Man Working Out in the Gym with Mindbody Wellness Index Logo

What the Rise of Men's Health and Wellness Means for Wellness Businesses

By Bailey Clark

Have you thought about how your wellness business resonates with men? If you have not prioritized them as a target audience in your marketing efforts, you will want to after reading this report.

In several wellness trend studies we’ve conducted this year (the 2021 Mindbody Wellness Index, a Return to In-person Wellness Study, and a Virtual Fitness Consumer Study) we discovered that 64% of men have increased their focus on health and wellness since the beginning of the pandemic (compared to 56% of women).* From in-person and virtual fitness adoption and frequenting boutique fitness locations to integrative health practices and prioritizing self-care, men had a massive impact on the health and wellness industry last year. They're prioritizing wellness across multiple dimensions.

Read on to learn more about how men engage with health and wellness in 2021 and how your business can attract and retain them.

Exercise trends

Men report that they exercise because they want to feel good, be strong and fit, and live a long and healthy life. On the other hand, women exercise to control their weight, feel good, and feel better mentally. The most popular group workouts for men include weight and strength training, cardio machines, aerobics, and aerial workout.* We dug into exercise trends over the past year and how they have shifted—frequency, preferred workouts, and more regarding men compared to women.

Men frequent gyms and boutique fitness studios more than women

Men love gyms and boutique fitness studios. Fifty-two percent of men exercise at a gym one time a week or more (versus 31% of women), and 40% of men exercise at a boutique studio one time a week or more (versus 21% of women). When asked about their attendance at gyms and studios, the majority of men reported that they work out at the same gym or studio as before COVID-19, with the second most popular result being they tried new classes or exercises they had not before COVID-19.*

Note: Wondering where your business fits into this? Gyms include health clubs, fitness centers, and big boxes. Boutique studios are defined as a “smaller facility that specializes in certain types of classes.”

Men Frequent Gyms and Botique Fitness Studios More Than Women.

Takeaways for your business

Incorporate messaging into your marketing strategy that appeals to the reasons that men exercise: feeling good, being strong and fit, and living a long and healthy life. We recommend testing out these messages in a way that aligns with your brand, and adjusting strategy as needed based on the results that you see.

We also found that men are seeking out effective workouts.*** This means you should make sure your class offerings are framed in a way that showcases the outcomes they can expect. Creating explainer content (blog posts or videos) is a great way to help assuage the fear of the unknown. See an example of explainer content.

Men exercise more and love both in-person and virtual workouts

The Mindbody Wellness Index revealed that men are working out significantly more than women (or so they say). Seventy-nine percent of men exercise once a week or more (compared to 67% of women), and 51% exercise three times a week or more (compared to 39% of women).*

Overall men exercise significantly more than women

The hybrid fitness model is here to stay. Whether it’s a virtual or in-person workout, men appear to be game. As more and more businesses continue to reopen with increasing vaccination rates, 68% of men plan to work out at home and in-person at a gym or studio.** Forty-nine percent of men say they’re satisfied or very satisfied with their fitness level; only 27% of women say the same.*

Of course, not all men are constantly breaking a sweat; some suffer from gymtimidation. When we asked men what would help them overcome this and head to the gym to exercise, the top answers were getting in better shape first and seeing more people like them in the promotion of the gym or studio.

Takeaways for your business

Because men exercise more times per week than women do, they have the potential to be your most engaged customers. To stay top of mind with this target audience, your marketing efforts should resonate with men—make sure they feel included by representing them in the pictures your business posts on social and in your email marketing campaigns. In addition, we suggest testing programs that encourage referrals. See how MVP Dance Fit and TRILLFIT have welcomed men into their studios.

Men practicing virtual fitness more than women led to them exploring new workouts

In addition to working out more in general, men engage in virtual fitness more than women. Forty-four percent of men used live stream workouts as part of their COVID-19 routine (compared to 31% of women), 45% used pre-recorded video workouts (similar to 37% of women), and 43% used wifi/bluetooth connected home fitness equipment (in contrast to 23% of women).**

Men Engage in Virtual Fitness More Than Women

Virtual fitness classes have opened new doors for men who prioritize fitness. They provide an opportunity to try something new. During COVID, 57% of men tried new types of group workouts via live stream or pre-recorded videos, and they plan to attend these types of group workout classes in person.

Even as vaccinations roll out and consumer confidence builds to return to in-person classes, 25% of men plan to do more video-on-demand workouts (compared to 20% of women). In addition, 26% of men will be doing more live stream workouts post-vaccination (compared to 21% of women). Fifty-seven percent of male VOD/gym users say virtual workouts will complement in-person workouts (compared to 46% female) and 53% of live virtual/gym users say it will complement in-person workouts (45% female).**

When it comes to virtual fitness classes, price points, the ability to engage in new experiences, and effective workouts are most important to men. Men tend to engage in a larger variety of fitness classes than women. Eighty-one percent of men reported that new experiences are important in their virtual fitness routines (perhaps this helps to account for trying new fitness modalities!).***

Takeaways for your business

To capture a male audience, you will want to offer competitive price points for your classes, since this is an important consideration for men.*** Try using Flexible Pricing to bring in people with last-minute and introductory offers. Since they enjoy working out at home, in addition to your studio, make sure you are offering a hybrid membership, giving men an easy way to work out in person or continue their at-home routines. Not sure how to get started? Learn about how our Virtual Wellness Platform enables you to grow your client base and business.

Men are engaging in new exercises now that accessibility to these classes is higher than ever before. Consider enticing men with new experiences in your marketing strategy. One way you can do so is to encourage your members to bring male friends, family, partners, or even colleagues to a class.

Self-care wellness trends

It’s not just about physical fitness for men. When it comes to satisfaction with their overall health, 57% of men say they’re satisfied or very satisfied. Only 37% of women say the same. Men also report feeling less stressed; 44% of men say they’re stressed or very stressed regularly (compared to 49% of women). Here’s how men are engaging in self-care through beauty and grooming and integrative health as well as how these trends have changed throughout the pandemic.*

Men engage in more integrative health services than women

In 2020, men engaged in integrative health services more than women. We learned that 42% of men use alternative/integrative medicine (compared to 30% of women).

Of men who engaged in integrative health services, 28% received massages more frequently during the pandemic (compared to 19% women), 27% did meditation more frequently (compared to 25% women), 17% received health or life coaching more frequently (10% women), and 14% received nutrition counseling more frequently (7%).*

Men Consume More Integrative Health Services Than Women

Takeaways for your business

Throughout the past year, men prioritized integrative health services at a higher rate than women. Since all aspects of people’s lives will be shifting again in 2021, think about considering ways in which you can retain those customers who engaged with your service frequently in 2020, such as automated marketing campaigns focused on retention.

Men have stepped up their grooming routine

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 45% of men dedicate the same time and attention towards their grooming routine, and 24% dedicate more time. The number one reason for dedicating more time? Sixty percent of men say they want to look and feel good. Just less than half (49%) say they’re doing so because they have more time, and 43% are wanting to keep up with their beauty and grooming routines.*

Men are More Likely To Spend TIme on Beauty and Grooming Since the Pandemic Bega

While it makes sense that men were more likely to get a haircut or receive barber services, it was surprising to see that men were doing many beauty and grooming services more than women. Eighteen percent of men got facials during the pandemic when only 13% of women did. Fourteen percent of men received advanced skincare treatments; 7% of women did the same. Men were also more likely to book services for body hair removal, BOTOX® or similar fillers, full-body skin treatments, and even permanent makeup or eyebrow tinting/microblading.* It’s possible that men used COVID as an opportunity to try services that they might have otherwise not have explored.

Takeaways for your business

Because men are spending more time on their grooming routine, you have an opportunity to get them in the door for more appointments. Make sure you are making it easy for them to visit your business. One way that you can do this is through Messenger[ai], a virtual assistant that ensures you are turning missed calls into bookings.

Your service menu is a great signal to men that they’re welcome. Highlight offerings that appeal to them, including facials, skin treatments, and body hair removal. Consider incorporating options to swap out any feminine scents with something more neutral or masculine. And make sure you have a product line that appeals to men to offer male guests on their way out.

Wellness Investment Trends

Men spend more on health and wellness than women

On average, men spend more on health and wellness per month than women do—the average man spends $1,800 per year while the average woman spends $1,044. This is consistent across all verticals included in the survey. Men spend an average of $576 per year on fitness, while women spend an average of $264 per year. When it comes to grooming and beauty services, we found that men also spend more, with an average of $624 per year, versus women, who only spend an average of $504 per year. On top of that, men spend an average of $600 a year on integrative health, while women spend an average of $276.*

Total Spending for Males Versus Females

Takeaways for your business

Because men spend, on average, more money per month on health and wellness, they have the potential to be your most profitable customers. With that said, it may be time to revisit your marketing plan to consider how much of your new customer strategy focuses on men. Not sure where to get started? Download our template to creating a marketing plan and budget for your business.

Now that you have a better understanding of how your male clientele can make an enormous impact on your bottom line, it is time to start putting this knowledge to use.

* Mindbody Wellness Index

*Return to In-person Wellness Study

*** Virtual Fitness Consumer Study

Gain more competitive insight from the Mindbody Wellness Index.

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About the author:

bailey clark headshot

Bailey Clark

Marketing Content Specialist

Mindbody

Bailey Clark is a serial optimist whose passion for marketing lies within creating authentic connections to make the world happier and healthier. As a San Diego native, her favorite pastimes are surfing, F45, practicing yoga, meditation, and really any opportunity to soak up the sun.

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