THE year 2020 was a challenging one for fitness folks. The gym-nuts in us were not able to go to the “gym” for most part of the year and there are still those who do not deem it safe to be indoors for significant periods of time (myself included).
The entire fitness industry, and perhaps a large swath of the leisure and recreation sector, was uprooted and seemingly turned upside-down. Sports are still not being played and who would really want to play a game of pick-up basketball with people you do not know? Although we know the vaccine is available, we still do not know when it will arrive on our shores (and what the efficacy really is until the rubber meets the road).
So how can we move fitness forward in 2021?
This might be the rise of a ‘hybrid fitness experience’
While universities and schools adopted distance learning, and maybe some on-site classes in the future, perhaps gyms can do the same. This is advantageous to both client and coach. We’ve seen how much more we can be productive as long as we have good work habits at home. With the current traffic in the city, we can save so much on transit time by training at home and coaching online! While this may not replace the face-to-face experience, it does have its benefits, too!
Virtual training is here to stay
This is really related to the first point. As someone who was quite skeptical of virtual training, I soon got to adopt the practice after a few weeks. It also helped that I was working with really obedient clients. I cannot highlight enough the amount of time I’ve saved with this new way of training has provided. Companies like Peloton offer a super cool fitness experience in the comfort of your own home. Virtual training requires coaches to improve on their oral communication skills. It is challenging to coach exercise virtually but it can be done.
Sports has to be done judiciously
Sports, especially those that require close physical contact, will have to be practiced very judiciously and participants must understand the potential risks to themselves. The only way this might be mitigated is by practicing a “bubble” by participants. When F1 Racer Lewis Hamilton contracted Covid-19, we realized that catching the virus could really happen to anyone. Sports that do not need close contact like golf and tennis could be resumed responsibly.
The normal fitness experience we had pre-Covid can resume once our populations have been sufficiently vaccinated. Until then, these emerging trends are here to stay.