumers, health, wellness, and well-being are now in the everyday choices they make.”
According to NielsenIQ, 67 percent of global consumers say that environmental health and how their choices impact the planet is important to them. Consumers are being more intentional than ever about the products they use, the food they consume and even where they work out. In the world of fitness, many studios are turning their focus to how they can improve their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. ESG is intended to incorporate a variety of tactics to help people and our planet.
PLNK is a fitness organization with studios in several states across the Midwest that has been preparing for this shift in consumer behavior for a while now. PLNK offers high-intensity, low-impact workouts that have evolved from pilates via the Megaformer and Lagree fitness equipment.
“PLNK's mission has always been to create a space for people to be their strongest, healthiest self, and we think they deserve to walk out of our studios into a strong and healthy world,” said PLNK Founder Brooke Meek. “Health and fitness goes beyond what people do for the 50 minutes they're on the Mega. It's the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the choices they make on a daily basis that make the difference.”
In an effort to reduce plastic pollution, the PLNK studios currently carry Boxed Water.
“Disposable plastic water bottles are big in gyms and fitness centers,” said PLNK Director of Interactive Media, Tiffany Reese. “We encourage our clients to bring their own water bottles and use our refill stations! If they forget theirs, they can always purchase Boxed Water!”
On the west coast, Get Fit Modesto prides itself on providing strength training with community accountability. Through offering a plethora of fitness programs, and providing its members with volunteer cleaning and gardening opportunities within their local Modesto community. Get Fit Modesto also serves Boxed Water instead of single-use plastic water bottles.
“We focus specifically on the whole health of a person and that spills over into caring for the whole — meaning our environment, community, people and largely the world,” said Co-Founder Tara Crenshaw. “We have moved towards a paperless environment, eliminating plastic water bottles, and installing a water refill station.”
New York City-based Mind Body Project has even installed low-emission HVAC systems and uses vegan leather materials throughout their facility. They’re also serving Boxed Water.
“Given our focus on physical and mental wellbeing, we are committed to making the world a healthier and stronger place at large, and that endeavor is certainly inclusive of the environment we inhabit,” said founder Chris Stockel.
Mind Body Project is a fitness and meditation studio that combines a HIIT-style workout with meditation practices.
“Our community at Mind Body Project is exceptionally aware of the environmental challenges presented by plastic pollution and it is made evident through their actions,” Stockel said. “95 percent of our visitors arrive via public transportation, and reusable bags & drinking vessels are staples here at Mind Body Project.”
There’s no denying that the coronavirus became a catalyst for the sustainability movement. If you own or manage a fitness studio, it’s time to get serious about your commitment to the environment outside of the building walls. Demonstrating your allegiance to our planet helps your fitness studio stand out, align your values with your guests, and draw in new prospects looking for better fitness options. And remember, we’re still planting two trees every time someone post a photo or video of our carton on social with #BetterPlanet.
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