Has Covid 19 Changed Our Exercise Habits for Good?

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(Newswire.net — June 23, 2020) — In the UK people are entering their fourth month of lockdown. There are signs of a gradual release from the tightest restrictions but many businesses and schools remain closed and may continue to be over the Summer. Since lockdown began people have developed new habits and behaviours when it comes to exercise. One of these is the take up of online Personal Training. According to a recent survey online training has increased by 400% in the last 3 months with people working out with trainers over online platforms such as Zoom and Skype, while big brands such as Peloton have seen an increase in their sales also. 

Joe Wicks has been a big hit in the UK providing online PE lessons in the form of fitness classes for many British school children on his Youtube channel every morning. The big question is will these trends be reversed once traditional gyms and health clubs open again or will there be some degree of permanent change towards online fitness solutions?

Another change during the Covid crisis is the fact that many people have taken up running. Due to health clubs and other leisure facilities being closed the only option for many has been to go out for a run. In fact, estimates suggest that 2 million more people have taken up running this year than in previous years.

With many events and races being cancelled people have been running for fitness and fun without the need for any specific goal or target in mind. Events such as the London Marathon have been postponed until the Autumn, although there is still a huge question mark as to whether such a large event will go ahead at all this year.

One of the unfortunate by products of these events being cancelled is a drastic reduction in the amount of money generated for charities, many of which fear they won’t survive the lockdown. Charities rely on sponsorship for events such as the London Marathon to raise millions of pounds for good causes each year. This shortfall is going to be nearly impossible to replace.

Along with the uptake of running there has been a sharp rise in running type injuries including Achilles tendonitis and shin splints. Businesses such as those involving physiotherapy, podiatry and running gait analysis have seen a surge in demand. Many people who have not run for years have begun pounding the pavements which has seen a spike in overuse injuries.

This is good news for the rehabilitation professionals along with running shoe manufacturers who are all catering to this increased demand. There is a hope that the British government will allow leisure facilities along with pubs and restaurants to open up once more on July 4th but it remains to be seen how many people will return to indoor gyms and sports centre as the UK moves into Summer and people will generally feel safer outdoors.

The question will be, have people’s long term fitness habits been changed permanently since lockdown began and will indoor sports facilities and gyms thrive under the new normal conditions we’ll all experience post Covid? Only time will be able to answer these questions but what is clear is that there will be winners and losers whatever happens.

In this article we explore how exercise habits have changed over the Covid crisis and whether they will return to normal in the future.