Diana J. Smith

Home workouts dominated during the pandemic. Will the trend change the fitness industry?

Active Californians turned to exercising outdoors or at home when Gov. Gavin Newsom directed gyms to close on March 16. Many fitness centers debuted live-streamed classes during the coronavirus pandemic; sporting equipment sales boomed as living rooms and garages became makeshift gyms.

As gyms started reopening in June, business owners and customers sought a new normal that may point to lasting shifts in the industry. Prior to the pandemic, many frequented the gym for access to specialty equipment, but some people have now bought their own gear, and online options have emerged as a viable alternative for group fitness businesses.

Austin Walsh bought new dumbbells, resistance bands and running shoes since his gym closed. His home setup — in the bedroom, since his wife does barre workouts in the living room — isn’t perfect, but it seems safe.

“The most elusive piece of equipment is an Olympic bench press

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Women’s health and fitness most at risk if leisure facilities stay closed

Ongoing closures of gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres are “disproportionately” affecting women, according to Sport England, which warns gender inequalities have been exacerbated by lockdown.

The Government-formed body expressed concern to MPs that the clock is being turned back after women’s sporting participation was boosted by last year’s football, netball and cricket world cups.

Activity levels were at record highs pre lockdown, but “less women than men” have been able to be active as families were placed under pressure by Covid-19.

“We’ve seen an exacerbation of inequalities that existed before lockdown,” said Alison Donnelly, executive director of communications and marketing at Sport England.

The Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee praised Donnelly over the Sport England-backed This Girl Can campaign, which was first developed in 2015 to promote sport and activity among women, and since then has inspired four million women to act.

“In terms of

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Planet Fitness Advises 200 People to Quarantine After Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Image Source: Getty / AFP Contributor

On Monday, June 29, CNN reported that more than 200 people who have used a now-open Planet Fitness in Morgantown, WV, are being urged to quarantine after a client tested positive for COVID-19. According to a statement released by the Monongalia County Health Department, anyone who was at that particular Planet Fitness between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, should stay home and practice quarantine safety for 14 days, which would be until July 8. The statement says that about 205 people were at Planet Fitness during that time, and that they should get tested if symptoms emerge.

Also according to the Monongalia County Health Department, West Virginia saw an increase of about 400 COVID-19 cases in the past 10 days since their statement was released on Saturday, June 27. “West Virginia, along with about half of the states

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How lockdown closed the gender fitness gap among children

Girl exercising - Getty
Girl exercising – Getty

Last April, this paper launched the Girls, Inspired campaign in a bid to close the gender fitness gap after it was found just eight per cent of girls aged between 11 and 18 were doing the recommended daily hour of activity, compared to 16 per cent of boys.

The campaign came about after research showed millions of girls in the UK were falling off a fitness cliff after primary school, with statements like, “I don’t like boys watching me” and “I have my period”, cited as reasons for not wanting to do PE or play sport.  

A little over a year later, and lockdown seems to have reversed this trend, but to the detriment of boys. Sport England is set to release data this week that shows girls are becoming more active than boys during lockdown, something Sport England’s Alison Donnelly says she finds “fascinating”.

“I

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