gimnasio en casa
The students contacted gyms to discuss renting equipment so that they could continue to operate during the pandemic. (Photo: iStock)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity for greater mental and emotional wellbeing. However, exercising during the pandemic has not been easy. During the first stage, the lockdown measures prohibited gyms and outdoor exercise.

Many looked for alternatives on the internet, such as on YouTube, where Mexican users are among those who most relied on exercise programs, along with South Korea, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

That’s why five students from the Mexico City campus of Tec de Monterrey created Gym House, a platform for renting fitness equipment on demand to your door.

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Opportunity from gym closures

The idea came about as an alternative that aims to solve two problems: firstly, not having the necessary equipment, which limits everyone’s ability to achieve their goals; and secondly, the financial situation of gyms. In Mexico City alone, it is estimated that some 12,000 of these spaces have faced closures due to the pandemic.

“A business like Gym House is very necessary to obtain all the benefits of exercising without having to expose yourself to the virus. Exercising helps us boost our defenses and health, which reduces the risk of catching coronavirus. It also raises serotonin levels, which alleviates depression or anxiety,” said Carlos Álvarez in an interview with Tec Review.

Álvarez, together with Maximiliano López, Diana Lomelí, David Gómez, and Hugo Cervantes, wants to encourage the population to stay healthy during the pandemic because 42% of the Mexican population aged 18 years and over is physically active, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Diana Lomelí acknowledges that the most complicated task while setting up the business was forging partnerships with gyms.

“We approached the gyms to connect with them and it is the most exhaustive task we have done because they were very unsure about renting their equipment. However, we act as any other intermediary, such as Uber or AirB&B, where we handle legal regulations and we have terms under which clients must pay if something goes wrong and that means that the risk for the gyms is zero,” Lomelí said.

Read more: Times of Covid-19 provide great opportunity for fintech startups

How and where does it work?

Currently, Gym House can send equipment to the Benito Juárez and Miguel Hidalgo municipalities, the cost of which is included in the first month of renting the equipment. The business already has 27 spinning bikes and an unlimited number of dumbbells due to the partnerships they have made with suppliers.

“We’ve spoken to clients who say that they won’t go to a gym until there’s a vaccine. This opens up an opportunity for us because the law will only allow gyms to open at 30% capacity. That means the other 70% gives us the chance to grow and publicize our value proposition for this market,” said Maximiliano López.

To get access to the equipment, you need to enter the Gym House page and fill out the form. Prospective customers are then contacted and told about availability.

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