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Gyms get creative with online offerings during COVID-19

Local gym owners are developing different ways to help subscribers stay committed to their fitness goals in the New Year.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new year means New Year's Resolutions, and getting in shape is usually a big one. 

This time of year normally means an influx of new members crowding machines in fitness centers, but 2021 looks vastly different. The changing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic continue to have an impact. 

"January historically for the fitness industry is the biggest month right? You just see a huge increase of people coming in and wanting help," Ashley Draper told 2 On Your Side's Karys Belger

Draper owns Jada Blitz Fitness in Williamsville, N.Y.  She admits there were challenges and she's had to adjust.

"We definitely had our fair share of cancellations right. There's, I think, more of an older demographic that either has a loved one who is immunocompromised or they're taking care of an elderly parent and those people are freezing their memberships," Draper told 2 On Your Side. 

When it came to figuring out how to make sure the people who kept their subscriptions got the services they wanted, technology provided a boost. 

"We have launched virtual and online options for our members," Draper added.

Draper says she's ready to build on that growth in the New Year. She says many people are still seeking out her services in general, even if they're not coming into the gym in person. For those who do come to the gym, there are strict guidelines to follow.

"You have to fill out a survey when you come in and answer COVID questions, you have to get your temperature checked. You have to wear a mask," she added.

Following those guidelines and continuing to adapt are just two measures Draper says will help her continue helping her clients to keep their resolutions throughout the New Year. 

Draper also mentioned, she's hoping to see the cases and zone designations change so people can get more in-person interaction which she says makes it easier for people to commit to a wellness goal. 

She also mentioned that she feels responsible for educating people about the precautions she's taking and changing regulations so clients can make informed decisions.