Not a lot of good has come out of coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19. But some of us try to find good things in even the most dire of circumstances. Coronavirus is no exception. There are some silver linings if you are willing to look for them. One of them is related to indoor exercise.
Some portions of the U.S., like Southern California for example, are still bogged down under restrictions so severe that gyms, fitness centers, and cycling studios remain closed. The UK (specifically England and Scotland) recently implemented a new round of severe restrictions as well. Right now is a tough time to be a gym or studio owner.
So what is the silver lining? It lies in the fact that more people are learning to appreciate indoor exercise at home. In places where stay-at-home orders are still in place, people have little choice but to exercise in their basements and bedrooms. Where indoor gym restrictions are in place, it still makes more sense to exercise in the controlled environment of home.
Exercise Equipment and Space
For most people, exercising at home requires only a little bit of space and a piece of exercise equipment. Moreover, equipment is optional. People can exercise at home without a stationary bike, treadmill, etc. They can always do calisthenics, for instance.
Nonetheless, now seems to be an opportune time to sell home exercise equipment. Equipment sales and online classes have both surged since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Mcycle, in Salt Lake City, says that some cycling studios unable to open their doors have kept things going by renting their bikes to students who take online spinning classes at home.
Bringing New Riders on Board
The ongoing coronavirus crisis may represent an opportunity for cycling studios to bring new riders on board. Indoor cycling was just beginning to emerge as a popular exercise option when the pandemic first struck in 2020. Now there is an opportunity to promote it as an excellent option for exercising at home without having to be in the company of dozens of strangers.
There may also be an opportunity to introduce indoor cycling to people who do not normally exercise. Let’s face it, being stuck at home gets old rather quickly. It is easy to find yourself sitting in front of the TV simply out of boredom.
Boredom might lead to binge eating and binge watching, both of which could lead to weight gain. But spend some of your down time in the saddle of a stationary bike and things change. Spending 30-60 minutes in daily exercise not only eats up some of that excess time, but it also improves one’s overall health.
Expanding Class Opportunities
Yet another positive from the coronavirus crisis is the opportunity for studios and gyms to expand class opportunities. Consider a cycling studio that never did online classes before. Pandemic survival may have forced that studio online. There is nothing to say online classes have to cease once the pandemic is over.
Offering both in-person and online classes expands the studio’s reach. And it is not just cycling studios either. Any local gym or fitness center that offers any kind of live class could put it online. From yoga to taekwondo, all a gym needs to go online is a decent camera and a high-speed internet connection.
It is tough to find any positives related to the coronavirus crisis, but they are out there. To the fitness industry, it represents an opportunity to introduce indoor exercise – especially things that can be done at home – to people who would otherwise not exercise. That alone is exciting.