Apr 29, 2024 - Health

Pumped-up Pilates

Illustration of a woman stretching on a yoga mat shaped like a plus

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

We're no longer in the heyday of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and CrossFit. Now, low-impact workouts — and particularly Pilates — are all the rage for American adults.

Why it matters: As longevity becomes a primary health focus, a growing number of exercisers are opting for movements that advance their day-to-day functioning and better protect them from injury.

By the numbers: In Houston, Pilates ClassPass bookings increased 54% in 2023 compared with 2022, according to data shared with Axios.

  • The most popular Pilates class on the fitness booking platform was Boost Pilates, with four Houston-area locations.
  • Overall, Pilates was the most popular ClassPass workout of 2023, with booking reservations up 92% from 2022.
  • And Yelp searches for Pilates increased 25% in 2023 from the previous year.

The big picture: The surge in interest in workouts like Pilates has to do with a workout mindset shift.

  • Many people now exercise primarily for health and longevity reasons, according to survey data from exercise platform Mindbody.
  • Almost 29% of consumers say they exercise for a long and healthy life, compared with 20% the year before, the data showed.
  • And more than one-third of Americans say they prefer low-intensity training exclusively, according to Mindbody.

What we're watching: "Functional fitness" is the workout buzzword of the moment.

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