Even with Stage 4 Restrictions now in effect across Melbourne, Fitness Australia is calling for the community to keep active and ensure they are continuing to exercise for their overall health and mental wellbeing as isolation takes hold.

With community safety as the number one priority, Fitness Australia continues to follow the guidelines set out by the Victorian Government but said continued exercise, including the approved one hour of outdoor exercise, was still vital for mental health and overall wellbeing during isolation.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said it was still safe to exercise at home, within your property and outdoors within a local area provided social distancing measures were in place.

Mr Elvish said:

“Exercise is still safe. You are permitted to maintain regular exercise within your own home. If you are exercising outdoors you can do so with one other person provided your stay within 5km of your home and only go out for one hour once a day. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times and masks must be worn unless you are undertaking an activity where you are out of breath or puffing such as jogging or running.”

“The vital role fitness and regular moderate activity has on our mental health and overall wellbeing cannot be underestimated, which is why continuing to be active during these worrying times can help with isolation, stress, anxiety and help support a person’s immune system.”

Our message is simple – it has never been more important to stay active to help keep our mental health in check.

Mr Elvish said Fitness Australia’s Keep on Moving campaign is a great place for Victorians to access a range of exercise and training options to keep active at home.

Mr Elvish said:

“Fitness Australia’s Keep on Moving campaign provides direct access to free and paid virtual workouts from Fitness Australia’s partners and members, as well as all the latest tips and information on keeping active.”

“With gyms and fitness facilities closed and recreational sports banned, the Keep on Moving website is a great place for Victorians to access professional fitness guidance and training to ensure they can safely workout to remain active in the comfort of their own home.”

The role exercise plays in maintaining good mental health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated and governments need to keep a focus on promoting safe, frequent exercise according to Mr Elvish.

“Exercise helps us manage our mental health and anxiety during difficult times. We know calls to Beyond Blue’s support services have risen substantially during COVID-19. There have also been more than 600,000 visits to their online Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service and more than 900,000 engagements on their online forums.”

“Lifeline is receiving a call every 30 seconds and saw a 22% increase in calls originating from Victoria when the Stage 3 restrictions were announced.”

For more information on Fitness Australia’s Keep on Moving Campaign visit keeponmoving.fitness.org.au