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Unpopular Opinion: It is okay that gyms are closing!

Let me start by saying, I absolutely DO NOT want the gyms to close from many reasons. However, in this blog I will hopefully be able to explain my thoughts and reasons to why I think it is okay that they are.

The reoccurring theme of my side is that we need a blanket rule. No misunderstandings, loopholes, or situations where you can do something, but not be in a house with someone outside of your household.

Gyms are a safe space with a minimal amount of virus outbreaks since reopening Gyms are safe! The levels of cleaning protocols and the number of safe PPE and social distancing measures has ensured this. People are aware of the risks and are doing their bit to wipe kit down before and after use. But you are also very safe going for a run, walk, cycle or workout on your own, or with people from your bubble. If you do not have someone in your household that is into training, you’re able to meet up outside with one person who is not in your household to do exactly this., minimising the amount of people you’re in contact with and therefore the chances of the virus spreading.

If we kept the gyms open as they have been with capacities specific to each venue, it is inevitable that people will start to meet up and congregate at gyms or leisure facilities to train, but then totally undermining the goals of reducing the households mixing indoors. Gyms are safe and clean, but they are not safer or cleaner than training on your own or with someone in your household.

Workouts are essential for physical and mental health

This is something I can really relate to. A vital part of people’s lives is to keep safe and well. Lockdown measures cause an unappreciable amount of individual stress, worry and anxiety in different circumstances. Now is not the time to let the improvements unravel, but to work on another side of mental health.

The best way to help each other is positive self-talk, gratitude and appreciation. Helping people by talking about your experiences and if you are struggling, like many of us will. You can talk to anyone, express your feelings however you can. It soon becomes easier to deal with when you know what it is, you are dealing with. The physical effects of exercise on someone’s mental health can be felt by putting on a coat and going for a walk. Such an under-appreciated tool when it comes to managing the negative times from day to day. We do also have to approach the side of gym related mental health from the other side, arguably many people will be suffering from a negative perspective when gyms are open and there is no virus around. Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, comparing ourselves to others to name just a few things were fighting ALL the time when we’re in the gym. Gyms have a dark side to mental health, just as much as a huge benefit to it as well. When it comes to physical health, nothing quite compares to a heavy squat or deadlift. Yet, we know of many other facets of physical health that many people miss out on and that can be improved in a local park, or even your home. Physical health comes in many different forms, not just those that require weights.

Your improvements and management of physical and mental health is not needed just at the gym. There will be other ways to work on and improve your physical/mental health safely from your own home, and with one person from one other household.

Gyms are businesses, many independently owned. These will struggle with another lockdown

This is tough. COVID-19 has been tough. If your gym is struggling and you can be able to support them by paying your membership throughout this lockdown. I urge you to do so. Many sectors have struggled, and the government funding has been around, maybe not equally spread.

Music venues, theatres, independent bars, pubs, self-employed services and plenty more have all been catastrophically affected in 2020. Many may never fully recover. Support your local businesses and if you are aware of a funding strategy or government scheme, they have not utilised yet, offer some help and guidance. Many gym owners are learning as they go, so learning and surviving these difficult times will be a struggle, and everyone working together will get us through this.

With all these points, the idea is to minimise the contact with people outside of your household, therefore, the confusion that would come with keeping the gyms open. If you could workout, but not see your grandparents, the frustration will unavoidably set in and then the rules will be broken the seriousness of the lockdown will not be appreciated.

We have a very clear set of rules and socialising, taking part in group hobbies and gyms are having to be sacrificed for a short period of time.

This will not be forever. We may have to do this a few more times before we are ready to feel safe from COVID, but the gyms will be open again, we will be able to work out again. For these few weeks, we can work together, at home or in the park together, keeping ourselves going and beating this tough time.

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