Christchurch – Eighty percent of trainers and exercise facilities in New Zealand are now operating online during the coronavirus lockdown, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie estimates.
Some clubs have comprehensive systems such as Les Mills and CityFitness while smaller exercise, pilates and yoga businesses have up to 60 classes in their online timetables, Beddie says.
“The registration body for exercise facilities and exercise professionals in New Zealand, the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), has more than 3500 people and 250 facilities on its database. Already hundreds of them have updated their searchable profile to indicate they offer online services. Details of these can be found at www.reps.org.nz.
“For people who belong to (closed) gyms or studios using a trainer, the best way for them to keep active is seek out their gym or studio trainer and see what they are offering online. We are encouraging people to stay home and do all their exercise from home if at all possible, other than going for a walk.
“That will not only help people stay active, but where possible by supporting the provider, it means they will be around once the lockdown finishes. While the internet may enable delivery anywhere, we are still encouraging people to shop locally online.
“For those new to exercise, it’s important to get advice on what to do from a registered exercise professional and not just a social media influencer with pretty pictures, hence the call to visit the REPs website.
“Exercise is always valuable, but right now even more so. If I was to pick just one reason right now it would be mental health. Everyone is going though extra stress, be it financial, social and significant uncertainly about the future which can lead to anxiety and, for some, depression.
“Exercise is the single most effective tool at giving your body the best ability to cope. Think of it as medicine to take for your body every day, by moving your body in different ways.
“Even just going outside for a walk helps. But for the half a million Kiwis (before the pandemic) that already go to a gym, they want a bit more than that.”
New Zealand has the highest percentage of exercise professionals registered (just over 70 percent), compared to under 20 percent in many countries with registration systems and as high as 50 to 60 percent in Australia and the United Kingdom.
“We have some of the best training systems and personal trainers in the world. We have the best and biggest group exercise organisations. Les Mills, for example, which globally operates in over 100 countries.
“We also have thousands of dedicated and highly qualified exercise professionals and hundreds of independent studios and gyms around the country that can help keep Kiwis active – seek the out online and stay active,” he says.
For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188