Throughout the duration of the Covid-19 lockdown thus far, the public has been forced to seek out new ways to keep the mind busy. With the lockdown seeing workplaces, businesses, bars, pubs, leisure facilities and social spaces closed, daily exercise began to take precedence as a means of staying occupied. Some took to jogging through the streets and local parks, some took to their bicycles, while others got creative at home and set up their own home workout spaces.
Gyms, indoor pools, and sports facilities in England have finally been given the green light by the government to reopen this week, and they do so at a time when many have increased their daily exercise intake, suggesting that the leisure industry could be in line for a boost.
Indeed, the benefits of keeping fit and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic cannot be understated. Individuals who have a BMI of 30 or above have been shown by research to be more susceptible to the virus and for those categorised as obese, infection places a significant amount of pressure on their immune and respiratory systems.
Currently in the UK, one in four adults are categorised as obese and those with diabetes are considered ‘vulnerable’ to Covid-19.
The health and fitness industry has continued in vogue during the lockdown, with numerous personal trainers engaging in video calling and streaming programmes to deliver workout routines and support those who have used this period to bring a positive change to their health and mental wellbeing.
A strong immune system, good metabolic health and a healthy lifestyle are all important in fighting infection, and personal trainers have been there at a distance to help the public get fit and as gyms begin to reopen, they will be able to exert their influence in an even greater manner.
One industry leader who is a firm believer in the impact fitness professionals have had and will continue to have in fighting the pandemic is Adam Kiani the CEO of fitness education company PT Academy.
Speaking to Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland interviewer, Scott Challinor, in the early weeks of the UK lockdown in April, Kiani said: “I authorised my staff to work from home even before lockdown, firstly to minimise risk but secondly because it was something we had been planning to do for some time before: expanding our offering in new ways.
“We had spent a couple of years before 2020 looking at scaling internationally and expanding our offering online and through other avenues. One such way was by increasing our qualification portfolio. During the lockdown, we have been given approval to offer 65 new qualifications, meaning we can progress with making our offering more comprehensive. We can offer more than before which will help tap us tap into a new market.
“During the lockdown, I’ve encouraged my staff to take advantage of their right to exercise and train and help others during this lockdown period. As fitness professionals, we play a vital role in helping the nation fight back against this terrible virus.”