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    How Health & Fitness Businesses Are Flexing Their Muscles For Customers Right Now

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    We’re all public health nerds now, and many of us have stepped up our games when it comes to washing our hands and sanitizing surfaces at home. With all the added stressors that come along with global pandemics, it can be easy to let health and fitness goals slip.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has even issued guidance encouraging people to stay on top of their physical wellness during the crisis.

    Whether you’re running and walking your favorite local trails or jumping into virtual fitness classes and yoga sessions, there’s a lot you can do to take advantage of that extra time you like to have at home these days.

    How Health & Fitness Companies Have Stepped Up During The Crisis

    The good news about those health and fitness goals: You’re not alone.

    Many health and fitness companies have pivoted and are now offering free or low-cost digital services to customers. It’s now easier than ever before to get your virtual workout on.

    Here are a few of the health and fitness providers dishing out new offerings during the pandemic:

    Down Dog

    This very well-rounded digital fitness company has made all of its apps completely free for new users until June 1st. You don’t even need a credit card to sign-up.

    If yoga is your scene, check out Down Dog and Yoga for Beginners.

    If you’re in the market for a more intense workout, check out free offerings from Barre and HIIT to 7 Minute Workout.

    The folks at Down Dog are even going a step further to give students and teachers (K-12 and college) free access until July 1st. Just register your school’s domain here.

    Last but certainly not least, Down Dog has given free access to all healthcare professionals until July 1st as well. Healthcare workers just need to go here to register using their work domain.

    Peloton

    If hitting the local bike trails isn’t an option, Peloton offers a virtual option. The very popular app is now offering free 90-day subscriptions to its at-home workout app.  

    Unfortunately, a fancy new bike is not included.

    Balance

    There’s never been a better time to find your zen. If meditation is your thing, check out the Balance app. They’re offering a 1-year free subscription right now. Sometimes finding a quiet spot and stepping away from the news is just what the doctor ordered.

    The Big Brands: Under Armour, Nike, Lululemon, and REI

    The bigger athletic brands are arguably a bit more resilient. They’ve got the capital to weather this storm.

    How they choose to manage through the crisis speaks volumes, though. Protecting the health of customers and workers becomes paramount. Here’s how they’ve responded:

    • Under Armour has temporarily closed stores while continuing to pay employees.
    • Nike has closed stores and continues to pay workers’ full wages during closure. The company is also offering remote work for non-store employees.
    • Lululemon has closed all of its North American and European stores and their employees will continue to be paid.
    • REI has closed its stores and will continue to pay all of its employees. The REI blog also offers a wide array of DIY and #stayathome tips for families and outdoor enthusiasts to make the most of isolation.

    10 Gyms And Fitness Studios With Free Offerings

    While many studios and gyms that deliver on-site fitness classes and personal training have been particularly hard hit, they’re also working to keep people engaged and connected to their physical health goals.

    From free classes and workouts to streaming sessions on major social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, these brands are tossing out free digital fitness deals:

    1. YMCA: 95 free virtual workouts
    2. Planet Fitness: Free, streamed Facebook classes
    3. Blink Fitness: Facebook Live sessions weekdays at 8 a.m. ET
    4. Orangetheory: New 30-minute workout video each day
    5. 305 Fitness: Cardio dance live streams twice daily on YouTube
    6. Gold’s Gym: Variety of free digital workouts
    7. Retro Fitness: Free daily Facebook Live stream classes weekdays at 6 p.m.
    8. Life Time: Free workout classes to stream for free with more added daily
    9. Barry’s Bootcamp: 20-minute bodyweight workouts live on Instagram for free
    10. CorePower Yoga: Free access to yoga and meditation classes

    That’s certainly enough to keep even the fittest among us busy for a while.

    Why Health & Fitness Companies Are Changing How They Operate

    Along with the WHO, the American College of Sports Medicine knows a thing or two about public health.

    They recommend keeping up and even bolstering physical fitness regimens to ensure that one’s immune system is performing at peak strength. Of course, a virus is a virus and this doesn’t make one immune to it. 

    But at the very least staying fit and active will keep your spirits up and help you fight off the impact of stress during the crisis. The health and fitness companies listed above can help with that in many ways.

    Take advantage of those offers out there and stay healthy!

    Paul Perry is a freelance writer who works with FairShake, a consumer arbitration platform. In the past, he's worked as an educator and nonprofit executive, focused on empowering youth and families.

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