How the Pandemic Transformed the Fitness Industry

Many industries have had to sacrifice a big portion of their entire operations to cooperate in extensive COVID containment measures. Some companies hardly hit by the effects of the pandemic, but still manage to stay afloat, know how much it took to scramble for solutions to keep them relevant amid drastically changing consumer needs, and prevent them from defaulting. In an odd turn of events, it seems that consumer demand has polarized in favor of the other more fortunate industries.

It’s a no-brainer that e-commerce and complimentary services like B2B online marketing makes it to the lucky list with the convenience it provides for businesses and consumers alike. Add to that the seemingly ever lucrative fast food industry, which only proves that, amid the growth of a movement towards sustainably sourced and organic food, many are yet to curb their comfort food cravings and preference for the bang for the buck fast food offers. If there is anything common between these two industries, it’s that it satiates people’s need for speed.

With speed seemingly being the overarching theme of today’s marketplace, that of the fitness industry doesn’t disappoint. The nimble capabilities of exercise and health monitoring tech, which, not to mention, evolves rapidly, makes up for closed gyms and in-person coaching justifies the industry’s hype lately. We don’t see the hype waning soon either. Here’s why:

Linking Like-Minded People

We have far moved on from VHS tapes and Youtube videos of prerecorded yoga and aerobic workout sessions and are ushering in an era of Zoom workouts. Likewise, athletes and enthusiasts of a certain sport, rowing, for instance, have transitioned to virtual meets with the help of Wi-Fi-enabled rowing machines that allow them to see each other’s speeds in real-time.

These just go to show that, if push comes to shove, that is if people are kept contained for long periods without interacting with their niche, their workout group, for instance, technology comes to the rescue and makes connection possible again.

Emphasis on Performance Stats

Digital fitness trackers seemed to have melted into our wrists as people are increasingly concerned with whether they have walked enough, climbed enough flights of stairs, or did any heart-pumping activity for the day. We are now in an age where punching bags can input punches and kicks and rate how well you did in your virtual sparring session and gym mirrors can now double as your AI coach. Fitness tech-wise, we could say the future is here and companies can only follow suit with more innovation.

Departure from Fad Culture

Perhaps, for the first time in history, those who engage in rigorous fitness routines have more or less a consensus regarding such commitment. We are past the age of riding fitness fads, which usually has to do only with maintaining almost unreal sculpted muscles with little regard to the intrinsic elements of health. For the first time, most, if not all people are serious about their health. 

One’s attainment of a certain level of physical strength and wellness is no longer perceived as a self-centered act. Rather, the focus has shifted to the desire to live long enough to care for loved ones. This newfound mission has only intensified as we all continue to weather through this pandemic. 

Upping Cleanliness Standards

It remains uncertain when we can back to the normal we were used to and whether we’ll still see the day we can freely go out maskless. Gym goers will just as be more cautious when using gym facilities. There will be a persistent hesitance to touch implements and stay in common areas like bathrooms and reception areas aside from the foam padded gym halls.

The recent public health threats call for gyms and similar establishments to improve cleaning practices and elevate safety standards. A thorough facility planning must be done by simulating regular foot traffic and, from there, device ways to minimize contacts among patrons. Also, it is about time that regular cleaning and disinfection are normalized among gyms.

Holistic Approach to Wellness

People have come to accept more and more the fact that wellness goes beyond the physical realm. Our overall wellness depends on the interaction of our physical, mental, and spiritual health and none can be prioritized over the other. That said, meditative exercises like yoga could only gain more traction.

Looking back, the fitness industry did not fare great when the pandemic hit, but it is evident that it pivoted product and service-wise. Time and again, industries rise and fall depending on their adaptability to changes, more so to sudden ones.

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