Gym owners raise concerns about mental health amid coronavirus crackdown

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According to SBS, gym owners have lobbied for the Australian government to reverse the forced closure of gyms.

A number of gym owners and Fitness Australia have argued that gyms are an essential service, thus should remain open.

Sydney gym owner, Billy Kokkinis  has slammed the decision, calling it a “disaster” for mental health. He has also criticised the mixed messaging from Prime Minister, Scott Morrison for allowing exercise bootcamps, in which  ten people can participate, yet gyms are forced to close.

 

I wasn’t going to write about the coronavirus because the media has done it to death. However, when I read this story, it spurred me to write something. I go to a local gym and have been regularly for about two years. It closed about a fortnight ago due to Covid19. The Zumba class I attend was also cancelled.

I can understand the argument for keeping gyms open. Exercise makes you healthy all over.

However, can gyms guarantee compliance of the 1.5 m (4 ft, 11.055 in) regulation? I’m guessing a number of exercise machines and weights may have to be removed.

 

Protection of the vulnerable

How would those with pre – existing conditions be protected in gyms? Asthmatics, for example?

Before the announcements of forced closure of gyms, New South Wales/ Australian Capital Territory gym franchise, Club Lime, put out a video on Facebook outlining cleaning routines expected from clients and staff to combat the virus.

Cleaning gym equipment after use is routine in the gym I go to. It’s expected that you wipe down any equipment you use with disinfectant wipes. Can these rules be stricter? How can they be further enforced?

Are frontline admin staff and trainers supposed to detect people who potentially have the virus? What if they don’t have any symptoms?

You can see why keeping gyms open could potentailly be problematic for gym owners, instructors and clients. I don’t think all gyms can ensure with 100% certainty that their gym would be safe. And for those with pre – existing conditions, this could spell disaster.

Exercises that can be done at home

Gyms are convenient way to exercise. Personally, I find that when I’m at the gym, I push myself harder than I normally would.

However, there are exercises you can do at home. You can use various household items as weights. I’ve rearranged furniture in my lounge room, so I could do a bit of dancing.

Walking and jogging on the spot is really good. I do it for five minutes, with each jogging and walking session lasting 20 seconds each. Of course, it’s imperative that we do more than that a day (an hour most days), but that’s a  start.

Here is more exercise ideas you can do. (For more ideas, just google ‘exercises when you can’t get to the gym and you’ll get exercise ideas that best suit you).

If you really want to keep up with your classes, find out if virtual classes of your exercise are available.

 

 

 

The closing down of gyms is unfortunate. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. There is just too much risk of infection for gyms to remain open right now. And, you can work out at home. You just need motivation.

What have you done to keep active during isolation? Let me know in the comments below.

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