The objective of this survey is to understand the change of lifestyle regarding fitness in the face of this pandemic. Due to the spread of COVID 19 and closing of gyms, people have invested in gym equipment to keep up their routine at home.
A real-time survey was conducted with people who have been conscious of their fitness routine. Most of these participants have been going to the gym before the pandemic.
Let us find out how people responded to different situations and continued with their routine, or they did not:
There has been a Paradigm shift, especially in the health and fitness industry. The health and fitness industry has observed a downward trend post-COVID-19.
Since health and fitness have always been a priority, the fitness industry before CoronaVirus saw continuous growth. Because of the pandemic, people started working out at home, and slowly it became a trend.
Exercise equipment manufacturers have certainly benefited from this trend so much so that the demand for exercise equipment has outrun the supply.
The question remains, is this how it is going to be? Would we be working out at home, or will we ever enjoy that gym routine again?
Impact of COVID-19 on Home Fitness
One of the positive effects this Pandemic has brought into our lives is more family time. People have never spent so much time with their family and just family. Thus, let us see in the face of pandemic what other changes are brought in, especially in the fitness industry.
Increase in the Spending of Home Workout Equipment
Exercise is Up 91% During COVID-19: On the one hand, where we see a downward trend in gym memberships and low interest in resuming working out at the gym because of the virus, the pattern of spending on home equipment is picking up.
Most people have come to an understanding to keep themselves safe at home and invest in proper exercise equipment. This seems to be a notable trend in the given circumstances and looks like it’s here to stay.
- 21% of the participants agree to have purchased equipment for their home gym during the pandemic
- 49% of the participants already owned exercise equipment at home before COVID-19.
This trend indicates that people are educating themselves to workout at home with a virtual trainer and learning what kind of exercise is best for them. This shows that people are focused on their fitness goals and are quickly adapting to the changes around them.
Tremendous Increase in Home Workout During COVID-19
As people have started to release that health is the most important thing and everything else can wait, we found that 73% of people have started working out while staying at home during this pandemic, an increase of 64% was also found in those people who use to workout at home.
We have also seen a massive growth of 84% in using apps to do the workouts. People are using technology more than ever.
People are Buying More Fitness Equipment in 2020 Vs Before 2020
One of the objectives of our research was to find out if people would like to invest in fitness equipment after the pandemic. The results were surprising
for this observation
People were kept into groups,
- Fitness enthusiasts
- General individuals (who are not into fitness as much)
- The first group of fitness enthusiasts consisted of fitness coaches, trainers, athletes, sportspersons, and serious runners.
- The general group consisted of people who were once into fitness, and some of them have never been to the gym.
With the coming of the pandemic, the fitness enthusiasts and the gym owners were the worst hit. Nobody thought that such a situation would arise that going to the gym would seem a luxury of the past?
Which Equipment is Bought the Most During COVID-19
Our research also concludes that we have also seen a whopping 88% love for road bikes compared to other equipment. You can see the details of our findings in the image below.
As we found out in our survey about the equipment’s that were most sold during COVID-19. Below, we have mentioned all the types of equipment in detail, so if any of you is still to buy fitness equipment, these are a perfect choice.
Road Bikes are an excellent option for cardiovascular activity. It’s a low impact exercise and is excellent for the knees and the hip joint. Also, worth mentioning is the rise of road cycles has been showing an upward trend since the lockdown struck as most of the people are preferring to cycle to nearby places rather than public transport.
88% of the people gave an affirmative reply to exercise bikes during our survey.
Resistance bands are an all-purpose, affordable, and space-saving workout equipment. This is something that you should have. Resistance training has gained popularity over the last few years.
Some of the fitness enthusiasts swear by it. The intensity offered by the resistance training is certainly not of the same level as the equipment available at the gym. They are easy to work out with and provide results that too at home.
Dumbbells are highly recommended, and in the words of Laura Hoggins, you can do almost anything with them”.
Dumbbells are indeed a useful choice for the home workout recommended by Laura Hawkins. Laura is the author of “Lift Yourself” and also trains at the Foundry Gym.
For beginners, Hawkins recommends dumbbells 3-5 kg. Hoggins suggests, to test the dumbbell. Hold it above your head with arms straight and gently move it up and down ten times.
If you are comfortable and can do 20 more, then you need a heavier weight. If, after seven counts, you feel the weight then it is just right.
In addition to Cardio exercise, dumbbells are complementary as they tone the body and make you look attractive. You can buy dumbbells of different weights on Dick’s and Amazon. If you wish to buy more to complete your weight training circuit, then a bench press, barbells, and weight plates are suggested.
Kettle Bell Is one of the best options for home workout.
Rich Tidmarsh expressed his opinion on working out with a kettlebell by saying that, if he had to choose and pick up a piece of single equipment for a home workout, that would undoubtedly be a kettlebell.
It is a space saver, and as per your budget, you can opt for the number of kettlebells you buy.
The weight of the kettlebell appropriate for beginners is 6-10 kgs, for intermediate level workout 12-16 kg will be just right, and 18+ for an advanced workout.
Thick mat is mandatory for home workout. The mat always comes in handy for stretching before and after workouts. It can also be used for floor exercises and yoga.
Yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, improve flexibility, and to lose weight. The best part is that you only require a yoga mat to practice yoga and some comfortable yoga gear. If you are new to yoga, then you can follow an instructional video online.
Outdoor running is always appealing, but it’s full of challenges and distractions. These days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not even advisable. You can still run at home on a good treadmill. You can check out the options of the treadmill on Amazon, Dicks, and Landice.
Also, the Peloton Tread saw an upward trend and was bought by many who don’t like to compromise on quality and fitness both. 66% boost in sales of Peloton Tread was seen during Pandemic.
Ankle weights refer to the weights tied around the ankles with the help of a strap, for building strength and burning calories. These are used for running and for strength training too. They concentrate on enhancing lower body strength.
A pull-up bar is an equipment excellent for building upper body strength. It strengthens shoulder muscle, arms, and core muscles. This investment is not for beginners. If you are a fitness enthusiast and want to keep up with your routine at home without going to the gym, this is a good investment.
This piece of exercise equipment delivers most exercises in the comfort of your home. It comes with pulleys and a weight stack that allows you to do several exercises. The machine is a total space saver. You can also do simple weight training with it. The prices start at $2500.
The Rowing machine is an excellent piece of exercise equipment that renders aerobic activity both to the upper and lower body. We suggest you buy an ergonomic seat and settle for a model that is long enough to provide a full range of motion. The price varies from $1,000 to $2000.
Workout at Home Vs at the Gym in 2020
Now, the decision is in your hands as the gyms are opening up and the lockdown has been eased out. Thus, are you all ready to rejoin the gyms?
So, the next part of our survey took us to this!
This was the final leg of our survey, where we wanted to check how many people are ready to go to gyms once they open.
Most of the gyms in Houston opened after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will follow the guidelines given by the government. Governor Greg Abbott has issued specific guidelines.
As per the guidelines capacity of the gym must be restricted to 25%, shower, and locker rooms will remain locked, customers must wear gloves that cover their full hand including fingers, and the machines have to be disinfected before and after use and facilities must adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines.
As in our survey, we found out that 24% of people are still confused about where they shall be going to the gym or not. So, our researchers did further research to give our readers an exact scenario of the vulnerability of them catching the infection in the gym.
The virus can survive on the soles of rubber, leather, and PVC for five days, at least. In case the upper part of the shoe is made of plastic, the virus can sustain itself for seven days or more.
Pro Tip: It is highly recommended that you wear shoes that are washable in a machine or otherwise.
The clothes have to be washed and dried correctly; else, there is a likelihood that the virus might not be killed if it is there. The virus could stay on the clothes for hours to days. In case the clothes are soft and porous, it limits the spread of the virus, causing two reasons:
- The virus might get trapped in the fibers and weave of clothes with a porous surface, so it doesn’t spread to hands or any other parts of the body.
- The virus becomes ineffective if the clothes are dried well as they absorb and suck water from the virus.
- The virus survives on leather gloves for five days, so avoid the gloves while lifting weights at the gym.
Most parts of gym equipment are made of plastic. To name a few:
- Safety keys on a treadmill
- on/ on-off push buttons on ellipticals
As per the NEJM article, the virus lasts on plastic for three days; however, according to the research in Lancet study, the virus could continue on the plastic for up to 7 days.
The rubber-coated dumbbells could host the virus up to seven days.
Most of the bench material is made of leather on which the virus can thrive three to five days.
When lifting weights in the gym, it is usually metal we come in contact with most of the metal is either stainless steel or copper, to name a few
The weightlifting rods are made of cast iron, and the virus can survive up to 78 hours on them
The objects made of stainless steel that you make contact with are are
(i)knobs or door handle of the gym
(ii) refrigerators placed in the gym for storing protein or water
(iii) metal handrails of the treadmill or elliptical and exercise bikes
keys of your vehicle
As per the NEJM article, after three days, no virus was found on stainless steel, and as per the Lancet article, based on research, the virus can be found on stainless steel up to 7 days.
Studies indicate that coins made of copper can carry the virus up to four hours. The surfaces that are made of copper also can sustain the virus after 4 hours.
The virus can also transmit through currency notes and can sustain itself from a few hours to seven days. It is advisable not to use currency notes as they are challenging to clean and sanitize.
Tissue paper can contain the virus up to 30 minutes. There is a tendency to use tissue paper in the gym, so we advise if you have to take your own.
A face mask is supposed to protect you and maintain a reusable face mask; it is vital to wash it after every use and dry it. The inner layer after a face mask can retain the virus for four days and the outer layer for seven days.
Glass objects that we come in contact with are Windows Mirrors drinkware TV screens. The virus stays on glass for up to four days. Below are mentioned the glass objects in which you come in contact within your gym:-
- Windows: You might touch glass windows around you at the gym
- Mirrors: Most of the gyms have mirrors, and there might be contact during exercise or after it
- Drinkware: Any glass slippers or tumblers you to carry to the gym contact with gym equipment when you place them on the accessory rack or floor
- TV screen: you might touch a TV or remote out of habit to switch it on to watch while exercising
- LCD of various equipment: most of the equipment in the gym like treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, steppers have a touch screen display, which you will touch to start/ stop/pause the machine.
Most of the tabletop is made of wood and some other furniture items too. As per the researchers in the Lancet article, the virus can only survive on the wood surface or floor till two days.
So, this was the detailed research with respect to the virus that is found on the gym surface. Thus, be careful while taking your decision.
Important Precautions While Exercising at the Gym during COVID19
We conducted a survey to determine what precautions are they taking when going to the gym.
They are taking the following precautions.
Exaggerated Social Distancing:
Social distancing is being followed. The number of people entering the gym at particular times is fixed and seeing to it that two people dont workout simultaneously on two consecutive machines. There is a limit to the number of trainers in the gym. No personal training allowed so far.
Handle Gloves Carefully:
Gloves are now a mandate in the gym. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not suggest that gloves be worn at all times except for being with a sick person.
It is essential to wash and sanitize your hands regularly. With gloves on, germs can easily find their way from one surface to another. The gloves may cause cross-contamination.
If you wear reusable gloves, then you must bring a seal proof bag or a closed container to carry the gloves back home. It is suggested not to let the gloves mix around with the stuff in your Gym bag. Once you get back home, wash the gloves in hot water, and disinfect them.
The virus cannot attack the skin directly. It can only affect you if you touch your nose, mouth, or eyes after being exposed.
Make sure you wash your hands after taking off the gloves and be conscious of everything that you touch while wearing them. If you reach your Gym towel while wearing your gloves, you must also keep it separate after you are done with the exercise.
Make sure you sanitize each equipment before and after use. That should include weights, machines, bikes. Do not rush the cleaning process; be sure to wait for a minute after applying disinfectant and then wipe it off.
To actively sanitize, you can always bring a bottle of disinfectant from home and clean dumbbells benches before using them. You can still check as to what the gym owners are providing for disinfectant disinfecting. The US environmental protection agency does not approve an all-purpose cleaner usually available at the gym for disinfection.
Don’t forget to carry more than one towel. You can keep one for face to wipe off the sweat and another one to cover the surfaces off the bench and seats. Make sure to go home and disinfectant and clean the towels regularly
Wear a Mask:
Mask is an excellent protective gear; however, it is challenging to keep it on while working out, and as per the W H O recommendation, you should not wear a mask while working out as it will disrupt the flow of breath. In that case, you should keep us a safe distance from people working out at the gym.
During the pandemic, while the gyms were closed, the brands have gone all out to stay in touch with their customers to keep them motivated in their ways of keeping fit.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fitness industry has experienced a 180-degree change. On the one hand, the gym has closed indefinitely, and on others, the sale of gym equipment has increased. This points out the increase in the trend of people opting for working out at home and owning exercise equipment to keep up with their routine.
The focus of people has shifted from going to the gym to working out at home. Moreover, due to COVID-19, pandemic, people have become conscious of their health and want to increase their immunity to keep themselves safe. With this population of health-aware people on the rise, the gyms might soon be in business again.
The community of fitness apparel companies and sports teams is vast, and in these testing times, they have come together to support the community. These brands do come across as promising and helpful to the people who remain loyal to them for long.
Social media has been instrumental in shaping the new face of the fitness industry that has reached out to its customers virtually. They have covered all aspects of fitness, be it yoga, dance, personal training, or group training sessions.