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What Gyms Reopening Means To Us

The fitness industry is lacing up its trainers, ready to embrace the phased reopening of gyms and leisure centres on 12th April.

Unfortunately, group exercise fans will have to wait until 17th May for their chance to sweat with friends, although small group classes will be able to take place outdoors and one-to-one sessions can commence indoors.

As the countdown begins for reopening, Action Group has compiled robust commentary and analysis from operators, brands and experts in the fitness industry for us, on what reopening will mean for businesses and consumers alike.

  1. Everyone Active are simplifying health and fitness for all

“The last 12 months have been tough for everyone. Consumers have been bombarded with information about fitness, wellness, self-improvement and mental health. 

For many people, especially those just beginning their wellness journey, this is hugely overwhelming and in some cases counterproductive as consumers don’t know who to listen to or where to start.

We want to cut through the noise and offer a simple 360 approach to achieving a healthier lifestyle. 

That’s why we’re proud to announce our partnership with WW, Weight Watchers Reimagined; one joint membership which gives consumers access to everything they need from a fitness, nutrition and mental health perspective, all delivered in an easy to manage format.

We want to be there for the people who don’t’ know where to start, and ensure no one is confused by information or technology. In short, we’re leaving no one behind.”  Duncan Jefford, Regional Director

Everyone Active is one of the UK’s largest leisure centre operators with over 200 sites across the country.

  1. Gympass are backing omnichannel fitness as gyms reopen

“The vast majority of the 2,500 UK fitness partners on Gympass are continuing to offer online fitness alongside their bricks and mortar offering. 

Like us, they recognise that daily routines have changed beyond recognition and that consumers want omnichannel fitness experiences that fit into their lives whether they are working from home or commuting to the office. 

A survey of gym members in the US found that 53% are planning to combine their gym membership with online fitness* and we expect to see a similar pattern in the UK. 

Again, like us, our operator partners are feeling optimistic for the future, a WFSGI study has reported an expected 21% growth in gym members in 2021 as compared to pre-COVID levels.” Eamon Lloyd, Gympass Senior Director – Head of Partnerships UK, Ireland & Netherlands

Gympass is the world’s largest corporate wellbeing platform, with best-in-class wellbeing partners in the form of apps, studios, leisure providers and boutique classes.

*Sporting Goods 2021 – The Next Normal for an Industry in Flux; The World Federation Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and McKinsey & Company.

  1. Les Mills highlights the importance of community and shared experiences in fitness

“The safety of communities is paramount, so a phased re-opening of society is important to ensure this.

What we’ve seen in markets that have been through the pandemic and emerged from the other side is thatusing a blend of physical and digital workout options to engage with members is the safest and most sustainable way forward for operators and consumers alike.

Community and shared-experiences will be a key factor in people’s happiness after the lockdowns, and although digital has been a great channel and growth market for the fitness industry, there’s no denying that the in-studio, live experience with instructors and other gymgoers is the pinnacle workout experience and something we can’t wait to get back to from 17th May.

The latest data from ukactive showed that for every 100,000 visits to UK gyms and leisure centres during 2020, only 1.7 people went on to test positive for COVID-19, while there was no evidence that transmission took place in gyms.

Group exercise has some of the most stringent and controllable COVID-safe protocols of all business sectors and it’s a training modality that millions rely on to support their physical and mental health. 

Our 2019 Global Consumer Fitness survey revealed that 45 per cent of gym-goers gave group exercise as the main reason for attending their gym, and those who attend group exercise classes go to the gym twice as much as other members.

With gyms opening on April 12th, operators will be able to use the first month as a time to reconnect with members, generate excitement and run outdoor classes, so we’ve created a new outdoor group exercise guide to help clubs kick things off.

Outdoor exercise is a big opportunity for clubs: in markets that have already reopened, we’ve seen it add an exciting new dimension to club timetables. 

We’ve also created guidance around optimal timetable blends between live and digital workouts to help clubs stage a strong recovery in the coming months and get the nation back to full fitness.” Martin Franklin, CEO Les Mills Europe at Les Mills

Les Mills is the global group fitness brand famous for creating and delivering workouts such as BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT and BODYBALANCE. Les Mills delivers group fitness to over six million people per week globally.

  1. Ten Health & Fitness focus on preparing staff for reopening pressures

“There’s a lot of work for fitness providers to do to get ready to reopen from April. This applies not just to their premises but also for their people.

It is essential to get any outstanding maintenance done, and make sure your cleaning, hygiene and distancing protocols are robust. 

“However, it is equally important to take time to prepare your teams for reopening, especially when many of your key client-facing staff have been furloughed for several months.

At Ten we are ensuring the optimum hygiene standards will be met but we have also put together a re-onboarding programme for returning staff, to make sure everyone is as ready and comfortable as possible to come back to the Studios.” Justin Rogers, Creative Director at Ten Health & Fitness

Ten Health & Fitness is one of the pioneers of the boutique fitness sector and London’s only premium provider to bridge the gap between the world of fitness and the medical sector.

  1. MoreYoga praises support of consumers in helping local studios survive

“We predict a renaissance of fitness to take place this summer when group exercise is allowed to reopen on the 17th May.

At MoreYoga we’ve been fortunate with our dedicated customers, who have helped keep us afloat with their enthusiasm, support and financial backing over the course of lockdown, ready to return on May 17th.

We’ll reopen our catalogue of 35 studios across London in line with government guidance and social distancing protocols, but it’s important that we do reopen as there is a huge amount of people, especially in London, who are eager to return to their local community yoga studio, to have that dedicated safe space to channel their energies. and improve their mental and physical health.

 “We’re excited by all the new parts of our service we have been able to develop over the past year in lockdown, including teacher training as well as our online, LIVE and on-demand workshops, classes and courses for consumers.

All of this will continue in the form of our newly launching MoreYoga WellnessTV offering, which will be a dedicated platform  for wellness, fitness, mental health, community-led initiatives, all with the same purpose; to make yoga and wellness suitable to everyone, not just the select few who can afford it.

MoreYoga is London’s biggest yoga-studio brand, making yoga affordable and accessible to communities across the Capital and now around the world with virtual too.

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