Quarantine Fitness Will Change Workout Culture Forever
Even when the pandemic ends, the fitness industry will look very different — as will the ways people work out
As the coronavirus made its way across the world, Jade Wootton finally became a runner.
“I always wanted to be one,” she says. “I thought the ideology was cool, not just going out and getting fit, but also getting endorphins doing it. But I’m very slow, and that was really embarrassing for me.”
Four days into self-imposed quarantine, the 25-year-old says her embarrassment “evaporated,” outweighed by a desire to leave her Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment and to do something with her body that made her feel like she was — at least a little bit — in control. For weeks, Wootton ran every day, building a habit that became the keystone of a new daily routine.
“The first few days of the quarantine were so disorienting,” she says. Running every day helped. And then the routine changed. Again.
“The park I was running in closed, and that freaked me out,” Wootton says. “I find running with a mask on really difficult, and going outside started to feel increasingly frightening.”
Wootton’s now taken most of her workouts to Zoom, where her studio offers daily yoga classes, but she still goes for a long run twice a week.
“I just need some sort of release,” she says. “Just in general, I feel way less overwhelmed and crazy now. Running is something I never really got before; now I get it.”
While the collective quest for abs may have begun as a productive way to pass the time… it’s become, for many, the only manageable aspect of an incredibly precarious world.
Wootton’s not alone in her pursuits. In the face of sweeping stay-at-home mandates, a huge number of Americans seized an opportunity to finally kick-start a regular workout routine. Retailers reported sharp increases in sales of home gym equipment — like Peloton — and online marketplaces quickly sold out of hand weights and kettlebells. With gyms and fitness studio locations ordered closed, virtual…