Are Gyms Obsolete? Will Fitness Apps Be The New Norm?

Published on August 21, 2020

We are living in an age where we’re all having to change our routine to accommodate to the new normal. There is a lot that we’ve had to adjust to in this pandemic with restaurants closing, mask policies or online schooling. However, since things have opened up in some places, things haven’t been the same. One thing in particular that has had me curious is gyms, and will gyms be a thing of the past after COVID?

Gyms are among the main places people seem to be the most skeptical about when it came to reopening. With all of the gym equipment, sweaty bodies, and tight spaces, it doesn’t seem like an ideal place to go during the middle of a pandemic, and questions do arise on whether gyms are taking the correct and safe precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.

In the time where gyms where closed many workout apps, programs and trainers began to offer workout plans available to the public while the gyms were closed. Workout apps like Nike have made their services free, and others like Peloton and Aaptiv updated their services so that more people could still workout during the pandemic while gyms were closed. Peloton, for example, expanded its classes that required no equipment—even making some workouts family friendly.

In a survey conducted by One Poll, 3/5 people think gyms will become a thing of the past due to COVID, and 56% feel confident in their home workouts that they plan to cancel their gym memberships.

As gyms were closed, many people decided to still keep up with their fitness—but at home. Workouts at home were in such a high demand that some people couldn’t even find the basic workout necessities when they went to stores. A friend of mine was telling me that he went to at least five stores in one day to find weights and a workout mat to go along with his workouts but couldn’t find any and just eventually gave up.

According to Sensor Tower, the revenue and downloads per fitness app have skyrocketed in 2020 from April to June. Forbes also wrote that one app called Tone It Up fitness has seen its downloads increase by 950%. The one thing that does stick out from all of those statistics is that these apps didn’t increase their prices or wanted more in return for people to download their apps. They knew most people who did workout or those who wanted to start needed another way to continue and start, so they helped out.

It was a big shock that Nike had changed their services, but it also showed that not everyone is money hungry amid a global pandemic either. Even though we were stuck in the house most of the time, those fitness apps did their part by helping out people around the country.

Many people consider exercise to be a successful coping mechanism during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 7/10 Grit Daily readers corroborated this hypothesis in an online survey. I can honestly say the same for myself, and I can also say that these fitness apps keep us healthy, but it also kept us sane and gave us something to do as well to look forward to each day. 

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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