The spending on fitness is going up. Photo: Mint
Mumbai: Do you go to the gym, a marathon club or to a Zumba class? “Looking good has become a way of living, which means, on an average, people spend Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 a month on their fitness regime,” said Sanil Pal, a part-time sports leader at Decathlon, a pan-India sports equipment dealer. “On a single visit to Decathlon, a customer spends at least Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000,” said Shantudeep Roy, 25, a fitness leader at Decathlon.
A combination of gym memberships, sports accessories, equipment, apparels and even protein make up a customer’s fitness basket who visit the company. The customers broadly fall in the 17-40 age group. In posh areas of Mumbai such as Cuffe Parade and Colaba, people are ready to spend more than Rs 50,000 annually for their gym membership.
Experts say all facets of fitness are now seeing a rise in interest. For instance, at Decathlon, products related to hiking and trekking contribute to 27% of the store’s sales, while the contribution of fitness goods is 19.5%.
The retail fitness industry in India was valued at Rs 7,000 crore at the end of 2017, according to a study by Gympik, a fitness discovery platform. On an average, individuals end up spending 3-5% of their monthly income. For instance, Bengaluru-based Vivek Iyer, 36, a project manager who is a cycling enthusiast, manages to find time from his busy schedule for pan-India cycling expeditions.
He spends around 5% of his monthly income on fitness gear, cycling equipment and repairs. Like Iyer, Sunil Pachpute, 39, member of Pune-based fitness group-Dhakkan Athletes, spends almost 3% of his monthly income on fitness accessories. “If I take into account all my fitness activities, I spend around Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 a month, which includes travel costs, marathon registrations and others,” he said.
How much is too much?
Spends on fitness have gone up. “For instance, the concept of having a private yoga instructor has seen a rise and it costs anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. There are people who use this service every month,” said Mrin Agarwal, founder-director, Finsafe India Pvt. Ltd and co-founder of Womantra. However, there are people who sign up for these memberships and then don’t attend the class.
“If you are actually using Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 a month, it is fine. For instance, marathon runners spend a lot on fitness. It is fine to spend as long as you can afford it, while taking care of all your expenses and savings,” said Agarwal. The cost of fitness comes under discretionary spends. “As long as you can meet all your discretionary—recreation, entertainment, going out, fitness and movies—expenses within 30% of your overall income, you don’t have to worry,” said Nisreen Mamaji, certified financial planner and chief executive officer, MoneyWorks Financial Advisors.
Make sure you are within the band of expense allocation. Like with any other addiction, relook if you feel you are going overboard.