Fitness Industry Roundup: Health, Fitness, & Wellness Perseveres

    Gyms, health clubs, and studios across the nation are slowly getting the praise and financial assistance they desperately need. Plus, members are coming back as restrictions ease.

    During a global pandemic, health and wellness should be top of mind for everyone. However, research shows that 1 out of 2 Americans were less active during pandemic-related shutdowns and 10% stopped working out all together. Yet, positively, 94% of gym-goers say they plan to return to their gym in some magnitude. While capacity restrictions and safety requirements make it more difficult—and costly—to operate a fitness facility, the health and fitness industry will not abandon their members without a fight or taking assistance from pertinent allies.

    Fitness Industry Receives a Helping Hand from Saquon Barkley & Oikos

    NFL running back, Saquon Barkley, is using his platform to assist struggling health and fitness facilities and employees, reports Forbes. Barkley teamed up with Oikos to assist in leading their Oikos Pro for Pro’s grant program, giving away 100 grants of at least $1,000 to trainers and gyms affected by COVID-19. Regarding the partnership, Barkley said, “For me, to be able to use my platform and partner with companies like Oikos to be able to give back for a great cause, it means everything.”

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    Source: Danone North America

    Apply to Oikos Pro for Pro's.

    ‘Fitness Community’ Connects Members to Health and Wellness Related Businesses

    Megan Smith and Jill Richard of Columbus, OH, are bringing SweatNet members deals and discounts on workouts, meals, and other items. SweatNet, a “fitness community,” aims to connect the community to local health and wellness businesses. Richard said to 10TV, “We liked the idea of how it was more of a community and we wouldn’t be set in one direction, but we could help support all [health and wellness related] businesses.” SweatNet has branches in 14 cities across the U.S. and has partnered with nearly 70 fitness studios, instructors, health and wellness restaurants, and spas.

    Learn more about SweatNet.

    Exclusive Senior Exercise Platform Picks Up $7 Million

    Bold, a virtual health and wellness startup intended to prevent chronic disease in older adults, has raised $7 million. Bold Co-founders Amanda Rees and Hari Arul look to meet members where they are and create personalized programs to assist older adults in their exercise journey. “[While caring for my grandmother,] I kept thinking about solutions we could build to keep someone healthier longer, rather than waiting for until they have a fall or something else goes off the rails to intervene,” Rees told TechCrunch. In the near future, Bold plans to partner with Medicare Advantage organizations and risk-bearing providers to cut all costs for their users.

    Find out more about Bold.

    Trainer Who ‘Needed to Get Busy’ During Pandemic Opens Land of Fitness

    After losing his personal training job due to the coronavirus, Sean Land organized group workout classes in local parks around Cave Creek, AZ, ABC15 reports. As interest and attendance grew, he decided to purchase and operate out of an existing gym in the area. With the COVID restrictions, Land invested thousands in HEPA air filtration systems and hand sanitizing stations, and requires all members to wear masks. “One of the members, when they first met me here … they said, 'you must be crazy!' No, I'm not crazy, I'm just highly motivated to make this work,” said Land. Since opening, Land of Fitness’s membership has exploded to about 900.

    Read Land's full story.

    Michigan Gym-goers Eagerly Join Indoor Group Exercise After 3-Month Hiatus

    As reported in Hometown Life, members of Life Time Fitness in Canton, MI, were enthused to take part in Shyam Thakker’s group fitness class just days after the ban was lifted. Thakker, master Zumba instructor and Desiboy Fitness owner, was just as thirsty as his members to get back into the studio. He said, "I've seen studies that show physical activity has been decreased by 32% since the pandemic started. Add to that, 58% of people said their mental health is worse than it was before COVID. Organized group classes like this motivate people to get up and move." Maximum capacity for indoor group exercise has been reduced to 26 attendees—from 75—and mask-wearing is mandatory.

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    Source: Hometownlife.com

    Read what members had to say about returning to Life Time.

    Author avatar

    Sami Smith

    Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications and Public Relations Assistant. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content for IHRSA's advocacy efforts, while working to shape IHRSA and the fitness industry's public image on multiple platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.