July 5, 2021 5 minutes to read

The opinions of entrepreneurs’ contributors are their own.

Home workouts aren’t exactly a new fad. Jane Fonda made workout videos very popular decades ago, and countless brands over the years have followed suit by releasing streaming services designed to help busy people get their routines for the day quickly in their own homes or homes Offices to do. But for many, a gym or studio keeps them in check.

The global fitness club industry has crept in nearly $ 98 billion in 2019, showing little to no signs of slowing down. That is, of course, until the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 forced millions upon millions of companies to close their doors. With more than one in five Americans belonging to at least one gym or studio in the United States, you can only imagine the havoc in the fitness industry when studios could no longer host personal workouts.

With nowhere to go, fitness enthusiasts and hopefuls alike found new ways to find their solution. The nearly $ 100 billion fitness industry has quickly shifted to a virtual world, and the studios that failed to make that transition may never recover financially.

Related: How Planet Fitness grew in 2020 despite the fact that the gyms were empty

The revival of home exercise

Last summer, Peloton announced that it had posted sales of $ 607 million in just a few months. The absurdly trendy company doubled its membership base and inspired other brands to offer streaming services of their own. Barry’s Bootcamp now offers home classes every 15 minutes, and gyms like Equinox have their own online streaming classes for members.

Alo Moves of Alo Yoga, a home fitness streaming service, launched almost a decade ago. In just a few weeks, Alo saw a 300 percent increase in engagement on its paid platform as well as on its YouTube channel, where it runs free courses for the Alo community. Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott launched the Tone It Up app in 2018 and downloads have increased 950% since quarantine.

Is training at home a thing of the past now that gyms and studios are reopening their doors? All signs point to no. People may return to their offices and return to a more normal lifestyle before the pandemic. Still, they saw the benefits of having flexibility in their schedules.

Related: Rise in virtual fitness classes during lockdown

A hybrid approach

While virtual workouts seemed to be growing in popularity during the pandemic, nearly half of consumers stopped streaming their workouts. Now, in addition to offering their personal workouts, gyms, studios, and trainers need to consider serious options for their members at home. The convenience and flexibility of online fitness can no longer be ignored as people strive to keep their physical activity going even after returning to the office either full-time or part-time.

While many Americans invested in various streaming services during the health crisis, demand appears to be dwindling. The online search for “gym near me” sped up in May compared to April and has returned to an all-time high since January 2020. This doesn’t mean the home exercise craze is over; Many choose studios that offer both in-home and on-site sessions.

“We believe people will take a hybrid approach that leverages the wealth of digital concepts and traditional gym experiences,” said Jefferies analyst Randy Konik said. “Gyms that advocate this model will emerge as winners in the years to come.”

Health and fitness trainer Ariel Belgrave says, “I actually think the future of fitness will be a mix of personal and virtual workouts.” Belgrave goes on to explain that a lot of people still work remotely. While they enjoy the flexibility of exercising at home, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to go to a gym or studio once or twice a week. “Many stationary gyms are already finding that members prefer a hybrid experience to attend classes in person and virtually,” she said.

Related: In 2021, gyms will rely on a hybrid model to survive

Employers also need to change

After so many people realize the benefits of a secluded lifestyle, employers have to adapt. Many companies simply can’t offer a secluded lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find ways to support their employees’ desire to stay active and healthy.

Recent results showed that 51.5% say their employers do not currently offer fitness benefits and 63.4% would like to. Since fitness is critical not only to people’s health but also to overall productivity, employers need to invest in the right tools and resources.

When you use company resources to promote healthy behavior, you are investing in your most important asset – your people. These initiatives not only address health problems, but also improve the work culture and morale of employees. If implemented correctly, workplace Health programs can help reduce health costs by 25%. This comes in addition to corresponding cuts in employee compensation and disability management expenses.

While the pandemic forced many gyms and gyms to close their doors permanently, those who could adapt to the changes are benefiting. The transformation of the fitness industry just means more options, whether in person or at home, for people who want to stay fit and healthy even on their busiest days – and this trend is set to continue.