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Health and Fitness in the Post-COVID Era and Preventive Health Care

By Nan de Bruin

Published 17 August 2021

Post-COVID, health and fitness have become more important than ever before – not only to keep our lives from becoming completely sedentary but to help our mental health through quarantine. 

We know that fitness is integral to a healthy lifestyle. And any trainer worth their salt will know that a large part of preventive health care is exercise. People who keep fit, suffer less from preventable diseases such as type II diabetes. And every little bit helps!

As vaccination programs are well up and running now, and our lives are on the verge of returning to ‘normal’, the importance of physical activity remains at the forefront of our minds. Research shows people are fatter and unhappier than before the pandemic.

So how can fitness entrepreneurs answer the growing need for physical activity, not just for aesthetic purposes, but for better future mental and physical health?

And how can the fitness industry grow and develop from what they have learned in the pandemic and change from health clubs into health hubs?

Fitness for Health in Post-COVID

Fitness is more than just lifting heavy weights and getting ripped – since the pandemic, people who are not typical gym-goers are looking for ways to get healthy. Online fitness has opened new doors for these new health-conscious yet gym-averse crowds. It offers them a variety of at-home workouts, daily step challenges, beginner yoga, and Pilates classes.

These people might be looking for aesthetic outcomes like losing weight and muscle definition, but their main goal is to get healthy. Lockdowns have changed habits and made us realize how daily physical activity is important for our overall fitness and health post-COVID.

Quarantine made us discover new ways to work out without going outside or to the gym through technology.

And if anything, fitness technology has democratized the industry. It has lowered the threshold to engage in physical activity – solo or in socially distanced groups – significantly. This has been especially beneficial to persons who chose not to, or could not, join a regular gym. Be it because of mobility issues or because they were a risk group, they now have a rich choice in content for fitness and health post-COVID.

How can gyms, studios, and personal trainers cater to these new target audiences? With a complete hybrid offering! 

And don’t think that because you’re offering digital training to your new customers, it’s going to be any less personal. Take a page out of DAG ÉÉN‘s book, whose unique program is fully remote, but incredibly engaged with their clients through technology. And it’s a resounding success!

No matter their age, no matter their goal – a hybrid offering where digital is mixed with indoor and outdoor (group) training – is a must-have business model for the fitness operator looking to fulfill the wishes and needs of the new customers looking to work on their health and fitness post-COVID.

Fitness Helping Against COVID-19

Above, we talked about new types of gym-goers looking to get healthy after being confronted with the limitations of lockdown. And the subsequent effects on their overall health. But there is one new and growing target group in particular that will benefit from fitness: sufferers from long COVID.

Long COVID patients suffer from many symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and shortness of breath. It seems almost counter-intuitive, but research shows that regular exercise helps patient’s fitness and health post-COVID.

And it’s there’s more. Regular exercise helps boost immune function – which in turn may increase vaccine efficacy. And it doesn’t even have to be much. 30 minutes of activity, five days a week – reduces the risk of falling ill and dying of infectious diseases by 37%.

This goes to show that there is still plenty of room for gyms, studios, and personal trainers to grow their businesses. Most importantly, listen to what is happening in your community, and what the needs are. You have the skills and knowledge to help these clients to reach their health goals.

Fitness and Exercise in Preventive Healthcare

Preventive medicine is much more important now that we have been confronted with the fact that healthier people, who exercise regularly, tend to get less sick. And we are realizing more and more that this goes beyond COVID-19. 

The increasing number of chronic diseases among the population generates the demand for places where the clients can do physical exercise and receive medical assistance. These are so-called Clinical Gyms,  where local health care practitioners facilitate access to specialized fitness and health services.

Some regular gyms have started collaborating with medical professionals too. Be it, doctors or physical therapists, they now offer preventive healthcare services to their clients. This can range from physical exams to medical massages and nutritional advice, all the way to acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and sculpting. The possibilities are endless.

However, adding new services means some additional responsibility. It is crucial that new services would meet established requirements.

For example, medical professionals should approve exercises. Moreover, the exercises should be focused on effectiveness and not on the latest trend. Finally, the staff needs to be properly licensed and certified. In addition, all the activities should comply with local or state law.

A consultation with a lawyer will help your business avoid some legal issues and make sure everything is compliant. Providing some valuable services to the surrounding community will help maintain a healthy society and improve the quality of life.

In conclusion

Our world has changed, as have we. And fitness and health post-COVID are essential. With fitness technology democratizing the industry and giving more and more people the freedom to exercise and practice preventive health care. Where and whenever they want.

We are moving away from the idea of fitness and health post-COVID is for looking good on Instagram. It’s more important for people to be happy and healthy, no matter their age or fitness level. These are great opportunities for growth for everyone in the fitness industry: growing from health clubs to health hubs.

Nan de Bruin

Visual storyteller and winter sports enthusiast

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