The gym is no longer a place reserved for those without a date on Valentine’s Day, says global real estate adviser Colliers International. Far from being a safe-haven for singletons, new research suggests it’s the ideal location to plan a memorable – and romantic – activity for two.

Colliers International confirms that the UK’s gym market is at an all time high, especially in London where fitness has become a way of life. Nationwide, the gym industry is estimated by Mintel to be worth £3.2 billion in market value, with an estimated value increase of £3.5 billion by 2022.

The new ‘Social Realm’

In a recent 3,000-person consumer survey undertaken by Colliers International, two thirds of people would consider going on a date to the gym, while 60 per cent of people have dated, or would consider dating, a gym member, trainer or member of staff they met at the gym.

And, in this ever-increasing world of technology, 58 per cent said they would be interested in a dating app designed specially for people who go to the gym; 79 per cent go to the gym to hangout with colleagues; and 83 per cent would make arrangements with friends or partners around a gym class to fit in with their training schedule.

Where to take your date this Valentine’s Day

According to Ross Kirton, Head of UK Leisure Agency at Colliers International, “With gym attendance up by 52 per cent in two years, gyms are no longer practical spaces used to conduct simple solo or group exercise. They are now places to socialise, relax, and even date.”

With London’s gym scene offering abundant choice and variety, there is a different type of gym for every Valentine’s Day date. For example, to get your date’s heart racing, 1Rebel suggests one of their “passionate sessions with guaranteed endorphins”. Or for something more intimate, yoga at Another_Space will test your partner’s flexibility. And to draw out their competitive edge, Londoners should try booking a rowing session at The Engine Room.  

Kirton continues: “London’s gym market is being fueled by the fact that gyms are no longer spaces full of treadmills and free weights. In this age of Instagram, gyms are now having to adapt to the consumer appetite for design-led, beautiful surroundings.

“As Londoners swap drinks and dinner with friends for smoothies and spin classes, experiential gyms such as 1Rebel are appealing to the euphoria cravings previous generations may have found in bars or clubs. Live music, light shows, dancing and high energy levels ensure the emphasis is as much on it being a social experience as it is a workout – making it the perfect option for Valentine’s Day.”

Increased spend

Indeed, the research also found that people now spend more on gym membership and fitness classes than on drinking.

According to Colliers International, people spend, on average, £41.05 on gym membership per month, and only £39.55 on drinking in bars, pubs and nightclubs. The survey also revealed that people spend, on average, a total of £33.39 per month while at the gym – and a further £37.09 per month outside the gym – on protein food, health drinks and meal plans.

Moreover, people said they only spend £56.10 on dining out per month – 22 per cent less than in- and out-of-gym spend on healthy food and drinks – further demonstrating the shift towards increased spend on a healthier lifestyle and better well-being.

Of the 3,005 people surveyed, 45 per cent of people said that, over the last 12 months, their monthly overall spend on health and fitness had increased; the mean average increase was £171.87, with eating healthier and buying food and drinks at the gym listed as the two main reasons for spending more.