Monday, November 13, 2023
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HomeHealthApps show where people do it

Apps show where people do it


Ever pack workout clothes for a vacation — only to unpack them, unworn, upon returning home?

Perhaps the destination matters.

Data from exercise apps, which track users’ physical locations and search history, show travelers tend to be more active in some locations more than others.

Fitness app Strava shows travelers tend to exercise when they visit smaller cities in Europe. The app, which has 100 million users in 195 countries, shows travelers are more active than locals, in:

  • Split, Croatia
  • Dodecanese Islands, Greece
  • Lagos, Portugal
  • Las Palmas, Spain
  • Nord-Aurdal, Norway

All are warm, coastal cities in southern Europe, with the exception of Nord-Aurdal, which is part of Norway’s Valdres region — a major draw for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, cycling, fishing and skiing. The small municipality of some 6,400 people is about 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Lillehammer, which hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Conversely, the company’s data shows travelers are less active, compared to locals, in parts of the Caribbean and Central America, namely:

  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Dominican Republic
  • Philippines
  • Venezuela
  • Costa Rica 

Those who struggle to exercise on vacation can take heart in knowing that even active travelers tend to ease up from their usual routines on holiday. Nearly four in 10 runners cut their running times by at least 30% during their summer vacations in 2022, according to Strava’s data.

Fitness classes booked abroad

Data from the fitness membership app ClassPass shows where Americans are signing up for fitness classes when they travel abroad.

From January to September 2023, American travelers booked classes the most — not in major tourist draws like Paris and London — but in:

  1. Lisbon, Portugal 
  2. Montreal, Canada
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Barcelona, Spain
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Vancouver, Canada
  10. Berlin, Germany

The app does not operate in Italy, a representative of ClassPass said.

A group of women participating in an outdoor jump fit boots class in Barcelona, Spain.

Tempura | E+ | Getty Images

As for the type of exercise that travelers book, ClassPass said the most popular classes are:

  1. Pilates
  2. Yoga
  3. Strength training
  4. Cycling
  5. Barre

The top U.S. city for outdoor activities

A woman practices yoga in Sedona, Arizona.

Jenniferphotographyimaging | E+ | Getty Images

With a population of around 10,000 people, Sedona is a popular travel destination for physical and spiritual wellness, with many attracted to so-called “energy vortexes,” which some believe to have healing properties.

“For trail activities on the beach or in the mountains, we see the highest number of activities happening in the summer in the U.S., specifically in July,” Meaghan Praznik, a representative from AllTrails told CNBC.

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