I have read in the news that the number one New Year’s Resolution in the US, is to lose weight. In fact, it was the most popular resolution every year for more than a decade now. So it is not surprising that the attendance in a fitness club is the highest during the month of January. However, according to one article, by April, there is already an average of 20-30% dropout rate for those who started their membership in January. Really? It takes them 3 months to quit? I was expecting it to be shorter.
If you are a member of a health club, you are among the millions of people who do. I hope you are not one of those who will drop out by April. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, the membership to a gym reached an all-time high of 50.2 million last year. So fitness clubs, sportsclub and racquet clubs are such a lucrative racket. Sorry for the pun, it was intended.
According to that article also, different states in the US have different participation rates. I find it interesting to learn that Iowa was ranked 24th, with health-club participation rate of 14.8%. That was better than I thought actually. I was expecting it to be worse, with the high percentage of obesity here. We are not the number one producer of pork chop for nothing, you know. Massachusetts was the number one gym-friendly state with 25.1% consumers.
As I pulled up in our local YMCA parking lot this morning, I have one observation that has been consistent over the 10 years and more, that I have been a member of a fitness club. I have observed that there is a higher proportion of expensive vehicles or luxury cars and SUVs in a gym’s parking lot compared to other parking lot, like the hospital’s, or the mall’s, or Wal-Mart’s. Lots of BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac and Porsche. (No Batmobile though.) Do you know why?
The first possible answer is that, with cost of fitness club membership, that is about $30-$60/month for general purpose gym, to about $50-$200/month to a Spa/Country Club/Racquet Club gyms, that attendance to this clubs are skewed to the more wealthy portion of the population. And therefore these rich people also own those luxury cars in the parking lot. Or maybe the club’s owner owns all those expensive vehicles, and just parks them outside the gym.
The second possible answer is that people who join these health clubs are people, who are very particular on their outward appearance, thus they go to the gym to look trim, hunky and sexy. These people also have the propensity to choose luxury vehicles to project their classy image. I tell you, people can be vain. Or maybe they just feel good about themselves. But hey, it’s a free country, they can do whatever they please.
The last possible answer I can think of, is that maybe, people who go to the gym are more driven individuals, who strives to be in their best, including their health, and thereby they exercise routinely. These motivated individuals, are also likely to be more successful, and thus the more luxury cars in the gym’s parking lot. In fact, there are several studies linking regular exercise and business success.
Whatever the real reason behind the link between toned muscles and luxury cars, I am really not sure. But maybe you can join the gym too and find out for yourself. Or perhaps you are already one of those driving a hot, exotic car.
(*image of Batmobile from here)