When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, one of the industries that suffered a major setback is the fitness industry. In an industry report, over 80 percent lost their jobs and primary source of income. At least 70 percent didn’t have a single new client since gyms and fitness centres closed in March 2020.
But 2021 feels different from 2020, when the pandemic was in a full-on rage. Vaccines are now available, the government is more aware of how to handle setbacks, and most people are knowledgeable and follow safety health protocols.
In fact, this year opens brand-new opportunities for those in the fitness sector. For one, they can become a travelling trainer. Here are the best reasons it’s a smart choice:
1. Australia and New Zealand Are Opening a Travel Bubble
Two of the countries with excellent COVID-19 pandemic response, based on the analyses of experts, are distant neighbours New Zealand and Australia. So it isn’t surprising that both have also agreed to be more lenient with border controls and create a travel bubble.
As announced by New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, these countries will allow their residents to travel back and forth without having to quarantine themselves.
It won’t be the same as pre-COVID days. A person who tested positive for the virus over the last two weeks or has flu-like symptoms cannot board the plane. The bubble can also get suspended if one of the passengers turned out to be positive upon arrival or there’s an outbreak.
However, the travel bubble means that you won’t have to wait for two weeks or even more before you can explore either or both countries.
That’s not all. Australia is also in talks with Singapore for another travel bubble, which may start sometime in October. Places like Thailand, Vietnam, and even Fiji are also on the cards.
Working as a fitness trainer in these places may mean going through more requirements as laws can vary between countries. The good news is options are beginning to become aplenty. If you want a change of scenery–and country–then news about travel bubbles with Australia is always welcome.
2. Cruise Ships Are Sailing
Here’s another reason to get your fitness registration and other credentials ready: cruise ships have already resumed sailing. According to a 2021 outlook report by the Cruise Lines International Association, the industry is starting to pick up the pieces.
In 2020, for example, cruise ships had already resumed sailing in some parts of Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific in June 2020—about three months after a global shutdown and reparation of crews.
By July to December, at least 200 sailings had been recorded. This year, the association anticipates that more sailings will occur in Mexico, the Caribbean, United States, and Canada.
Further, in a survey conducted, over 70 percent of the cruisers believed that they would cruise again in the next few years. Nearly 60 percent of those who haven’t tried the activity will likely board a ship for a trip. About the same percentage of travellers plan to cruise within a year.
Fitness trainers now can work as either a seasonal hire, which boards these ships at certain times, or a full-time employee. They can also work not only in gyms but also in spas and pools, which are common facilities in cruise ships these days.
3. Mental Health Is a Priority
Many Australians have been cooped up at home for weeks or even months. If that isn’t enough, they deal with it while having no jobs. For fitness trainers, fewer than 10 percent of them were able to transition to virtual classes.
A recent study on people’s mental well-being, especially during the height of the pandemic, showed that most reported feeling higher levels of anxiety and depression. They also scored poorly in psychological well-being as defined by the World Health Organization. Financial distress, not job loss per se, contributed significantly to these negative scores.
But 2021 may be a period of healing for countless trainers in Australia. Besides the reopening of gyms and other fitness facilities, they now have the option to take a breather in other places through travel bubbles or onboard cruise ships.
Many studies already showed how travelling boosts mental health. In 2014, Cornell University shared that even thinking about the trip can increase your feeling of happiness. Travelling also offers a better perspective and sense of meaning besides the chance to see the world.
Being a fitness trainer in 2020 could have been extremely difficult for you, and the road towards better days may not be smooth sailing this 2021. But the biggest difference a year makes is more opportunities are open today. All you need to do is to grab them.