The fitness industry has put out a call to arms for fitness businesses, suppliers and individuals to show solidarity – to remind the population that #ExerciseIsMedicine and to reassure the population that #GymsAreSafe to return to.
Everyone knows the far-reaching benefits of exercise include improvements in physical fitness, emotional wellbeing, positive mental health and the prevention of disease. Given that exercise is also a powerful tool in the development of resilience, it’s a widely accepted notion that exercise truly is medicine.
For this reason, the fitness industry is urging the population to return to their gym/health club/fitness facility, personal trainer or outdoor training program as soon as they recommence operating.
While many people have spent lockdown baking sourdough and producing Tik Tok videos, fitness industry operators have been working their tailfeathers off to ensure their business can safely reopen in accordance with the restrictions that will be in place at the time.
What makes gyms safe, is that most fitness businesses are already set up for contact tracing (swipe cards can monitor who entered the club, when and how long they stayed); and they can easily identify those at high risk (due to member details such as birthdate). In addition, the industry is being fully supported, guided and well prepared for reopening, thanks to Fitness Australia. Fitness Australia are helping to ensure that operators fully understand how to implement procedures and processes that will adhere to Government mandates in terms of physical distancing, capacity limits and cleaning/sanitisation schedules.
It’s important to understand that for your safety and the safety of staff, your gym will not be the same as when you left it. You should expect many things to be different, when you return. For example:
- Physical distancing measures are likely to be in place. This may involve place-markers on the floor to indicate where you should stand when waiting at the entrance, in reception, in group fitness classes and on the gym floor.
- Equipment, such as treadmills or stationary bikes, may be deemed out of use, to ensure people are not running/riding right next to each other.
- Sanitisation stations will be located at the entrance and all throughout the facility, and you’ll be expected to use them.
- Some facilities may offer gloves and masks.
- Some may have temperature checks on the way in.
- Online booking systems may be introduced, for group fitness classes, but also for gym visits and even arrival times.
- Group fitness timetables may include fewer classes that use equipment, shorter class durations and greater time between classes (to allow for adequate equipment cleaning and sanitisation processes).
- There may be time limits applied with regards to a maximum time that you can stay in the club per visit.
- And you’ll probably need to sign a new member agreement to confirm your consent of all these new ways of operating.
The bottom line is, exercise is essential for achieving optimal physical health, wellbeing and mental strength. The great news is, the people responsible for your favourite fitness facility want to reopen as soon as possible, and stay open for as long as possible. So you can feel 100 per cent confident that they’ll be taking every necessary safety measure, to make that happen.
Exercise is medicine and gyms are safe. We can’t wait to welcome you back.