Gyms all across England re-opened on April 12 after over a year of closure during unpredictable times through the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been major losses in that time with The Gym Group among the fitness companies devastated by the pandemic, losing £47.2 million and 45% of its trading days in 2020.
Still, exercise has been an important part of many people’s lives, with the Mental Health Foundation stating that “participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety”.
Whether it has been daily walks, which are proven to increase mental alertness, positive mood and energy, or other exercise – many have continued to work out throughout the pandemic. But with gyms being able to re-open, members around the country are excited by the opportunity to exercise more.
Many gym employees have had to change aspects of their work within the fitness industry and have resorted to other ways of earning money, with some PTs starting online coaching and meal planning, or building their own profile of clients to train while the gyms have been closed.
Matt Nutt, 21, from Royal Leamington Spa found a new avenue completely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Before lockdown I was a football coach, primary school PE teacher and played football semi-professionally. I would work with teams and in big groups at every session. Since the pandemic I have been forced to find a new avenue of coaching which has ended up being a massive rollercoaster.”
The change has resulted in Nutt being able to run his own business, Nutty Performance Training, which teaches 1:1 football sessions. He added: “This change has been successful for me because the market for coaching grew, as more people had time on their hands and looked towards new beginnings to become healthier and fitter.
“If you’d have said to me a year ago ‘do you see yourself coaching 1:1’, I would have said ‘no because there isn’t a client base’. However because of the pandemic it has created a massive demand and there’s been weeks where we’ve seen 30+ sessions in a week and 15 regulars on a weekend.”
Finally he touched on the closure of the Gyms, explaining: “The closure has meant people are looking for their fitness fix and coming to us mainly being. In football they have found it an enjoyable way too get fit.
“It’s been pleasing to see many continue on improving their fitness levels and abilities that’s why I love my job. The Gyms being open will be a massive plus as I know how important strength and conditioning work is for our athletes at Nutty Performance as well as the mental well-being of many.”
If your seriously struggling with your mental health you can contact your local GP or the following helplines for guidance and support: