Gyms are ‘part of the solution’ to the pandemic

Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau proposed gyms as “part of the solution” to the coronavirus pandemic, with fitness and exercise helping to combat problems like obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Rondeau told “Sqwak Alley” that fitness should be viewed as a healthcare sector, since exercise can help minimize or alleviate health conditions that have been linked to major health impacts of contracting the virus. . He said he hopes people will have a renewed interest in exercise after the pandemic, given its link to health.

“If you think about it, gyms are really a part of the healthcare delivery system, and shutting down is counterproductive,” said Rondeau. “We really are part of the solution, not the problem.”

Gyms and gyms have been among the hardest hit companies as they have often been the last to reopen in local economies. Gold’s Gyms and 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy. Some gyms have moved classes abroad in an attempt to recoup the lost income from the pandemic.

Rondeau said 1,450 Planet Fitness gyms are open out of a total of 2,000. A handful of states still have locations closed under state guidelines, including Arizona and California, which allowed gyms to reopen and then moved to close again as cases increased.

With cases on the rise in some states, having protocols in place to ensure peace of mind for customers and workers is a priority for Planet Fitness, Rondeau said. Masks will be required at all locations beginning August 1, he said, and employees will receive daily temperature checks.

There are current concerns about the future of gyms and fitness studies, as recent data shows that more than half of Americans do not plan to return to their gyms. The TD Ameritrade online survey found that more than 56% of respondents said the pandemic helped them find “more affordable” ways to exercise.

But Rondeau said clients have reported that they are excited to get back to exercising in person, as exercising at home doesn’t offer the same variety available in the gym. He pointed to Planet Fitness’s low cost – $ 10 a month compared to the average person in that survey who spends about $ 170 a month on fitness – as another reason why customers will return to their gyms.

“Physical exercise at home has been around, say, since Richard Simmons, it’s been around forever,” he said. “Personally, I have a gym in my basement, I am lucky to have a basement to have a gym, but I exercise at my local Planet as much as I can, and the experience there, the excitement and the atmosphere. It is unbeatable.”