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With clubs closed fitness providers go online
With gyms and fitness centres across Australia now closed amid Coronavirus restrictions and with, according to Fitness Australia, more than 20,000 people involved in the industry now having lost their jobs, technology providers, chains, studios and individual personal trainers are now taking services, classes and programs online to maintain contact with members and sustain income.
With facilities closed, and, as of this week, outdoor group fitness now restricted to one-on-one sessions, the industry is adapting to social-distancing rules.
Online recent weeks has seen an explosion of yoga, Pilates and other type of classes streamed and available via platforms including YouTube, Zoom Video and Facebook Live.
Providers which already had online programs such as Les Mills, Fitness On Demand and Technogym have been highlighting their offerings during Coronavirus restrictions while our Myzone has launched a specific ‘COVID-19 Business Relief Program’, a support strategy designed, as the company says “to help all our Myzone clients and users during these troublesome times”.
With convenience having been key to growth of the fitness sector over recent years, the potential to link technology to such convenience has seen many brands already connect with members online, with apps that allows both members and non-members to access virtual fitness, nutrition advice and lifestyle classes along with tracking technology that can monitor food intake, diet adherence and weight loss.
Among facility operators, the Belgravia Group last week launched its Home Fitness Network to, as a statement advised “support (our) nearly 160,000 members and staff.”
Released within 24 hours of the multi-site operator closing the doors of more than 100 facilities, the Home Fitness Network is an online training and nutrition program created by fitness professionals across the various Belgravia Group business units including Belgravia Leisure, Genesis Health + Fitness and Coaching Zone along with more than 90 Les Mills workouts.
Introducing the program, Belgravia Health and Fitness Chief Executive, Ian Jensen-Muir stated “the Home Fitness Network combines exercise, nutrition and community support in one place - bringing our place, to your place to help our members stay healthy, fit and socially connected from the comfort of their own homes.”
Jetts Australia is also launching workouts from home dubbed 'Jetts At Home' while Vision Personal Training has announced a virtual product with an Online 1:1 Personal Training service.
Among operators of single-site facilities, the experience of Kristin Nelson, owner of Fleurieu Yoga in Aldinga, south of Adelaide is typical.
Nelson told InDaily that holding classes online was not something she had ever planned to do but she hoped doing so would allow her to keep staff employed.
Streaming classes from her studio, Nelson advised “It felt like the most responsible thing to do.
“I run a business, I have staff and I was very aware of wanting to take care of everyone but also minimise the potential to spread anything further.
“This felt like something we could do, that there is a choice here to do something different, so I just decided to go for it.”
Demand for home-based exercise has seen a spike in the purchase of consumer fitness products, with retailers such as Rebel Sport Big W and K-Mart having shelves stripped of equipment by eager purchases over recent weeks.
See the potential of this market, hardware giant Bunnings will this week begin offering gym equipment for sale online.
Available via Bunning's online MarketLink site, branded equipment like yoga mats, foam rollers, push-up bars and weighted vests along with larger equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and cross trainers are expected to go on sale this week.
Images: Belgravia Group Home Fitness (top), Fleurieu Yoga (middle) and Bunnings' venutre into fitness (below).
30th March 2020 - One-on-one fitness training still approved during COVID-19
25th March 2020 - Belgravia Group launches online fitness program
19th August 2015 - Online fitness passes aid Hong Kong exercisers
16th October 2013 - Cityfitness launches New Zealand’s most comprehensive online fitness application
3rd February 2011 - Online Forum to aid web-based retailing
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