Closed gyms, self-employment and social distancing are the key issues within the fitness industry under COVID-19 lockdown.

According to a report by David Lange, there are just under 200,000 individuals employed in the fitness and sports industry within the United Kingdom.

In recent years, the popularity of online workouts, Parkruns and cheaper gym memberships has seen a rise in the number of regular people incorporating fitness into their lifestyles.

As of March 21st, the Government imposed tight restrictions on sports venues to reduce the rate of Coronavirus infection. As a result, thousands of people have found that their careers and involvement in fitness have taken a huge blow.

Ben Bamforth. Personal trainer and managing director of The Unit Fitness, West Yorkshire.

Ben has adapted his 1-1 personal training to an online platform, in response to social distancing guidelines. Furthermore, as the managing director of the independent gym, Ben must also navigate the best possible solutions to financial implications of the nationwide lockdown – such as paying employees, retaining personal trainers and dealing with membership payments.

Charlotte Tuckwood. Holistic personal trainer, pilates and yoga instructor based in Nottingham City.

View this post on Instagram

💥CORES OF STEAL💥 . Notice how I didn't say abs here as a 6 pack is nowhere near relevant to the amount of core strength and stability you have😏💁 . Try these exercises to fire up the core as a mini workout on its own or a killer core finisher after your main workout! 30 secs on each exercise 30 secs rest. Repeat 2-4 times. Adjust working and rest times depending on your ability and fitness level. . ✨ Cross body mountain climbers ✨Single leg bicycle extensions ✨Ab roll ups ✨Teaser hold ✨Leg lowers ✨ Side plank twist ✨Deadbugs . Try at home and film and tag me so we can all share progress together!💪🤩 . #stayhome #stayactive #fitness #personaltrainer #core #pilates #motivation #homeworkout

A post shared by Charlotte Tuckwood (@flourish_pt) on

Charlotte has utilised Instagram as a way of continuing to deliver home workouts and stretch sessions with her clients and followers. However, Charlotte is self-employed and usually works between a commercial gym and private pilates studio – both of which are closed.

As Parliament discusses and drip feeds information regarding self-employment, many personal trainers like Charlotte are remaining positive during this uncertain time, but wary of the longterm implications of being out of business.

Charlotte took to Instagram to express her concerns, but also the gratitude of self-employment.

“I feel so blessed and grateful for every client, student, teacher and colleague (friend) I’ve made along the way in my career. Coming into my second year of being self employed and did not ever imagine for it to start like this. Where both of my places of work have been forced to close and we can no longer do what we love 😢”

@flourish_pt – Instagram

One of the ways to financially support personal trainers and self-employed specialists within this industry is to pre-book sessions, or utilise the online content they are providing.

Many professionals have turned to social media to promote their business and offer their expertise at a reduced price or completely free of charge.

David Franco. Nottingham Trent Athletics long-distance runner; currently self-isolating in a hotel. 


David is a long-distance runner, who has had to adapt his training due to self-isolating at a hotel. Whilst David’s keen adaption of workouts reflects a positive mentality towards fitness, many individuals are struggling to remain active.

Whilst the government has restricted the use of the majority of fitness venues, home workouts and individual outdoor exercise is still being promoted, with the recent guidelines allowing for one form of outdoor exercise per day. For many, this is either running or walking.

Data released by SweatCoin, an app which tracks users movement and rewards them in virtual currency revealed that Europe has become increasingly inactive as lockdown continues.

SweatCoin data

Lockdown restrictions vary throughout Europe. However, the UK inactivity suggests that activity rapidly decreased as of 20th March 2020, suggesting many people are not utilizing the ability to go for walks or runs.

This suggests individuals are either option for home workouts or neglecting exercise altogether. Experts have suggested that a good fitness routine and healthy lifestyle is important in protecting against the more severe side effects of COVID-19, as frequent exercise supports the immune system.

For many who do not want to take part in high-intensity exercise, or leave the house – many yoga instructors have used their social media platform to deliver free and accessible classes, which deliver the benefits of movement without the strenuosity of fitness regimes.