Coronavirus: Some gyms expected to close due to lower numbers

Gyms are all open under alert level 2 but it's been a slow start getting the numbers back.

Exercise New Zealand predicts some will have to close and say it's not just elite competitive sports that need extra Government funding help in a post-COVID-19 world.

A recent survey by Exercise NZ found around 70 percent of its members returned to the gym at level 2. CEO Richard Beddie is hoping the numbers will continue to rise despite the threat of some gyms expected to close.

"We're estimating there will be some closures as a result of this but we're trying to minimise this as much as possible. Because it's not just about the business here, it's about keeping Kiwis physically active."

Around 80 percent of members have returned to Bodycore Gym, but reopening was an expensive exercise, owner Muzz Coates says. An online supplement business is helping the gym get by after the seven-week closure.

"We struggled, we thought we might hit the wall on a couple of occasions," he says.

They're now crossing their fingers for the coming weeks.

"Back to normality nearly but still got a long road to go so see how we go."

For many Kiwis, the gym is a happy place and many were happy they were able to return.

"Gym is pretty much all I do in my spare time, it's a good way to destress at the end of the day," gym member Manahi Wawatai says.

But pumping iron post-lockdown brought with it more stress than usual.

"I was a bit anxious coming back to the gym with hygiene and stuff with the coronavirus going on," she says.

Gyms are hoping level 1 will give members the confidence to return and a lift in numbers.