Fitness & Mind-Body: Insights on Reopening, Resetting, Reimaging
Collaboration Takeaways

The Global Wellness Collaborations bring industry leaders together in meaningful dialogue to share ideas and best practices for navigating the COVID-19 crisis around a specific industry segment.

Topic: Fitness & Mind-Body: Insights on Reopening, Resetting, Reimaging
Date of Discussion: June 23, 2020
Countries/Regions Represented: Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, UK, US.

    • In Italy, we reopened a few weeks ago, and gyms are up and running with protocols that we helped to develop with the government and the Ministry of Health.
    • We can say with greater certainty now, after this pandemic and the forced lockdown, that health is even more important. We have all experienced a sedentary lifestyle, and many people have gained weight.
    • There has been a worsening in noncommunicable diseases and a definite strain on mental health due to being stuck at home.
    • In the short term, there will be business challenges for all operators. But we’re also very positive in the mid- to long-term due to the need for people putting more emphasis on their health now.
    • The digital revolution is, of course, one area where there has been amazing progress. For example, the Financial Times said that in just five weeks of lockdown, we have experienced a leap in innovation of five years. That is quite impressive.
    • With technology, some fitness companies have been investing in creating more of a digital ecosystem for some time, and this was accelerated.
    • Those using our digital ecosystem applications and content operators were able to connect to their members and deliver content at home, continuously with their experience at the gym.
    • In Italy, in particular, and I guess also across many other countries in the world, it’s time now to restart. For many businesses, including gyms, to reopen. Operators are putting in place protocols that demonstrate that it is safe to go to the gym. That it is safe to train. And thanks to the digital technologies, operators are able to manage their capacities so people that enter their clubs can avoid overcrowding.
    • We see this as a new trend—at-home fitness and clubs are not really competitors anymore. Clubs are able to leverage both experiences—at home and at the club—and connect with their members wherever they are. This keeps their customers engaged.
    • In Italy, now we have reopened. I think that the capacity is 70 percent on a daily basis.
    • In Europe, I think that about 60 percent of the countries are open, and in Asia, we see ups and downs.
    • We are a company In Japan—an organization that was formed to promote local sports and with ties to the local economy by making optimal use of sports locally. The programs include fitness and self-management.
    • Are fitness places open? Are they back to business as usual? You said that everyone’s wearing masks. Are they wearing masks in the fitness arenas?
    • We are opening step-by-step and wearing our masks when exercising.
    • I live right outside Philadelphia in the US, and gyms are not open yet.
    • It’s all going software-based where we are. You have to have an app to book your spot. I tend to go to a boutique gym where you have functional fitness, and there might have been eight or 10 of us before. Now a spot needs to be reserved. They are monitoring the number of people in each class.
    • During this whole time, I have been doing FaceTime workouts with my clients, and it’s been very consistent. I service a population of over 50, and they are most concerned with maintaining their immune system and keeping the risks at bay.
    • We’re all doing FaceTime and Zoom, which is very popular. In fact, group exercise is thriving with Zoom.
    • In our area, you get a temperature check, and at some of them, you don’t. Some of them follow the rules. Some of them are not quite following the rules closely.
    • Some of the virtual workouts are a little bit shorter now. In fact, we’re doing 30-minute workouts because it can get a little frustrating to not be face-to-face and have the hands-on experience that people want with their personal trainer.
    • I charge $45 for a 30-minute personal training workout on FaceTime.
    • I’m not sure how many of you heard, but in Vietnam, we are very proud of the way we have managed the pandemic. We had only 324 cases, and 320 of the people recovered.
    • It’s been great to see the number of people who have come back for their workouts, and we have many new sign-ups. And we also do corporate fitness.
    • A couple of the trends that we’ve seen besides gyms and fitness is mindfulness and mental wellbeing. Before the pandemic, that had been a little behind on this side of the world. Mental health has been in its infancy. However, post-COVID, I can see that the need for mental wellbeing has increased noticeably.
    • The other thing that we have noticed is attention to nutrition and weight management.
    • Since we opened up five weeks ago, nobody wears masks anymore. Our lives are almost back to normal. Our country borders are still closed, however, the government informed us that we would reopen the border in early July.
    • We’ll see how this goes. However, the last five weeks have been extremely safe and normal.
    • In our area, since yesterday, we are no longer in our lockdown. Of course, mandatory mask-wearing is still in place. Only 30 percent of the people can come in.
    • That’s as well for the fitness sector, so for most gyms and studios, most of them have decided to close down because with only two or three people practicing yoga, doing gym, or other things, it is quite costly.
    • Online classes have been booming. Few were practicing yoga; now everyone seems to be practicing yoga at home.
    • I think this pandemic has given us an opportunity to globalize fitness and sport.
    • In Qatar, everything is closed. It’s been a total lockdown for many months. And no one is stepping out without a mask.
    • I think there have been some good things that have come out of this. We are all staying home. We are nurturing ourselves.
    • On Sunday, we had 23 guests at our resort. They all came with masks. They were thrilled to come, and they are obeying the rules.
    • Do you feel that the fitness sector has changed forever in some way because of what has happened?
    • I think the future will be training “on-site and online.”
    • It’s a bit like working from home—that’s here to stay, we won’t go back to only working at offices.
    • The nature of all interactions has really shifted. I mean, we work globally, and we work online and remotely all the time now.
    • One trend that is of concern is that the demand for free workouts has increased. A lot of us who are professionals are watching people who are not professionals give free sessions. And the consumers are confused. Those of us who are certified and need to charge higher rates for our experience and expertise have a harder time doing so unless the consumer is educated.
    • Unqualified instructors can end up doing things they shouldn’t be doing. And these audiences don’t know that maybe that particular move isn’t good for my biomechanical situation right now. I think that’s an issue that was already there lurking in the background, but I worry that it’s gotten a bit worse now.
    • I think we’re going to see more trainers leaving their gyms and going independent. I realize right now, I’ve got to double down on myself, my brand, and on my name. For example, one of the spas that I train at for the last three years still hasn’t reopened, and so if I wasn’t working independently, I still wouldn’t be working.
    • I agree that the move away from the facility and more toward the person is something I am seeing also.
    • The resorts are slowly rolling out, and a lot of focus right now is on protocols.
    • For programming, I am seeing touch-free wellness and touch-free experiences, teaching self-massage, sound healing, meditation, and yoga.
    • With the fitness elements, we’ve really tried to move as much as we can outside. Luckily, we are in Jamaica.
    • We, too, are getting people outdoors as much as possible, out to the sea and into spaciousness in the pool with in-pool cycling classes. We have quadrans in our fitness facilities. So, everyone can have their own area, and you set it up as though you would a home gym.
    • Returning to a schedule and routine is something that helps people. Rhythm and ritual in one’s own circadian life are healthy. I think that’s part of what we can do now to help people—so there’s some consistency in people’s lives because nothing else is really normal.
    • I do a lot of consulting for wellness development programs. What comes up for me is a huge need for education—especially for people who are not returning to the gym at the moment. They have a fairly high degree of fear.
    • We have to teach people in order to shift their perceptions in whatever unique and playful ways.
    • We are finding that a lot of the spa directors who were furloughed have come back. Now there happens to be a very big demand from the public, and so there are a lot of appointments. They’re actually being flooded. The problem is a lot of the therapists are not necessarily returning. That becomes a problem for the establishment.
    • Here in Florida, we are having a problem meeting the demand.
    • I do not enjoy doing personal training in the traditional way because I am in love with the mind. I’ve been an avid researcher, reader and student of neuroscience as it applies to learning and mind-body.
    • For years, I’ve been trying to convince a lot of major gyms, instructors and people that in the fitness world, it is important to listen and integrate something like Phoebe into the wellness space. Phoebe Health
    • This particular time is a perfect time for innovating.
    • Phoebe is literally a tool that is a central area around your neuromuscular energy. And so in essence, it’s telling you that you have four types of energy, some of which are preferences and some of which are weaknesses, that if you want to be more holistically in your approach to wellness, even in terms of renewing your energy or even doing more at work without having to put more time but focusing on your energy, it can achieve.
    • And I think at the mind level, we can do a lot of work to actually decrease that and increase the way we energize and put energy out in the world, which makes us more effective and efficient and even boosts our immune system.
    • It’s a very good point, and while Lisa from Transformative Movement isn’t on the line, she mentioned something that she has started, which is called “good mood movement.”
    • A short video clip was shown, Exercising video that is an example of a clever and fun way to re-imagine a way to encourage fitness and exercise. (A dozen exercise bikes are lined up outside and, as people begin peddling, the energy makes the music come alive, and then a cartoon happens where a man is doing a striptease dance.)
  •  CHAT:
    • How are companies providing health insurance for employees forced to take leave?
    • What is the balance of “pre-booked” versus “walk-up” appointments? How have people embraced the concept of pre-planned attendance?
    • I’m in the US. The integrative and holistic health segment of my business has increased. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, Reiki services and training have all increased in volume and income.
    • In the UK, indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities and spas are not allowed to open yet.
    • There are many health and wellness geniuses here. I am interested in partnering my services with others to offer more diverse online wellness workshops. If interested, please private message me.
    • I’m in Miami. We have a personal training facility with 15 years of experience. We have maintained our long-term customers and are now actively trying to recruit additional customers. We are utilizing temp checks, deep cleaning and masks.
    • At home, wellness has increased exponentially, including the use of apps, online live streams and outdoor fitness. There has also been an entrepreneurial growth in local fitness programming.
    • We are a wellbeing business providing yoga, meditation, fitness and other resources for health, but we see a lot of these services provided for free without proper certification. Abunditude
    • I think the overall concept of fitness is taking a more serious position. It is no longer fluff but a necessity to maintain your health. It is a wonderful opportunity to drive home what our industry has been saying for years, along with our level of professionalism and the importance of working with knowledgeable providers.
    • Education on masks and contagion risks very important and will bring about less fear with the appropriate wearing of masks and social distancing while being inside.
    • FEBI (Focus Energy Balance Indicator) – – I am also one of the very few FEBI certified coaches who specialize in fitness and wellness. Mostly the tool has been used in the corporate world to address Work/Life Balance and productivity.
    • The trailer for our upcoming 4part TV series on our future: Vimeo Fiit
    • My firm consults on indoor environmental quality (air filtration, relative humidity) for reopening. Please feel free to contact [email protected]
    • I think we will see an uptick in wellness travel once borders open up, especially after people are feeling cabin fever at home and are gaining the “quarantine 15” lbs. of extra weight.
    • I am a wholistic designer creating Eastern-inspired pieces designed for the healing, nurturing and beautifying of our sacred body temples. Simply Net Fah
    • In a few days, I will start a documentary about the Portuguese wellness life and how private and commercial spaces are exploring/using this trend. World Wellbeing Tourism
    • If I may, I would love to share my new book just launched, The 21st Century Woman, that includes mind-body spirit wellness. Amazon
    • We’re a start-up company building digital tools to help operators in health and wellness better monetize offerings and improve customer experience. Please email if you’re interested [email protected]
    • My new book, Adventures in Mother Nature’s Gym, shares the latest science of nature and the body and the tools to help others guide clients into the outdoors. Amazon

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