Are Gyms Dead? Why Home Workouts Are Here to Stay

January 22, 2021 by The Wall Street Journal

WITH THE ONSET of Covid-19, gyms across the country closed their doors. Many of us who habitually hit a spin class or gritted our teeth through circuit training were newly stranded at home, confronting the seeming inevitability of flabbiness. Where were our walls of mirrors? Our post-workout showers that let us hand-pump hair conditioner so liberally? As our scrunchies lay dormant, we even grew wistful for the awkwardness of locker rooms.

Now, almost a year later, we’re far less nostalgic. Many have found novel, even superior, digitally connected ways to stay fit at home—and it’s beginning to look like we’ll never return to gyms again. That is, if they’re even still there: Last September, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association estimated that up to one in four would permanently close by 2020’s end. And a TD Ameritrade survey found that 59% of Americans don’t plan to renew their gym memberships after the pandemic.

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