Who has never made a good resolution at the start of the year to pay attention to their figure? In January, the well-being and fitness industry rides on the “good resolution” effect of this “motivation month”. The Fitness Park gym chain offers 4 weeks of subscription as well as membership fees, Neoness allows you to benefit from 8 weeks of subscription for 0 euros; and Weight Watchers a 60% reduction in the 12-month subscription to its slimming programs... Promotions are multiplying and the number of members of slimming and sports programs has significantly increased over the first two weeks of 2024.
Even if the start of the school year was late, with the return from vacation on Monday January 8, “we are seeing a real peak in attendance at our sports halls which will continue in the weeks to come. We hear everywhere from our members about ‘good resolution’ with a real well-being effect typical of the month of January,” explains Delphine Bassompierre-Sewrin, marketing director of RITM fitness clubs. On the dietary side, “motivation for a diet is simpler at the beginning of January when you are fed up with the rich holiday meals,” comments dietician and slimming coach Hélène Defretin.
In fact, each year the “month of motivation” – in the terms of Weight Watchers – is particularly profitable, for example, for fitness club networks: between December 2022 and the first two weeks of January 2023, RITM has thus observed a 103% increase in new subscriptions, for revenue growth of 17%. For comparison, the increase in subscriptions between August and September 2023 was 82%.
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Getting back into shape benefits the dietetics business more timidly, according to Hélène Defretin, even if “we feel greater motivation in January”. In 2023, the month of January represented 10.26% of its annual turnover, compared to 8.21% for the month of December. While in 2022, the proportions were respectively 8.61% for January and 5.62% for December.
Most people wait until January to pay more attention to their diet so as not to deprive themselves during the end-of-year holidays. But the dietician reminds us that “there is, in reality, no good month to start eating a balanced diet. The important thing is that the person is willing to pay attention to what they eat, but no month is easier than another: between the cake, Easter, summer vacation... There is always an excuse , so above all you need motivation.
Beyond the “good resolution” effect, the Olympic momentum is pushing the French to take up sport as the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, according to the marketing director of RITM. “The proliferation of fitness programs, such as ‘Move 30 minutes every day’, also greatly benefits our clubs,” emphasizes Delphine Bassompierre-Sewrin. This dynamic promises to continue all year round, particularly since sporting activity has been promoted as Great National Cause 2024 by the government.
Benoît Mazerat, general director of Episod sports studios, is more skeptical about this supposed Olympic craze. According to him, the increase in attendance at sports halls (by 15% between January 2023 and January 2024 for Episod studios) is mainly due to a change in mentality among the younger generation. “We now have a generation who, for mainly aesthetic considerations, want to have a body they like and who also seek to counter their anxiety through sport. I am convinced that the worse society gets, the more people will exercise to find a balance.” Regardless, there is one point on which those in the sector agree: the important thing is to maintain the motivation of the month of January to go beyond the stage of a simple resolution for the new year.