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When COVID struck, the commitment to fitness continued

Coast Fitness is looking forward to more in-person sessions, including outdoor locations as the weather warms up
Coast Fitness studio owners Melissa Sloos and Nichole Strickland.

Fitness for all is the mantra of the staff at Coast Fitness.

It’s something that even the continuing COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t keep down as studio owners Melissa Sloos and Nichole Strickland, along with their staff, kept the community moving through lockdowns and public health restrictions.

“We had to make changes with the restrictions, and we did so by cutting down on our spin and hot yoga classes,” says Strickland. “But we have pivoted with every change, maintained a strong community within the studio, and received great support from our clients, who without, we could never have done this.”

“Before COVID we had twenty-plus people in a class,” Sloos adds. “People would be there as much for the workout as the social aspect. Now, there’s a different vibe in the studio as things are more regimented.”

“But we are looking forward to bringing that original community feel back.”

When restrictions first kicked in last spring, they offered virtual classes on Facebook Live for six weeks at no charge to fill in the workout and yoga gap. They also rented out most of their spin bikes and equipment and held small, socially-distanced classes outdoors in various local Powell River parks.

“Through it all, we’ve managed well,” Strickland says.

And as restrictions further eased and small groups were again allowed to gather for workout sessions, they continued to offer virtual classes via inexpensive subscriptions for those not ready or comfortable to return to the studio.

Now, with the promise of vaccines allowing a slow return to normal sometime in the future, the studio is looking forward to more in-person sessions, including more outdoor locations as the weather warms.

“Fresh air and lots of spacing. The warmer weather offers so much more,” Sloos says, adding that the opportunity to reconvene as a workout community will help rebuild the social aspect of fitness classes.

“By its nature, group fitness is very community-orientated,” Sloos says. “And it reflects out from our studio to be part of the broader community. After all, our goal is to help people be healthy, happy, strong, and resilient.”

Part of that return will include continued support of the community.

“Social media has been an excellent way to engage with the community, but we are really looking forward to hosting more in person fundraisers and events for the community the way we used to,” Sloos says.

For more information about how you can start or get back to your fitness routine, visit, and find them on Instagram (@find.your.lift), and Facebook (@coastfitnesspowellriver).