Fitness craze sends sales of exercise gear soaringWith a greater number of city dwellers taking to working out in a bid to stay fit, demand for fitness and gym equipment has shot up in the Kathmandu valley.
With a greater number of city dwellers taking to working out in a bid to stay fit, demand for fitness and gym equipment has shot up in the Kathmandu valley.
Traders said that a proliferation of apartment buildings in the valley had also swelled sales of fitness equipment. They added that demand for both commercial (gym clubs and institutions) and home fitness equipment had risen significantly in recent years.
“We have witnessed a 30 percent annual growth in sales of fitness and gym equipment,” said Uttam Silwal, owner of Fitness Choice at Kalikasthan. “The increase in sales is due to people’s growing concern about their health.”
He added that the increasing number of apartment buildings in the valley had also pushed up sales. “Nowadays, fitness equipment have became a necessary feature in every apartment.” Apartments are also setting up gym centres to attract customers. According to Silwal, the market for fitness equipment stands at around Rs 500 million annually in Nepal.
Benu Adhikari, proprietor of Spectrum Merchandise located at Tripureshwor, said the recommendation of health experts and doctors to go for fitness centres was one of the major reasons behind the growth in sales. “With changing lifestyles and more people beginning to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, the valley’s doctors have been advising their patients to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes daily doing exercise,” he said.
According to him, treadmills, cross trainers and cycling machines are the most sought-after items in the home-use segment. Prices of treadmills range from Rs 20,000 to Rs 150,000. Cycling machines cost Rs 15,000 to Rs 40,000, while prices of cross trainers start at Rs 15,000.
“People can set up a mini-gym in their homes with a treadmill and other equipment, and it will cost them around Rs 150,000,” said Adhikari.
Silwal added that people wanting to develop stronger muscles could add a wide range of commercial strength equipment as per their needs and space available at home. Commercial gym equipment include treadmills, multi gyms, benches and pull-down machines, commercial bikes, barbells and dumbbells, among others. According to traders, fitness equipment are imported mainly from China, Korea, Taiwan and the UK.
Ajay Shrestha, managing director of Paramount Fitness at Teku, said gym clubs and fitness centres were spreading unexpectedly in the valley due to rising demand. “There are more than 240 commercial gym clubs and fitness centres in the valley, and their number is growing at a fast pace,” he added.