Grim Future for Gyms? Issue 3

 I struggled between picking a picture of a busy gym and a deserted one so I used both. Workout facilities are sweaty, smelly places where exercisers perspire, breath hard, sneeze, cough and rarely clean the equipment properly if at all. Members are more likely to catch a cold or pick up athlete’s foot than they are to develop a six-pack or become a marathon runner.   All of these facilities are sparkling clean when they first open but it doesn’t take long for them to get grimy and collect dust bunnies. Hotel gyms are probably the cleanest but who was the last person sweating onto that exercise mat? If colds and athlete’s foot are easily transmitted, it is likely that gyms are hot beds for the transmittal of more serious infectious diseases as well. 

Fitness buffs must be going crazy with the gyms in lockdown and unlikely to re-open soon. There are many others who have sacrificed to get to a decent level of fitness just to see the muscle melt away ( or convert to something else) without access to a decent exercise facility. There are many that will not exercise if it isn’t in a class setting. 

I do know people that suspected that gyms might close down and  bought treadmills, rowing machines, weights, and other exercise equipment to use at home. That is not a solution available to most apartment and condominium dwellers. 

“Members are more likely to

catch a cold or  get  athlete’s foot

than they are to develop a six-pack

or become a marathon runner”

I went to gyms regularly for almost 30 years but  I gave up my membership when I retired. I bought a treadmill and some basic weights; I have a road bike and a hybrid. I continue to work out regularly and while my treadmill is on its last legs it is still functional. Now, I have always been a lone wolf in the gym. I don’t like exercise classes and I don’t like to work out with anyone else.  I have, however,  enjoyed working with a number of personal trainers and I thought I was really going to miss the gym. I don’t. I find it much more convenient to work out at home. I still schedule time to exercise but I don’t need to add half an hour of travel time to and from the gym. I don’t have to worry about the logistics of managing a shower routine and the switch between exercise and street clothes, a particular pain in the winter months . If I think my routines are getting stale, I can hire a personal trainer at rates that are well below those available at the gym. So my questions for today:

  • How many people will discover the convenience of a home exercise program and never go back to a gym?
  • Will  the current disruption of activities cause habitués to establish a reliable home routine and eschew their memberships?
  • Will the insalubrious nature of gymnasium petri dishes cause many to look for an alternative? 
  • Will televised classes and exercise apps become permanent replacements for in-gym classes? In Québec, Videotron has a series televised fitness classes entitled La Formavie that are popular with members of my family. I am not sure that they will be back at the gym and they are not alone. I have been using a Yoga app for my stretching routines for several years now.
  • If you had $1,000 to invest in either Good Life or Peloton which would you choose? 

Some web sites to look at:

Wash your hands, practice social distancing, hydrate, and exercise! Keep well!

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