Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Two shoe salesmen were sent to a village in Africa to see if there was a market for their product. The first salesman reported back, “This is a terrible business opportunity, no-one is wearing shoes. I am leaving this place at once!” The second salesman reported back, “This is a fantastic business opportunity, no-one is wearing shoes. Send me as many shoes as possible!”
This story of optimism holds true now more than ever for folks with careers in the fitness industry. The way we used to workout is, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), a thing of the past. Big box gyms may take quite a while to recover from this pandemic, while smaller, more controlled boutique fitness studios may have the opportunity to flourish. Many of us are familiar with the benefits of exercise and strength training, but given the current pandemic and our concerns about health and safety even post-pandemic, will people feel safe enough to return to a traditional gym environment? Introducing the necessity and potential surge of boutique fitness studios and along with that comes all of the great benefits to clients.
A Controlled Environment
With the large crowds of a big box gym, it’s become difficult to keep track of who is coming and going, where they’ve been, and to whom they’ve been exposed. The benefit of a smaller gym, like Slight Edge Fitness & Performance, is our ability to control our environment by seeing clients by appointment only. Making it much easier to keep track of those walking through our doors in the event that someone becomes sick. It is just you and your trainer in the space during your time slot (or a small group from the same household), making it possible to workout with the added social benefit.
Get your “Steps” Back
Exercise has always been crucial but is needed now more than ever. According to a recent study by researchers at UC San Francisco; since the declaration of a global pandemic, there has been a rapid decrease in step counts worldwide. Why is that important? Step count has been inversely correlated with obesity, mental health, and even mortality. Building a habit of moving everyday both at home and in a safe fitness environment can help you “up your step game” while giving you the opportunity to include strength training in your fitness program, which helps increase muscular strength, muscle mass, bone density, and lower body fat. While some have the luxury of a home gym, most require access to the proper equipment and the right person to help keep them accountable and achieve their fitness goals.
Mental Health Game Changer
This pandemic has been a challenge in terms of mental health for many reasons. According to a systematic review on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the general population, “The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with highly significant levels of psychological distress that, in many cases, would meet the threshold for clinical relevance.”The ability to go to a (safe) gym to workout could be super beneficial to our mental health during a time that is testing us all. Specifically, strength training releases a rush of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain) which according to this randomized controlled study helps reduce anxiety, which we could all use help with these days.
The last 9+ months have been challenging to say the least and the next 9 months will likely be just as hard. Nobody knows for sure when things will return to “normal” or what the “new normal” will entail, but let’s not lose sight of the importance of health and wellness. There are many ways to keep moving every day and boutique-style gyms like Slight Edge Fitness can help provide a safe environment in which to thrive.