According to Fitness Australia, 80% of gym-goers are keen to hit the gym once they re-open on 22 June. Those who weren’t keen, however, were all aged over 40. This isn’t surprising: we know that COVID-19 is a bigger risk for older people, particularly those with underlying health conditions.
The paradox is that appropriately prescribed exercise can improve chronic health conditions. What’s more, group exercise – like Strength for Life – also provides important social interaction. The research tells us that both social interaction and strength and balance training are integral to best health outcomes.
Staying safe at the gym
The fitness industry has been hugely impacted by the pandemic lockdown. Behind the scenes, gyms and other facilities have been hard at work preparing to re-start their Strength for Life programs. There will be new precautions, including:
- Staying home if unwell – If you’re not feeling well, for whatever reason, please stay home. All staff at your Strength for Life venue will be doing the same.
- Social distancing – You’ll need to comply with the four square metres per person rule and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people at all times – including before your session starts and when socialising afterwards. Your venue will have placed equipment further apart so you can keep your distance. This may mean that fewer people can work out together, so a new booking system might be in place.
- Excellent hand hygiene – You’ll see a lot more hand sanitizer around and you’ll be expected to wash your hands before and after your session. You might also be expected to pay online to avoid cash handling.
- More cleaning – There’ll be a focus on frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and people’s desks and personal work areas. You may have to bring your own towel and mat. But there’s no need to wear gloves, which don’t prevent transmission. You’ll see staff cleaning more. This may mean a wait for equipment, so your patience will be appreciated.
- Contact tracing – Before the start of your session, you’ll be expected to share your details – name, phone, and the session time and date. This is so that if there is an outbreak, you can be contacted immediately.
Your Strength for Life venue, like all responsible businesses, will be taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. The professionals who trained in Strength for Life did so because they have a passion for health and wellbeing. They care about you and your health and wellbeing. However, if you still feel uncomfortable about training in a space with others, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can show you how you can continue your program online.
If you have any further questions about how your Strength for Life session will change, please get in touch with your Strength for Life provider or instructor.