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Report: We’ve Returned to Pre-Pandemic Fitness Habits, Says Garmin

Report: We’ve Returned to Pre-Pandemic Fitness Habits, Says Garmin

Garmin revealed data-driven fitness insights in 2022 and brings good news for the fitness industry

Garmin has released its year-end Garmin Connect fitness report, which summarizes 2022 and highlights the activities that fitness enthusiasts engaged in the most this year. In addition, the report offers fantastic news for the exercise and wellness industry, as Garmin says its data suggests a return to pre-pandemic fitness habits. 

The multinational technology company also reports strong growth in indoor activities that cannot be completed in a living room or home gym, suggesting a shift in fitness trends. Garmin Connect’s data revealed that fitness enthusiasts are becoming more interested in indoor swimming, rock climbing, and gym-based exercise such as HIIT workouts. The report also indicates that home-based workouts like yoga and indoor cycling, which grew rapidly during the pandemic, have stabilized.

Here are the categories fitness enthusiasts participated in the most this year, according to the Garmin Connect report:

Garmin Connects 2022 report title

Gym Goers

Garmin Connect reports that strength training activities were up 20% over 2021, pointing out that it shows a level of commitment, especially when many returned to the office this year and still had time to “pound that iron.” Garmin introduced a HIIT activity profile on select watches in 2021, and while no percentage change is available yet, the HIIT feature is a fan favorite, according to Garmin.

Cycling Fans

According to Garmin Connect, cycling enthusiasts were biking up a frenzy, with “roadies and gravel grinders” giving it their all. The report showed that road biking was up 8%, and gravel cyclists completed 40% more activities this year than in 2021.


Runners are a devoted group, says Garmin, and its users will always find time to sneak in a run. The report showed that treadmill running activities increased by 13%, and indoor running activities were up 17% this year. Garmin Connect also revealed that outdoor running soared, with track running percentages more than doubling. The tech company says it plans to continue working directly with more track and cross-country teams to further bolster young runners. 

Wellness Pros

Garmin reports that its well-rounded fitness users increased activity counts in a variety of wellness-oriented activities this year, including elliptical (up 15%), stair climbing (up 24%), Pilates (up 38%), and breathwork (up 28%). Garmin added a new feature, Health Snapshot, to complement health and wellness, which allows a user to capture, save, and share health-related insights.

Swimmers & Divers

It’s a good thing nearly all Garmin watches are water-resistant, as the tech company says lap swimming activities increased 34% this year, with swimming up 13%. 

For those who like to go the extra mile (or more), single gas diving saw the most growth in 2022, up 76%, says Garmin, which offers the Descent Mk2i and compatible Descent T1 Transmitter with SubWave sonar technology. With these features, divers can know their depth, tank pressure, remaining air time, and air consumption rate, as well as those of up to four fellow divers. 


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According to Garmin, rock climbing increased 17%, with Western Europe engaging in 32% more rock climbing activities than the previous year, while North Americans participated in 18.55% more activities.

Water Adventurers 

Garmin saw more people enjoying the water, with global sailing activity rising 39%, surfing 35%, and boating 13%. The tech brand even offers the Instinct 2 – Surf Edition, which features tide data, Surfline compatibility, and activity profiles for surfing, kiteboarding, and windsurfing.

On the Slopes

Winter sports fans “went wild” when resorts reopened, according to Garmin, which should not surprise anyone who visited a ski resort this year. Skiing and snowboarding in resorts increased 143%, with skate skiing rising 14% and backcountry skiing and snowboarding increasing 7%.

eSports Gamers

According to Garmin, gamers logged an impressive 35% increase in esports activities this year compared to 2021. Virtual fitness is a growing sector, and Garmin’s Instinct – Esports Edition allows players to analyze body metrics, like heart rate and stress tracking and offers compatibility with STR3AMUP! to broadcast stress level and heart rate to game streams. 

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