Staying Strong: Looking Ahead to 2021
Brian Rawlings, the practice leader for FITLIFE, shares the importance of staying strong, working together and focusing on safety in 2021.
To say 2020 has been a tough year would be an understatement. Like many people around the world, those in the fitness industry have been through unprecedented times. At the same time, however, it’s important to recognize the incredible resilience and determination shown by gyms and clubs, and their leadership teams and staff in facing the challenges presented by COVID-19.
As the industry meets these challenges, it’s also important to remember the important role the fitness industry plays in society: supporting and advancing people’s physical, mental and emotional health. The support, collaboration and spirit of shared values — and a commitment to serve — has never been more prevalent as clubs, industry leaders, vendors and others have come together to share best practices and sustain the industry.
As everyone looks forward to better times in 2021, it’s important to stay strong, focused on safety best practices and advocacy efforts, both of which are important to the health of the fitness industry now and into the future.
Keep doing what’s right
First, it’s essential that gyms and clubs continue to take a leadership role in safety practices. This commitment to safety is important not only to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep customers and staff healthy, but it’s also good for business. Anyone who has frequented stores and restaurants during the pandemic understands the difference between walking through doors where everyone is social distancing and wearing face coverings and those where people are not.
Along with these precautions, paying extra attention to cleaning gym and club equipment, having plenty of disinfectant available and convenient for members to use, and enforcing policies about staying home if sick remain essential.
Second, supporting federal and state advocacy efforts to secure relief packages for the fitness industry remains pivotal to making sure the voice of the industry is heard at the highest of levels of government, especially in the near term.
Whether it’s through national associations like IHRSA, state associations, trade and general interest media or reaching out directly to legislators, industry-wide advocacy will help the fitness industry — one of the hardest hit by the pandemic — get the attention and financial relief it needs and deserves.
By staying strong and continuing to work together and focusing on safety, we can ensure that better times are ahead.