Social distancing and staying at home can be particularly traumatic for fitness enthusiasts who have had to put their workouts on hold. However, tough times call for creativity, and so gym instructors are rising to the occasion by offering online workout lessons and customized yoga and wellness classes for everyone interested. Not only that: For a small deposit, they are also offering gym equipment for rent during the distancing period and online fitness sessions using these. Meanwhile, gyms are offering free online classes or freezing of memberships while those who cannot afford these are discovering new and unique ways of staying fit. Indeed, a whole fitness ecosystem is evolving around the corona virus pandemic.
Bring them home
MOTION Cycling, a rhythm cycling studio located in Business Bay, is offering online cycling classes. For a sum of AED 1000 AED, MOTION will also deliver and install personal bikes at home, along with cycling shoes and weights. Once registered, riders will have access to four different classes via a unique password access that can be accessed anytime as many times as they like. The equipment will be delivered on the 21st of March and picked up on the 30th of March.
Amelie Hua, President & CEO of MOTION Cycling told AME: “With gym closures happening around the country and globe, many of our clients came to us trying to figure out how to both stay in shape and connect with our instructors for emotional and mental wellness. We’ve seen this trend happening all around the UAE. The demand for at-home workouts is higher than ever before – but the UAE fitness community has become so advanced over the years, so your everyday home workouts just won’t fit the bill anymore. This is an opportunity for all of us as wellness professionals to get creative and adapt quickly to make sure our clients stay fit, happy and healthy.”
Platform Studios Dubai which has branches in DIFC and Marina, is also offering its spinning bikes to anyone who wants to scale up their workouts while staying at home. For AED 2,000 (excluding VAT), plus an AED 1,000 deposit, bikes can be rented out till March 31, according to reports. Customers will also receive custom shoes and weights along with the bikes, to take their workouts to the next level. The company’s Facebook page says that a Platform Full Body Workout pack is ‘Coming Soon.’
Where there is a will….
Those who cannot afford the rentals, especially those living in small apartments, are finding their own ways to stay fit. A report in The Atlantic tells the story of a man in Seville, Spain, who, following the Coronavirus lockdown, put on his gym clothes, climbed to the rooftop of his apartment complex and began doing jumping jacks and squats. People watched him from their homes and followed, as he encouraged them to keep moving.
“In Italy, which is also on lockdown, two men tried to beat the boredom of confinement with tennis as they batted a ball between them while several floors high,” a report in the Mail Online said.
Equipment in demand
While businesses everywhere are reporting record decline in sales, the fitness equipment industry is on a roll. Dumbells, benches, yoga mats and ellipticals-are all selling so fast that global brands report having inventory issues trying to deal with the sudden surge in demand. TMZ, a news website, quotes New Life Cardio, a fitness equipment retailer as saying that their 10,000-square-foot retail warehouse, which was full last week, is now half empty. The biggest sellers are treadmills and exercise bikes, and demand is causing them to switch to bi-weekly shipments instead of bi-monthly. They also quote another home gym retailer, Fit 4 Sale, which said its weekend sales were 6 times higher than average. Taiwanese online retailer PChome Online Inc is reported to have said that male customers mostly purchased simple weightlifting equipment, whose sales rose 30% from a year earlier, with two-in-one barbells and dumbbells being top sellers, followed by Blades brand dumbbells. Sales of post-workout tools that relax and massage the muscles have been increasing as well, it is reported to have said.
From yoga to meditation to dance routines, fitness enthusiasts are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their workout routines are not compromised. Even the usual couch potatoes are turning to light exercises and walking to keep their bodies moving. Can we say the corona virus has brought on a fitness revolution?