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Outdoor Activities Emerge as Key Wellness Trend

Outdoor Activities Emerge as Key Wellness Trend

Spending time outdoors could be just what the doctor ordered. The Mindbody 2024 Wellness Index and ClassPass 2023 Look Back Report have highlighted the data-supported benefits of focusing on nature.

According to the Mindbody Wellness Index, 39% of consumers recognize the critical role of spending time outdoors in maintaining mental well-being, citing its contribution to a more balanced life. 

Wellness retreats have cropped up, tailored to combat the loneliness epidemic, particularly for men. Companies like Evryman and Junto host men’s retreats in locations like Joshua Tree and Costa Rica, filled with meditations, hikes and group activities. Around 13% of consumers are venturing into camps or retreats that prioritize activities connecting them with nature. Just a weekend-long escape can ground consumers and reduce stress levels. 

Even a simple walk can have a big impact. Over half of the population (52%) considers outdoor walking an indispensable part of their general fitness regimen.

Research supports that just 20 minutes a day spent in nature can markedly reduce stress levels. Companies like Apple have leaned into the walking trend, building out its “Time to Walk” offering on Apple Fitness+, where consumers can hear prerecorded stories from celebrities during a walk.   

Parallel to the pursuit of nature, 2024 is also marked by adults rediscovering the joy of play. ClassPass’s Look Back Report demonstrates a 92% increase in sports and recreation bookings from the previous year.

Golf is the fastest-growing activity, followed by football, soccer, and tennis. Pickleball has also had an impressive year, with participants of all ages hitting the courts. In 2023, the sport grew to 8.9 million players in the United States, according to a 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) report.

Nearly half (43%) of all consumers say that community is an important part of wellness experiences, a data point that was likely influenced by the pandemic. Thirty-three percent of consumers prioritize fun and play to support their well-being.  

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Consumers are also exploring nature’s offerings for health benefits. Seventeen percent of consumers are curious about incorporating adaptogenic mushrooms into their diets, likely drawn to claims that they have the potential to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and enhance cognitive functions. 

Nature, wellness and the rediscovery of play could be defining trends of 2024. As consumers increasingly grow frustrated with increasing screen time and tech fatigue, they’re becoming more drawn to spending time outside with others. Mindbody and ClassPass’ reports have made one thing clear: a little more time outside can go a long way. 

View the full Mindbody Wellness Index and ClassPass Look Back Report.

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