The economy is reopening at a fast pace. Restaurants, sports arenas and even offices are filling up again as pandemic restrictions lift. And that means many folks who have been sequestered in their homes for the past year are venturing forth, even if they don’t exactly look the same.
The stressful and sedentary nature of life during the coronavirus pandemic caused many to fall out of fitness routines and gain weight. In fact, 42% of U.S. adults reported undesired weight gain due to Covid, according to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association. Average increase: 29 pounds.
“It was fun to make sourdough bread. It was fun to make banana bread, but the result of that is not great,” said Jim Rowley, CEO of Crunch Worldwide.
On the flip side, 18% reported undesired weight loss, possibly due in part to muscle loss from all that sitting around. It is no wonder, gain or loss, that fitness companies are suddenly seeing a new surge in activity.
“We’re getting a lot of people now that haven’t seen us over the winter that are ready and are realizing this has been a long time coming,” said Lucy Ballentine, a studio manager at Orangetheory Fitness in Washington, D.C. Customers are telling her, “It’s been over a year since I’ve done any type of workout, and I’m really desperate to get back in shape.”
An employee wearing a protective mask disinfects a treadmill between classes at an Orangetheory Fitness gym in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images
While home fitness saw a huge surge in demand over the past year, benefitting big names like Peloton, Beachbody and the Mirror, the push to get back in shape is clearly on now, as Americans coming out of hiding.
That was the overwhelming sentiment at an outdoor Orangtheory class in a D.C. parking lot.
“Do you mean I have to get back into the wardrobe that I no longer fit into? Yes,” said Stacey Weinstock, who has been working from home since the pandemic began.
“We’re getting just a little bit closer to when everything’s going to open