by Rob Toledo Rob Toledo

While many people have adapted to group sports during the pandemic through social distancing and mask wearing, others who have felt less comfortable doing so have found a new way to compete through the digitalization of sports.

We wanted to get a sense for how this trend came about, and if it will affect people’s workout habits in the future.

The short answer to the question above is that most people are somewhere between somewhat and very excited to get back to a pre-pandemic workout routine, but that many have found their replacement workouts, especially with online community involvement, have been passable at least.

“Many people, with things like Peloton classes, or other online workouts with baked-in community, have been pretty enjoyable,” the team over at HomeCyclists told us in an email questionnaire.

“I definitely miss being in a room with other fitness-minded people, but it hasn’t been as hard to keep my fitness as a focus point over the last year. I feel gratefulness being able to say that,” one person we spoke with who says they do a lot of zoom workouts with a local trainer.

“I’m ready to be back in a gym with my friends,” another said, as a counter to the above. “It helps me when I have a specific location to go to in order to workout.”

One community that has been particularly antsy to get back has been in-person competitive team sports like soccer, football, and basketball. While it’s still recommended that people maintain a distance that can make these sports difficult, the CDC does have guidance for those hoping to still participate.

With the vaccine rollout in full swing in the United States, many people do expect in-person sports to resume soon. One interesting strategy has been the concept of a vaccine passport of sorts for participation.

Most pro sports also seem to be functioning, maybe not thriving, but they have managed to escape major disasters like missing entire seasons. With the upcoming seasons suggesting that more in-person viewership will be allowed, it seems safe to assume that recreational sports will increase as well given safety protocols.

Internationally, things might look different in the near future, with many countries still struggling with their vaccine rollouts and supply. The US, UK, and a handful of other countries seem to have a consistent trend in their rollout numbers, but this could affect international competition in the short term. It seems unlikely that competition like The Olympics or The World Cup will thrive so soon, but at this time they appear ready to move forward, maybe with strict protocols in place.