Fitness Industry struggles as Gyms, dance studios face losses amid Covid-19 crisis

10:06 AM Jul 14, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
Government from June 8 onwards allowed the re-opening of several public places after imposing lockdown across the country. Malls, temples, mosques have been opened post lockdown with social distancing guidelines in place. But gym owners across the country are still waiting for government’s approval to resume operations Also, even if some gyms start to re-open, it’s no guarantee that members will come flocking back, and cancellations could be even more devastating. It costs twice as much to recruit a new member as it does to retain an existing one Sunil, local Gym owner, “ We need to pay rent every month but we have no income. We also have to pay our staff. Government is not allowing to open gyms but atleast provide us some kind of aid” “We have no other alternate business option. It will be even more hard for us to convince customers of the safety measures. We have no idea of how we will sustain in the future” he added The business has almost come to a standstill and rentals for spaces and maintenance bills are piling up. Most of the gym owners are running gyms by taking loans, they are not in the situation to pay their loan EMIs. Several  gym owners have closed their business and switched to another profession. They are struggling to meet minimum expenses required to continue the service. On the other hand, government’s decision of keeping the gyms closed is right as according to World Health Organization experts, gyms are hot spots of Covid-19 infection as a large number of people use the same machines, weights, and other exercise paraphernalia. The moist, warm air combined with turbulent air flow from exercising may create an environment in which droplets can spread readily. According to the recent study, aerosolized droplets can remain airborne for up to 3 hours, making the potential for spread in crowded and confined spaces such as fitness studios problematic Also, People breathe harder when they work out, which is the prime way the virus spreads from person to person. When people breathe more rapidly and more deeply, they expel greater numbers of droplets It increases the potential of transmission among people in hot and crowded fitness studios with poor air circulation However, a few gym owners host a live dance class or fitness class where they give students the option of making donations. If such sessions become routine, they could become paid modules A few are also using the time to take advantage of other online opportunities, such as creating content for YouTube and TikTok. They do brand promotions and social media influencer advertisements. This is an alternate option for the gym owners to keep the promotions and financials going.

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