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Amid Ozempic Rising Popularity, Some Gyms Now Actively Promote Weight Loss Drug

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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In an unexpected turn within the fitness industry, prominent lifestyle gyms such as Equinox, Life Time Fitness, and Xponential Fitness are not just competing with, but also embracing GLP-1-related weight loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound. 

A recent analysis by Morgan Stanley highlights this trend, suggesting that integrating these medications could be a strategic move as the global market for these drugs is expected to burgeon to $105 billion by 2030.

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The Rise of GLP-1 Medications

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) agonists are primarily designed to regulate blood sugar levels and suppress appetite. Initially approved for type-2 diabetes management, their use has expanded into the weight loss sector due to their significant effectiveness. 

The demand for these medications has soared over the past year, with projections suggesting that by 2035, about 31.5 million Americans could be using these treatments.

Industry Perspectives: Gym vs. Food Sector

While the popularity of GLP-1 medications has caused unease among food industry executives, fearing reduced consumer spending at restaurants, the fitness industry sees a beneficial aspect. 

According to Michael Crandall, a personal trainer at E by Equinox, “It shouldn’t never be bad for the fitness industry to have a large population of people getting into better physical shape”

This sentiment is echoed across the fitness sector, contrasting sharply with concerns from the food industry.

Increased Gym Participation Among GLP-1 Users

Data from Morgan Stanley reveals a sharp increase in gym attendance among users of GLP-1 medications. A survey indicated that the percentage of users exercising weekly jumped from 35% to 77% after starting GLP-1 treatments. 

This rise in physical activity is likely motivated by the users feeling more physically capable and mentally prepared to enhance the benefits of their weight loss treatments.

Programs and Initiatives by Leading Gyms

Recognizing the opportunity, gyms like Equinox have begun tailoring their offerings to meet the needs of this growing demographic. 

Equinox, for instance, has educated its senior coaches on optimal training methods for clients using these medications, encompassing both exercise and nutritional guidance. 

Similarly, Life Time Fitness and Xponential Fitness have rolled out specialized programs that provide holistic health assessments and personalized health plans that include GLP-1 prescriptions.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Despite the positive reception, there are concerns about potential side effects, such as muscle loss and decreased bone density due to reduced caloric intake. 

Gyms are actively addressing these issues by encouraging a balanced diet rich in healthy proteins to complement the physical activities, thereby mitigating some of the negative impacts of these medications.

Conclusion

The proactive approach by gyms to incorporate GLP-1 medications into their health and fitness programs reflects a broader trend of convergence between healthcare and lifestyle industries. 

As these drugs continue to gain popularity, the symbiotic relationship between fitness centers and medical treatments for weight loss appears poised for growth, benefiting both sectors and helping individuals achieve better physical health.

This partnership between the healthcare and fitness industries could set a precedent for future integrations of medical treatments within lifestyle and wellness routines, promoting an all-encompassing approach to health and fitness.

About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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