Online fitness video distribution and related goods are gaining momentum in the market to relieve peopleâ€™s stress and lack of exercise amid the request â€œstay at homeâ€ to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The military-style exercise DVD â€œBillyâ€™s Bootcamp,â€ which was a hit in Japan in the mid-2000s, has recently been revived.
Online fitness video company Lean Body, based in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, began distributing the latest edition of the video on April 11, and 7,000 people â€œenrolled in the campâ€ in only two days, and the number of views for the fitness program has surpassed 20,000 in less than two weeks. The number of subscribers to the companyâ€™s video service in April was 16 times higher than in February.
At the time of the previous boom, a total of 1.5 million DVD sets were sold, but some people couldnâ€™t keep up with the rigorous training. The latest edition, however, shortened each lesson to 30 minutes.
â€œWe have stressed the handiness of doing things such as using plastic bottles as tools for fitness,â€ a company official said.
BeatFit Inc. provides fitness apps with voice guidance for Â¥743 or more per month. The company based in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, is now offering a 30-day free trial campaign. Popular courses include Dancing Walk, or walking to lively music, and meditation that relieves fatigue. The number of new members in April doubled from March and the total number of the membership reached 250,000 in April.
â€œHealth support for employees who work from home must attract more and more attention,â€ a company official said.
Major sports gyms have refrained from operating their businesses but are aggressively promoting the distribution of videos of trainers and instructors.
â€œWe hope to strengthen ties with our members,â€ said an official of Goldâ€™s Gym, Tokyo’s Koto Ward.
Sporting goods manufacturer Asics Corp. is distributing videos of training sessions conducted at a hypoxic facility opened in November last year in Tokyo. The company is looking at promoting the facility after the coronavirus has been contained.
â€œWe want to keep people interested in health and sports and foster a sense of familiarity with our brand,â€ an official of Asics said.
The market for exercise equipment, health foods, and other related products is also doing well as home training is widespread among the public.
The Rakuten Ichiba, an internet shopping site operated by Rakuten Inc., saw an increase in sales for products that allow people to exercise in tight spaces, such as jumping rope and dumbbells. The sales were more than doubled in March from the previous year and are expected to increase even more in April.
A person in charge of the products was surprised that these are different from the best-selling products of the past.
Mizuno Corp., a major sporting goods manufacturer based in Osaka, has developed health equipment that can be placed in a living room, such as a chair for squatting and cushions for training abdominal muscles, which are gaining popularity.
Even manufacturers that used to sell mainly over-the-counter products are now selling online. Yonex Co.â€™s training mats and Goldwin Inc.â€™s so-called Calf Sleeves, which reduces swelling of the legs, are on their official online store.