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One third of Canadians will not return to the gym post-pandemic: study

Do you plan to go back to the gym after getting vaccinated? While fitness centers struggle to survive, a recent global study says one-third of Canadians do not intend to return to the gym after the pandemic ends. Henna Saeed reports.

CALGARY (CityNews) — Do you plan to go back to the gym after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

As gyms and fitness centres struggle to survive, a recent global study reveals one third of Canadians do not plan to return to the gym even after getting the jab.

The research also found people are less likely to return to the gym the longer the pandemic persists.

“In Canada that’s about 32.8 per cent who have cancelled their membership at this point in the pandemic,” said fitness researcher Nicholas Rizzo. “And there is another 33 percent who say they have paused their gym membership.

“That’s more than half that we surveyed from Canada who specifically say we are not paying our gym right now, either gone or just not paying, which is a huge drop in revenue for gyms.”

Surveying more than 11,000 gym members across the world, the study reveals only 15 per cent of Canadians are currently using their gym — physically or online.

Those who run fitness centers say the numbers aren’t surprising and the drop in business is the reason many gyms are struggling to stay afloat.

“The majority of drop-offs have been people who paused their membership the entire time, and now have decided, ‘you know what I might just let it go and then see what happens from there,’” said Calgary gym owner Tricia Andres McDonald. “But the main reason is definitely COVID and just not feeling comfortable.

“We are anywhere between 40 to 60 per cent loss.”

While some gym owners are trying to tackle the lockdowns with virtual and outdoor classes, others say personal close-knit groups are the future of fitness trainings.

“As compared to your big box gyms with all the machinery and heavy bars, I have got a solid core of clientele that come in,” said certified personal trainer Laura Rye. “They have built basically a gym family and they know that each member is here to not only keep themselves safe but their counterpart safe.

“We are all in it together and we all want to be successful.”

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