PT’s call on Boris Johnson to U-turn gym closures

A GROUP of personal trainers from south west London are calling on Boris Johnson to reverse his decision on gym closures during the pandemic.  

On January 4, it was confirmed that the country must go into tougher restrictions as coronavirus cases once again rise.

The announcement has seen exercise limited once again- with people permitted to one outdoor excursion within local proximity.  

The personal trainers say that the Office for National Statistics estimates gyms to have a transmission rate of as low as 1.1%-3.3%. 

Below they tell us why gyms should be reclassified as essential:

Jack Nyman, 31, Cheam

New business owner Jack says he has been in a constant fight to keep his head “above water” after receiving “zero financial support” during the pandemic. He opened a 1:1 personal training studio called ‘V2.Training’ after the first lockdown had lifted. 

Surrey Comet:  @v2.Training

“During the first lockdown the gym I worked out of was shut, as they all were, which meant I had to take to training clients outdoors. This was an extremely stressful time carrying equipment back and forth daily, but despite this, I worked hard to help keep my client’s spirits and health up as best I could. 

“Before I managed to start working again, I went through a dark period of depression and hid away from the world until one day, I decided to do some exercise and lifting a barbell quite literally saved my life so I started contacting clients again. 

Surrey Comet:

He added: “As I understand, right now obesity alone costs the NHS £4.2bn a year, Diabetes around £10bn a year and these are things the health and fitness industry can help with and directly relieve the stress on the NHS by helping us be a healthier fitter nation.

“It’s downright patronising to be told by Boris and his politicians to grab a few tins of beans and do some squats in the garden.

“It just seems absolutely mad to me that in a time where we’re are experiencing a health pandemic that’s greatly worsened by an unhealthy nation, we’ve closed down the one industry that can be a part of the solution.” 

Nicole Cannon, 26, Morden

Surrey Comet:

@nclivingfitness

“I am speaking on behalf of my entire social network here – the gym is such an important element of people’s lives!

Personal Trainers are all doing their best to support each other and all of their clients during lockdown, but people are really struggling.

“The gym is meant to be a place to improve health but yet they are forced to close during a health pandemic. For myself and all of my clients, the gym is key for our mental and physical health, it’s our place to escape and for a lot of people where we go for support.”

Tom Dalton, 31, Kingston Upon Thames

Surrey Comet:

@tdptfitness

“It seems we’ve become so fixated on Covid-19 death rates, that we’re completely ignoring all other causes of death that are rising as a result of these constant lockdowns, poor mental and physical health implications being the main contributors.

 “Gyms are an essential space for many people to stay fit and healthy, especially in the winter when the option to exercise outdoors just isn’t possible for many people. Particularly those most at risk from Covid-19.

“With the complete lack of any research suggesting that gyms have had a large effect on the spread of Covid-19 and the overwhelming evidence that exercise greatly contributes to both people’s health and their immunity to coronavirus. It’s shocking that gyms and health centres are still not deemed to be essential services while fast-food restaurants and off-licences are.” 

Nathaniel Woods, 27, Sutton

Surrey Comet:

@nclivingfitness

“Fitness and sport have been a huge factor in my life. Even before becoming a professional athlete in the UFC, it was a way for me to stay not only physically but mentally healthy.

I worry to think of the effects no sport or fitness will have on the population.”

James Barnett, 30, Sutton

Surrey Comet:

@jamestrueperformance

“Gyms allow us to maintain our physical health and help to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Gyms not only provide a safe place to exercise in the cold and dark months but an environment to manage stress, depression and anxiety which are compounded in our current climate.”

Has your mental or physical health been affected by the pandemic? Contact us at monica.charsley@newsquest.co.uk

Surrey Comet | Kingston