At-home fitness industry is booming during Covid

Personal trainer and nutrition coach Anjuli Mack says people have stuck with home workouts, instead of hitting the gym post-lockdown.

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Personal trainer and nutrition coach Anjuli Mack says people have stuck with home workouts, instead of hitting the gym post-lockdown.

People choosing to exercise at home during the pandemic have created a boom for the fitness industry.

Personal trainer and nutrition consultant Anjuli Mack said her number of online clients increased at the height of the pandemic.

The number of customers in 80 countries tripled during the lockdown.

Two years into the pandemic, more than half of his clients were still exercising from home, he said.

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Step away from your desk: Personal trainer Mish McCormack does a 10-minute home workout for those of us who have been stuck working from home during lockdown.

Gyms reopened at alert level 2, but with restrictions on numbers and can operate in all traffic light configurations.

“Some don’t feel safe going to the gym due to covid. Some are not vaccinated, so they can’t work out at the gym,” he said.

An estimated 400,000 people have gym memberships at any one time, about 9 percent of the population.

Exercise New Zealand chief executive Richard Beddie said the national fitness industry is worth $450 million.

It said gym memberships were back to 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels within three months of the close of 2020, and through 2021 new memberships were comparable to 2019.

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People were still exercising more at home, but as a supplement to membership, Beddie said.

As a result, many gyms have offered their own digital and virtual services, with trainers offering virtual sessions and online training to meet demand, he said.

It was a big emerging market “but at the same time it’s clear that people like human interaction, so the future will be a mix of face-to-face, virtual and digital,” he said.

The American College of Sports Medicine ( surveyed 4,500 international fitness experts on trends in the industry.

Home gyms ranked second among the top trends for 2022, behind wearable tech like Fitbits and smartwatches, according to the survey.

More people choosing to exercise from home during the pandemic have created a boom in exercise equipment sales.  (file photo)

warwick smith/stuff

More people choosing to exercise from home during the pandemic have created a boom in exercise equipment sales. (file photo)

Mack said his clients found they preferred home workouts to the gym because they saved travel time, were just as effective, could be done anytime at home, and there was no waiting for equipment.

Mack worked out from home in a one-bedroom apartment in Auckland during the pandemic. “You don’t need much for a great workout.”

Retailer Torpedo7’s chief merchandise officer, Dean Kippenberger, said demand for fitness equipment had skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

“The home exercise trend is accelerating and more people are participating in online fitness classes,” he said.

“Treadmills, weights and dumbbells have been particularly popular.”

The shift to home exercise has prompted Countdown supermarkets to add fitness products to more than 100 of its 180 stores.

Countdown has added a range of Cicruband products to its shelves, including resistance bands, yoga mats, abdominal rollers, speed ropes and dumbbells.

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Circuband was founded in 2014 by brothers Nick and Dan Thomson, to make it easy for people to exercise whenever and wherever.

Former Hurricanes and Crusaders rugby player Tim Bateman joined the company as director shortly after.

The Countdown deal would make exercise more accessible, Dan Thomson said.

Fitness brand Circuband is making exercise products more accessible by launching a range in Countdown supermarkets.

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Fitness brand Circuband is making exercise products more accessible by launching a range in Countdown supermarkets.

“It is a great benefit for everyone. If we have more accessibility to fitness products, that’s a good thing.”

A Countdown spokeswoman said it was the first supermarket in New Zealand to have a dedicated area for fitness products in its stores.

“Due to customer demand, we are also looking at how we can expand our current online offering,” he said.

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