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How has lockdown affected gyms in the UK?

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Gyms have been growing in popularity in recent years with an increasing number opening. No one could have imagined how terrible 2020 would be for them. As the ongoing pandemic continues to affect our lives, gyms in the UK have had a stop-start year with several closures forced on them.

Lockdown was the last thing that anyone wanted this year. We could see that the pandemic was getting out of hand, but such a drastic course of action has hit us all hard. The days of going to a local gym have been seriously disrupted.

Why aren’t gyms allowed to open during a lockdown? Surely keeping fit is an essential part of life. Or is still being able to buy kebabs and fried chicken more essential? Most gyms are large enough for social distancing to easily take place and most gym owners already do all they can to make their venues spotlessly clean.

The latter is important as touching gym equipment and then your face could see the virus being transmitted. As in many other areas of life, not everyone is following the rules. Some gym users are still not doing all they can to keep gym equipment clean.

Yes, you might come into contact who is infected with the virus but not showing symptoms. But the same can happen when going to the supermarket or on buses where some people aren’t wearing masks.

One reason given for the need for gyms to close has come from virologist Professor Jonathan Bell. He believes that vigorous exercise can cause people to “breathe rapidly and quite deeply.” This can lead to droplets being formed that can transmit the virus.

Scientific advisory group Sage have stated that closing gyms and leisure centres could cut the R number by 0.1. However, they stressed that this estimation was “very difficult.”

With scientific evidence like that, gyms have had no choice to abide by the strict government rules. It’s not good for those who wish to use the gyms, both physically and mentally. They can get some home equipment but would rather be in the gym, that’s what they are used to. People also see their routines changed and that can affect mental health.

As for the gyms themselves, there are financial problems to deal with. That steady stream of new members isn’t happening during the pandemic. The Anytime Fitness group are probably regretting that name at present. They don’t agree with the decision to again close gyms. The closures have led to them calling for “comprehensive financial support” to help keep them afloat. With more lockdowns possible, gyms continue to worry about their futures.

With the gyms being closed, more focus is now being turned towards home fitness. The amount of home gym equipment being purchased is on the rise. This has seen people seeking out the Best Home Treadmill as they strive to carry on exercising. With so many online sites offering such items, it seems there are still some in the fitness industry that are doing well.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024