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    As gyms reopen, only 35% customers ready to return right away: Survey

    As gyms reopen, only 35% customers ready to return right away: Survey

    As gyms reopen, only 35% customers ready to return right away: Survey
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    By Mugdha Variyar   IST (Published)

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    After over four months of staying shut, gymnasiums and yoga centres reopened in several cities across the country on Wednesday under the third phase of unlocking the COVID-19 lockdown.

    After over four months of staying shut, gymnasiums and yoga centres reopened in several cities across the country on Wednesday under the third phase of unlocking the COVID-19 lockdown.
    Karnataka is among the states that allowed gyms and yoga centres to restart, and in Bengaluru, several gyms opened up, though several are still treading cautiously, while gym-goers are also only trickling in.
    As per Fitternity, a platform for gym discovery and subscriptions with nearly 20,000 listings, a consumer survey they conducted showed that only 35 percent of customers are ready to go back to gyms right away.
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    While others said they would want to wait it out for anywhere between a few weeks till when a vaccine is developed. As per the platform, 60 percent of the gymnasiums are looking to open by August 15 wherever states have allowed them to.
    Curefit, which runs over 200 Cult fitness centres in the country, has said it is likely to reopen its centres only post August 15, one gym at a time.
    Working out at gyms will also be a different experience for members, as the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) guidelines issued by the government entail several changes to how gyms operate.
    Gyms are required to design their floor areas keeping four square metres for each person and calculate maximum capacity based on this. Th equipments will have to be kept six feet apart, personal training sessions cannot involve physical contact, members will have to wear visors while exercising and oxygen levels will need to be checked before exercise.
    According to Srihari Reddy, owner of the LMNT Fitness Club in Bengaluru, "We are allowing 15 people at a time for 90 minutes. However, this is not feasible. But we wanted to at least open the gym after five months."
    While it will be a while before gyms see members thronging to sweat it out, fitness enthusiasts who prefer personal training have started going back to gyms once again.
    "Working out at home is not for me. I was getting back aches, and I wanted to work out with a personal trainer," said  Monika Vuyyuru, a resident of Whitefield, who walked into the LMNT Fitness Club Wednesday morning.
    Several fitness centres, however, continued to remain shut on Wednesday, though they are preparing to reopen soon. "We want to be very cautious. The pandemic is still growing. We will take next couple of weeks to asses the situation," Curefit co-founder Mukesh Bansal told CNBC-TV18.
    "Our roll out plan will be one gym at a time. Probably between August 15- August 20 is when we will open first centre. Overall 100 percent opening will take 2-3 months from now," he added.
    The offline fitness industry has been among the last sectors to be allowed to restart as India enters it's Unlock 3 phase. For gym owners, paying staff and negotiating rent have been the main challenges.
    "We have been shut for five months. This is the worst affected industry so far. We continued to pay salaries to trainers. There were a few hiccups when it comes to rents," Reddy added.
    Many gym-goers have turned to online classes for their fitness routines during the pandemic, however, the industry hopes that at least those looking for personal training may gradually return.
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