Gym chains with branches in Asia increased their spend on cleanliness in their American facilities to ease members’ concerns even before the virus hit the West. And they were the first to implement closures before the government mandated them.
If one good thing has come out of these strange times, Hackney-Williams says, it is that during the lockdown people started to realise that keeping fit doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym for hours every day. “Going for a run in the park or finding a light routine that works for you is enough to stay healthy,” he says. In the post-Covid-19 age, he hopes, people won’t see the gym as an elite place where only fitness fanatics are welcome.
While the pandemic forced us to reorganise our shared spaces, lockdown has given us the time to rethink what we want our social life to look like. And although we may have to wave goodbye to the lively, crowded bars, theatres and gyms that we used to love, at least for some time, we also have the unique opportunity to rediscover what togetherness means in new spaces – and to reimagine those spaces from scratch.
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