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Life after COVID-19: At-home fitness and home improvement may be permanent

Consumer interest spiked in these two categories and entrepreneurs saw the demand as opportunities.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Our lives have been drastically changing over the last year since COVID-19 hit. The pandemic upended our norms and tested our personal and professional worlds. 

Now that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, conversations about what life will look like post-pandemic are starting. Will we go back to "normal?" What trends and changes that started in response to COVID-19 will survive afterward?

An op-ed for CNBC showed fitness and health saw a 2-million-percent growth rate in consumer interest during the pandemic, which is why this area could not shift back to the way it was before.

While these unexpected shifts were taking place, the next generation of entrepreneurs saw opportunities to meet the new demands. 

Countless fitness apps were downloaded during the pandemic. At-home fitness was the only way to connect and stay in shape when working out at a traditional gym was closed.

RELATED: Even with New Year's resolutions underway, YMCA of Greater Charlotte says pandemic cut memberships by 50%

Bodies By Sav is one of those emerging at-home fitness solutions birthed at the beginning of the pandemic here in the United States. Savannah Butler is the brains and energy behind the movement.

“Once COVID hit, just like everyone, we were forced with so much downtime, and it really just made me go headfirst into creating Bodies By Sav,” Butler said.

The idea started small and took a lot of consistent work to see the growth it has! It all began with a daily Instagram live workout and then workouts in the park.

During the week, "a solid 10 people" would join, according to Butler. 

But week after week, Bodies By Sav experienced exponential growth in the pandemic-era.

RELATED: Need to workout but worried about gyms? Here are some options

Now, Bodies By Sav is offering monthly programs that include at-home, live workouts where you still feel the connection of a workout class but the convenience of it being in your home.

“As a whole, studio fitness has been changed,” Butler said. “It’s changed for the future. People are going to approach it differently, which isn’t a bad thing. I think it’s so important for people to realize that working out from home is still so effective. I genuinely get so excited seeing and feeling their energy, and that is still so effective through a computer. I think that’s really reassured people that they don’t need to drive hours in traffic, rush from point A to point B. If they are home, they can still feel good in their own body, workout really hard and keep that motivation that you get walking into a studio. Everything you thought you couldn’t have at your home, you now have access to it.”

RELATED: How to adjust your home workout and fitness routine in 2021

This isn’t to say going to a gym is out, but it is to say, new methods to get fitness done are in, and they are likely here to stay!

Another category spiking in the pandemic era is home improvement. From gardening to revamping spaces we’ve been staring at for months, CNBC tracked a 140% increase in consumer interest.

Credit: BillionPhotos.com - stock.adobe.com
Last pad of tissue paper on background

Remember when toilet paper was hard to find? That also contributed to the home improvement spike. Since it wasn’t safe to let outsiders in due to COVID-19, online searches for how to snake a toilet rose, and businesses like Home Depot reaped the benefits.

So it’s been nearly a year since our habits were forced to change and those changes became our new routine. We figured out our new way forward one quarantine day at a time. Now we're witness to the ideas and inventions that may be here for the long haul in a post-pandemic world.