This one is near and dear to my heart.
On March 16 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine closed down all gyms and fitness centers in the state (at the same time he closed all restaurants and bars).
For me, the ban on fitness centers has been one of the hardest parts of the shutdown. I had a daily gym habit—at a gym where I’ve been a member since I was a high school student in the 1980s.
As the above article notes, the fitness industry is in trouble.
State governments have yet to issue guidelines whereby gyms may reopen. If masks are required, then that’s pretty much the end. (You can’t safely work out in a face mask, as a mask restricts air flow.)
My gym should be okay, in the short run. But the shutdown will likely impact the industry as a whole:
As I see it, the future of the industry lies along two paths. First, small gyms that concentrate on low overhead (aided by lots of empty retail space and perhaps newly-cooperative landlords), running debt-free, and offering exceptional service at a higher price point will be able to withstand periodic closures if they’re not too long. If closure is built into the cash flow management model, small gyms might be able to survive, and large companies may decide to move into this niche. But I don’t see the possibility of a viable new 30,000 square foot commercial gym in the future. Some areas, with a proven predisposition to government control of private business, will be gym-free very shortly.
As the article notes, one obvious alternative is the home gym.
That may be the way that more people work out in the future, given the government’s demonstrated willingness to suspend the operations of businesses that it (and only it) deems unessential.