Fitness and exercise studios in the US now engage their customers via online videos, live streaming lessons, and outdoor exercise because of COVID-19 restrictions.
- Fitness studios across the US are closing their doors and adapting to a new reality as the coronavirus continues to spread. For gyms and studios, which are primarily reliant on physical locations and on-site workers, the sudden change has encouraged ingenuity and versatility.
- “The COVID-19 global pandemic has presented a challenge unlike any other that the health and wellness industry has seen,” Fritz Lanman, ClassPass CEO, explained. “Almost 90% of our 30,000 gyms, studio and wellness partners across 30 countries have indefinitely closed their physical locations.“
- “Small studios are being hit hard.” Yoga studios like Sacred are charging $10 for virtual classes on Zoom in the hope of reopening after closure. But some professionals’ in the industry do not believe that all these small companies will make it back.
- Even big companies like Flywheel are hard hit. On March 20, the company sent pleaded with its members, requesting they continue to pay their monthly fee, even though their physical locations were closing.
- Some studios in the US offer free classes on Instagram Live, while others have closed all their physical locations in the US.
- A subscription service, ClassPass, has partnered with over 500 local boutique fitness classes, to offer live workouts.
- In an attempt to keep their clientele amused and engaged, several studios are producing YouTube video workouts. For example, the cult-favorite HIIT studio, Orange Theory, shares a free 30-minute workout every day on its website.
- For studios that aren’t used to being primarily digital, it’s not a smooth road. The Row House rowing studio in Boston provides a number of free live streaming lessons on Facebook, however, their clientele can only participate if they have a rowing machine at home.
- Digital and virtual fitness companies are profiting from this shift in the industry. Brynn Jinnett Putnam, the MIRROR CEO, said. “Sales have more than doubled since the advent of Covid-19.”
Motivation To Exercise
- “More than 4 out of 10 U.S. adults are obese, and 60% have at least one” chronic condition, placing them at high risk of serious COVID-19 complications. People with chronic conditions are “12 times more likely to die” because of COVID 19.
- African Americans, especially suffer from chronic conditions like obesity, asthma, kidney disease, and diabetes — “problems that experts say could make COVID-19 more damaging if they get it.”
- Due to widespread media coverage of the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the chronically ill, Americans are gradually beginning to understand that keeping fit is not only about looking good, but it’s also about improving the immune system and staying away from serious health issues.
- Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that upper respiratory tract infection decreased by 40% over 12 weeks among individuals who participated in aerobic exercise 5 or more days per week.
- In response to social distancing and statewide lockdowns, several gyms have moved fitness classes outdoors and online for the first time. In the wake of the pandemic, groups such as the American College of Sports Medicine have strongly advocated for the health benefits of physical activity, explicitly advocating for funding for outdoor recreation in deprived communities.
- The pandemic has also created new motivation for people to exercise, even if that’s just a walk around the road.