How Covid-19 Has Permanently Changed the Fitness Industry

January 19, 2021 by Bloomberg

After a year in which people spent months cooped up at home getting very little exercise, New Year’s resolutions have taken on a little more weight in 2021.

The fitness industry can attest. Despite the coronavirus restricting gym capacity while shuttering some entirely, the traditional January spike in memberships has matched—and in some ways exceeded—those of years past. Part of that can be tied to the predictable explosion of online classes, and a move toward maintaining mental as well as physical health.  

“It’s not about bikini body goals, because who knows when we’re going to go on vacation again,” said Josh McCarter, chief executive officer of the fitness booking platform Mindbody. “Covid-19 has pushed people to think about health more holistically.” 

Mindbody said it’s on track to match the typical 30% increase it usually sees in the new year, largely thanks to the pivot to virtual workouts. About 50% of the platform’s virtual bookings are now for yoga as more customers seek classes focused on mindfulness. “In addition to physical well-being, one’s emotional, mental, and spiritual fitness has become a bigger priority.”

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