Going back to the gym?

Who doesn’t want to be stronger? You can get on the floor and do 5 pushups right now. Did you do it? Probably not. (If you did, great work.) For most people, nothing is stopping you from getting strong, except yourself.

I just keep sitting around. Going to a gym and meeting with an instructor in person used to be a way around this problem. This takes our human foibles and makes them work to our advantage. The sunk cost fallacy can work for us.

If you bought a stock and it’s a loser, you should sell! Too many people keep holding and go down with the ship.

However, knowing themselves, many people also go to the gym and sign up for a class. Not wanting to walk away from their investment, they actually do the classes.

The WSJ reports that many gyms are closing after Covid-19 forced the customers out. The article describes the machines people have brought into their homes to replace gyms. The Peloton is a signature of the year 2020. The new trend brings a live human trainer into the process of exercising alone at home.

The new machines can collect data on the user. This data is transmitted to instructors and maybe even friends. Now, from the comfort of your own home, you can “sign up for a class” again.

Had Covid struck in 1980, people might have bought fitness machines for their basements and they might even have bought a VHS to pop in and exercise with. But they would have been missing the link to a human who knows where they are supposed to be, which apparently provides more motivation.

The market has loved Peloton and smart money seems to think it will continue to do well, even with a vaccine already rolling out.

My first reaction to any change is “oh no, who moved my cheese?” So, in that sense, I want gyms to come back. However, the most important thing is how many people are getting exercise. Health and sedentary lifestyles are a huge problem in the United States.  If the closing of gyms going to mean less people work out, then that’s bad. If the surge of in-home exercise surveillance will result in more people working out, then it could end up being one of the good lasting effects of lockdown life.

Considering that options for a healthy lifestyle are so limited by Covid, we should be happy that so many people embraced Peloton (if they could afford it).

Personally, some free “classes” on Youtube have helped me get through the year. I haven’t bought any new equipment. I do own some workout equipment, and all of it was purchased second hand through sharing websites. Be on the lookout for when people need to get those Pelotons out of their houses. People sometimes sell heavy exercise equipment for 20% of the retail price, or less, to anyone who is willing to come pick it up.

One thought on “Going back to the gym?

  1. Scott Buchanan January 26, 2021 / 1:33 pm

    Ha, “Be on the lookout for when people need to get those Pelotons out of their houses”.
    America’s basements are already full of previous generations of stationary bikes gathering dust. We got a recumbant stationary bike some years back, was the new thing. Hardly used. Booooring.
    My exercise equipment now consists of a pair of running shoes..jog (almost) every day, hot or cold, unless it is pouring rain the whole day.


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