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7 Ways The Pandemic Flexed Its Muscles And Retrained The Fitness Industry

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I don’t like to exercise. I like the idea of it in theory. But, I would rather curl up on the couch, read a good book, and eat Little Debbie cakes. But, as we all know, sitting for eight hours a day is the newest health hazard.

The fitness industry tells us that you need to be moving, getting in your 10,000 steps every day. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, such as obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

But like me, most Americans don’t love to exercise. Only about 23% of us are exercising enough. According to the government’s definition, we should get in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week.

But, ironically, data shows that since March 2020, Americans are actually working out even more than before, with 56% of respondents exercising at least five times per week.

The coronavirus pandemic and sheltering in place have changed the way we exercise and workout, most likely for the better.

Here are 7 ways the Coronavirus pandemic is transforming the fitness industry:

Virtual fitness is the new normal

There’s been a dramatic surge in virtual fitness, including live-streaming and on-demand classes. Americans are realizing they can exercise at home and skip the commute to the gym. Everything from yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), kettlebells, pilates, barre, and meditation classes can be streamed right to their homes.

Changes in type and frequency of workouts

Many Americans are exercising more from home and are working out at least five times a week. Now, consumers are able to just show up in their living rooms and have a great workout experience right from home using virtual classes. Exercisers who may feel judged or embarrassed can try workouts virtually, when they might not have felt comfortable doing them at the gym.

At home fitness equipment spikes

With gyms closed during the pandemic, many Americans have created their own fitness centers at home. The home fitness equipment market grew by 170% during the Coronavirus lockdown. In addition to Pelaton bikes, other home fitness options include treadmills, rowing machines, dumb bells, free weights, kettlebells, Pilates machines, yoga mats, and more.

Popular workouts emerge

Yoga has been a very popular workout due in part to the lack of any expensive or bulky equipment. All exercisers need is an open space and a yoga mat. Next most popular are high-intensity interval training, followed by Pilates and Barre workouts.

Growth in outdoor fitness options

Personal trainers are starting to convene in small groups for socially distant outdoor fitness classes. It’s an opportunity for fitness centers and gyms to keep their members’ blood pumping, engage with them, as well as continuing to collect membership dues.

Mental health classes emerge

There’s also been a rise in mental health classes, such as relaxation techniques and meditation. Any and all forms of exercise and wellness classes can help Americans cope with increased stress brought on by COVID-19, the economy, politics, remote learning, and spending so much time at home.

Digital fitness industry is here to stay

In a survey of fitness participants, 46% stated that they intend to make virtual classes a regular part of their exercise routines, even after studios have been opened. And, 40% of consumers are booking virtual workouts with gyms and fitness centers they’ve never physically visited before. The virtual fitness industry allows businesses to reach digital-first clients from anywhere in the world.

READ MORE: What Does Generation Z Want In A Mobile App?

Consider a fitness mobile app

At CatalystXL, we make knowledge sharing fast, easy, and social — so people can quickly find information when they need it, right from their smartphone (or any other connected device). We can deliver a no-code, custom branded app that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware™ platform — sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format. Our mobile app fosters a community of collaboration, engagement, and connectedness for gyms and their fitness members.

Book a demo with CatalystXL.