COVID-19 and the ‘new normal’ for the fitness industry
From virtual classes to mental health options, people have taken a more holistic approach to health and fitness during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has impacted many industries and businesses, and affected public health as a whole. It has changed people’s attitudes towards exercising and the way they exercise. They are now opting for at-home workouts and are taking up outdoor activities such as biking, running, etc. On the other hand, to stay connected with their clients, gym owners and personal trainers have moved to online platforms and are offering virtual classes to encourage healthy lifestyles even while at home.
The pandemic has also caused a lot of anxiety and depression among people, which has in turn generated conversation around mental health. The impact was also felt in the fitness world, with trainers altering their workout sessions to address mental health along with physical health.
People have also become more conscious and serious about mental health and are now engaging in physical activities that include mindful activities such as meditation. In fact, participation in fitness activities such as yoga has risen since the pandemic.
As we learn to adapt to the new normal, the fitness industry is also finding ways to stay relevant: from changing the way they operate to embracing technology while keeping in mind buying patterns, extra caution, and shift in priorities of the client.
So, how do we prepare and adapt to the future of fitness?
Besides filling the attendance in the gyms and workout classes, fitness centres and gyms also have to focus on providing a mix of online workouts and at-home service options to cater to the people who are hesitant to expose themselves as well as germaphobics.
Another major precaution that gyms need to focus on is increasing their hygiene practices. From clean equipment to spotless changing rooms, fitness centres and gyms will need to include sanitisation stations, handwashing guidelines, and equipment disinfecting instructions. As an added precaution, they should also provide extra training to the cleaning staff.
People have been living in isolation due to the pandemic and have enjoyed the convenience of training and working out in the comfort of their homes with the help of technology and live classes. This makes it imperative for fitness centres and gyms to continue catering to the new habits of the clients going forward.
While the pandemic may have brought about many inconveniences, it has also benefited businesses. From reaching out to a wider audience to entering global markets online, it has allowed people to experience businesses remotely and given employees the option to work from home. It has also offered clients the option to live-stream workout classes, train with their favourite instructors, and record sessions at their own convenience and time, thereby helping them to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
So while we embrace the new normal, we have to accept that the fitness industry has changed for the better. Together, we will have to step up to the crisis and address the current need of the hour.