Christchurch – Many New Zealand personal fitness trainers are looking at online delivery and preparing for government’s stage three alert level of the coronavirus, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.
Beddie is self-isolating for 14 days after an overseas trip but is in constant contact with exercise providers around New Zealand and globally about the coronavirus. He says ExerciseNZ has just released new guidelines for gyms.
“We want to be proactive and keep ahead of government regulations. For a start we will not allow any 65 plus age member or anyone with a compromised immune system to use the gym or facility at all.
“Saunas and steam rooms are closed. Physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres at all times, so people can go on every second treadmill and there are limits in group exercise classes.
“Our guidelines strictly forbid any touching between clients and staff. We do not allow shared boxing gloves or mats.”
Beddie says all the standard hygiene guidelines are already in place such as wiping wipe all bars before use each time, washing hands before and after a workout and avoiding all face touching during workout and use own towels.
Many gyms and fitness instructors are also offering virtual classes as well now. One of the best things for Kiwis to do, to build up a strong immune system during the coronavirus pandemic, is to stay physically active, Beddie says.
If exercise was considered a sport, it would be the biggest sport in New Zealand, by more than 50 percent, Beddie says. There are more than half a million Kiwis who take part in exercise in gyms, fitness centres and smaller facilities.
“We want to ensure that exercise continues to be available as much as possible, but always in a safe way and we need to lead by example.
“I encourage kiwis to keep active in whatever way they can and to support their gym and trainer by continuing to use their services in whatever ways are available.
“We need to ensure we have an industry that can help keep Kiwis stay active in these uncharted times.”
For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188
Photo: Richard Beddie