Fitness Industry Roundup: Gearing Up to Fight COVID

The fitness industry aims to help those struggling with coronavirus, neurological conditions, and more.

While the fitness industry is most commonly known to improve physical health, its many other benefits and good deeds typically go unrecognized. This week, we spotlight fitness brands—and consumers—that are taking a stand in the fight against COVID-19. Then, we’ll look at a brand new workout regimen, and a wellness center targeted to assist those with neurological disorders. Plus, an update regarding the European Union’s tariffs on U.S. fitness equipment and other goods.

Gym Reworks Layout & Services to Assist COVID Survivors

Long COVID can impact those who had COVID—whether they were asymptomatic or had a mild case—weeks after infection. Energyze Gym and Fitness Centre in Colchester, England, revamped its facility to serve those who had coronavirus and those living with Multiple Sclerosis, reports the Daily Gazette. On top of personal training, fitness classes, strongman training, a martial arts center, and a ninja obstacle course, the gym now features unique COVID-19 rehabilitation programs and a distinct MS training area. Ray Rowley, an Energyze personal trainer, said, "We recognise gyms can be a daunting prospect for those with restricting physical capabilities so we have designed a special area to make training much easier for them.”

Find out more about Energyze.

Gym-goer Creates Workout Space in a Storage Container

As health and fitness clubs in the area had to close, Ryan Pandolfi, a Brandon, Canada-based mental health advocate, acted fast to build a small gym in a storage container. Pandolfi has been sober for three years and credits daily visits to Anytime Fitness Brandon, an IHRSA member, for keeping him clean and mentally healthy. "A lot of people come to us because they need that added support because they need a trainer to make sure they do that, or even extra guidance,” said Anytime Fitness Brandon Owner Amber White. “It’s not as easy for everyone to just get up and exercise at home." Although the storage container helps, for now, Pandolfi told The Brandon Sun, "I just pray they open back up ... it’s not where I’d like to be in June."

FIR 05 28 21 Storage Column Width

Source: Tyler Clarke / The Brandon Sun

Read the full article.

Fitness Brand Launches Campaign to Help COVID Patients & Fitness Professionals

As reported in exchange4media, Grand Slam Fitness of India recently established a #DonatePlasma campaign to treat COVID-19 patients. The fitness brand asks that all industry colleagues and those who have had coronavirus step forward to donate plasma for those in need. Prateek Sood, Grand Slam Fitness director, said, “This initiative has been designed to assist fitness professionals in expanding their awareness and build a career while still [being] able to help people and save their loved ones.” Grand Slam Fitness will waive all fees for plasma donors who wish to complete its 3-month Personal Trainer Certification in the International Fitness Trainer Program to act as an incentive.

Read more about the campaign.

F45 Unveils New Wellness Workout: FS8

The new circuit-based, low impact, 45-minute workout, FS8—launched by fitness brand F45, an IHRSA member—is designed to support and strengthen the body. According to Body+Soul, “F” stands for functional, “S” stands for style—a mix of pilates, yoga, and tone—and “8” stands for eight key modalities. “I really like the blend of it all with FS8,” said the face of the brand, Mick Fanning, a former Australian professional surfer. “I can just go in and do three different disciplines in 45 minutes to get back to surfing or the family.” Fanning admits that he is so impressed with the new workout that he’s planning to open his own studio. This year, fifty flagship studios will open throughout Australia, adding to the eight existing studios.

Learn more about FS8.

OhioHealth Reveals Neuroscience Wellness Center

Last week, OhioHealth opened its new $13.5 million, 18,000-square-foot Neuroscience Wellness Center in Columbus, OH, to guide and assist people with neurological conditions. According to The Columbus Dispatch, the wellness center employs exercise physiologists, associates with neurologic condition-specific training, and staff in fitness areas to answer questions. The center also offers one-on-one appointments for members to develop a personal exercise program. "We wanted a space that was for all of our programs, and then space to grow," said Lauren Esposito, OhioHealth Neuroscience Center manager. "Not everybody fits into a box ... We have the opportunity to serve all of the people that we want to reach."

Learn more about OhioHealth’s Neuroscience Wellness Center.

Update: EU Temporarily Suspends Tariffs on U.S. Goods

Last November, the EU announced they would institute tariffs on various American goods—including stationary fitness equipment—following former President Trump’s administration placing tariffs on European exports in 2019. IHRSA sent a letter urging the EU Commission to drop the tariffs because of the vital role health and fitness clubs and fitness equipment play in maintaining Europeans’ health and wellness. In March, the EU and the U.S. released a joint statement announcing a four-month suspension on all U.S. tariffs and EU duties. Now, The Hill reports that the European Commission announced a temporary pause to the scheduled hike in tariffs on U.S. goods.

Read more.

Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Senior Manager of Digital Communications, working to shape the organization's image on various digital platforms. On a typical day, she creates content, delivers impactful communications, and executes targeted marketing efforts to keep IHRSA at the forefront of the industry. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring new destinations, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.