May Update: The Fitness Industry is Coming Back

May Update: The Fitness Industry is Coming Back 900 675 Hans Muench

Hurrah, fitness clubs are starting to open up again (in Switzerland and in some German states), if you are interested, check out the Heat Map of which countries have allowed clubs to reopen on the Virtuagym website).

Waiting to enter the gym after 8 weeks of lockdown

Opening announcement clubs in Bavaria


How is the Fitness Industry changing?

Will the over three month Covid-19 lockdown change people’s habits long-term? While health clubs that have reopened in many countries have seen a return of more than two thirds of their customers (after an initial 2-3 week period of low attendance), the online/outdoor exercise experience using Zoom, streaming and other tools could make a significant part of the society exercise self-reliant. Initial studies are coming out with trend analysis still too early to reach a conclusion.

Fritz Training staff wearing protective shields

Keeping active & connected

As with many of us, I am starting to get „Zoomed-out“, tiring of seemingly endless video calls and webinars (close to 100 since mid-March). They have allowed me to stay abreast of what is happening around the world, and keeping in touch, I have also been a speaker on a dozen webinars, sharing my perspectives and best practices as well as the results of two surveys on the effects of Covid-19 on health clubs.

My tennis club has opened up, and I am playing three times per week (besides returning to my strength and flexibility workouts at Fritz Training in Illnau). A healthy diet has also helped me to keep my weight stable (a study in the UK revealed the average Brit gained 3 kilos during the lockdown!).  I use my Iphone health App to track my activity levels. Going for walks and bike rides in the nearby hills and along the stream that runs next to my house have allowed me to hit the 10.000 goal on most days.

Bike ride along the stream running past our house

In May my family started using Zoom to connect weekly with my 93 year old mother, who is new to video calls but now considers it a highlight of her week (especially with physical distancing still in place in Toronto and Vancouver).

Continuing to write for various trade publications, print and online, including new portals such as TT-Digi and Fitness Society (Germany) and contributing to Health Club Management (UK) allows me to share the best practices I have picked up virtually during the shutdown.


Starting to travel again

Working from home for three months was not as difficult an adjustment for me to make as some might have thought, although I am now eager to get out again.

Now that travel restrictions are loosening, I have been over the border to Germany a few times (for business and for pleasure). Next month more serious travel resumes, with visits to Munich, Bremen, Bersenbruck (Germany), Amsterdam and Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Brussels planned.

Volker and Kevin Ebener visit to Winterthur’s Goldenberg Vista

The airplane travel experience will feel different, but I am hoping for the ending of restrictions to fly to USA, or needing to quarantine when visiting Canada (in August to celebrate my mom’s 94th birthday).


Till next time!