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San Francisco: A Deep Dive Into the City's Fitness Trends

This year, we launched the Mindbody Wellness Index to learn which of the 50 most populated metro areas are home to the strongest wellness marketplaces.

When searching for new fitness trends, where better to look than San Francisco–a city so dedicated to fitness and wellness that it ranks as the second-strongest wellness marketplace in the nation?

San Francisco beat out cities like Raleigh, Denver, Boston, and LA thanks, in part, to San Franciscans’ dedication to fitness; over half of SF residents work out at least three times per week. See for yourself how many San Francisco fitness studios and workouts are available on Mindbody. On top of that, San Francisco has the second-highest fitness spend in the nation (New York is number one), with the average person spending $380 every year on fitness.

With so many sweat sessions happening in The Golden City, we wanted to get a sense of what fitness trends San Franciscans are loving now and what they are eager to try next.

How San Francisco currently stays fit

San Francisco loves group fitness classes, with 29% of fitness buffs reporting they work out in a group fitness class at least once a week–this number outweighs the national average of 23%.

Currently, yoga is the top group exercise across all ages, with 22% of San Franciscans reporting it’s their favorite way to stay fit.  However, when looking at all of the responses, there are some other group fitness trends to take note of.

Here are some other ways San Francisco stays fit:

  • Weight/strength training: 15%

  • Zumba®: 15%

  • Indoor cycling: 14%

  • CrossFit®: 13%

  • Dance: 13%

  • Aerobics: 9%

With such a strong dedication to fitness, one can assume this city is interested in trying other approaches to reach their fitness goals. Let’s take a look at what San Francisco athletes want to start incorporating into their fitness routines.

Fitness trends San Francisco wants to try next

If you own a San Francisco fitness business, your biggest opportunity in attracting and retaining clients is by incorporating trendy ways to stay fit. We asked San Francisco residents of different ages what types of fitness classes they were hoping to experiment with. Here’s what they said.

These are the types of classes that San Francisco wants to try:

18-25 year-olds:

  • Kickboxing: 28%

  • Yoga: 26%

  • Martial arts: 19%

  • Zumba®/dance fitness:18%

  • Pilates: 15%

26-45 year-olds:

  • Aerobics: 17%

  • Dance: 15%

  • HIIT: 14%

  • Kickboxing: 15%

  • CrossFit®: 14%

46-65 years-olds:

  • Yoga: 26%

  • Aerobics: 16%

  • Weight/strength training: 16%

  • Gentle martial arts: 15%

  • Cardio machines: 14%

As you can see from these results, the answers vary widely based on age groups. As a fitness studio owner, it’s important to know who your target demographic is in the San Francisco area to make sure you’re aligning your studio’s offerings with what your ideal client wants and needs.

How can San Francisco fitness studio owners take advantage of these fitness trends?

Based on these findings, it’s safe to say it’s a pretty exciting time for the San Francisco fitness scene since a lot of fitness aficionados are on board with trying new fitness trends.

As a San Francisco fitness studio owner, you’ll want to do the following to make sure your studio and your clients benefit from these trends.

  • Download the 2019 Fitness in America report to get a complete look at trends and identify which ones may complement your fitness studio.

  • Make sure you’ve defined and outlined your target client and construct your studio’s offerings based on their needs.

  • Ask your current clients what fitness classes they are interested in trying next–if you see a trend within their responses, think about adding that class into the mix.

  • If you’re unsure about fitness trends aligning with your brand, try hosting a free pop-up class to see if it gains any traction from your current clients. If attendees like it, maybe add it to your schedule.

  • Make sure you’re listed on the Mindbody app so San Francisco fitness fans can find your business and book their new favorite workout.

See all the trends in San Francisco.

View the report

About the author:

Denise Prichard

Manager, Marketing Content and Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT-200)


Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the fitness, wellness, and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, pedaling her heart out at a spin class, or hanging out with her rescue pups. She currently serves as the marketing content manager for Mindbody.


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