Fitness equipment sales jump on Vancouver Island as gyms remain closed

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WatchGyms have closed and so there's been a marked increase in demand for personal training equipment.

If you are working out since the province ordered social distancing measures, you may be finding it more difficult.

Gyms have closed and so more people have been trying to buy their own training equipment which has spiked sales but online fitness classes have not seen the same jump in demand.

For nearly two decades, Veronique Rioux has been instructing fitness classes on central Vancouver Island, mainly in person but online as well.

Despite gym closures and the need to social distance, she’s been among those urging people to continue to workout.

“It feels good for our mental state, physical state our whole well being to exercise. It increases our heart rate. We get more oxygen so it’s definitely beneficial on so many different levels,” said Rioux, who runs Choose2Be fitness classes.

But while you can find some workout routines online, finding fitness equipment may be trickier as demand has skyrocketed.

“I’ve never seen it quite like this,” said Gauri Harrison, owner of Flaman Fitness in Qualicum Beach.

“Of course, everyone wants to continue to remain healthy but just work out indoors so we’ve seen a lot of demand. We’ve seen a lot of enquiries. The phone’s ringing off the hook.”

Numerous retailers who sell fitness training equipment have seen the surge.

At Flaman Fitness, they’ve seen demand jump for dumbells to balance boards to home gyms but the sudden purchasing jump has retailers waiting to get more equipment.

“Unfortunately, we have a little bit of a supply challenge right now so we are only able to sell what we have on our floors until we can meet the demand as far as our suppliers are concerned,” said Harrison.

Rioux says she’s hoping to see an increase in demand for online classes too.

“It can help people create community, familiarity, you keep up your fitness level and learn something new plus support local businesses,” said Rioux.

But Rioux says everybody is struggling financially because so many people are opting for workout resources they can find online, for free.

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