As restrictions change and gyms and fitness centres can reopen, things will be a little different compared to pre-coronavirus.
For many of us, the latest round of Victorian Government’s reduced restrictions is an exciting milestone.
Whether you’re unsure what to expect when you head back to a gym or fitness class, or you’re a gym owner who could use some guidance on how to make it go smoothly, we’ve got tips to help.
Tips for members: get yourself ready to ‘work it out’
We know that getting ready to work out isn’t just about finding clean exercise clothes or checking a gym timetable, it’s about getting yourself mentally prepared and motivated to be active, so here’s what you can do.
Tip 1: Know what your gym, fitness centre or health club is doing to help keep you safe
When gyms, fitness centres and health clubs reopen there will be Victorian Government-led restrictions as well as a few extra processes in place to help keep everyone safe from coronavirus.
So before your first visit, take some time to find out how your gym or rec centre will operate:
- Will there be restrictions on what you can use/bring along?
- Do you need to make a booking before you go?
- Will the length of your visit be the same?
- Will there be new places to wait before or after your class?
The more informed you are, the smoother things will go and more confident you will feel.
Tip 2: Give others the benefit of the doubt
It’s normal to feel worried or anxious about returning to public spaces, especially places where people share equipment, sweat and are indoors. But instead of being on the defensive, try to remember that we’re all in this together, and be kind to one another.
This includes giving others the benefit of the doubt. Feel like someone is getting too close? They’re probably trying to do the right thing and perhaps feel unsure about how to stay distant without being rude, just as you might be. A quick, friendly conversation can help everyone navigate physical distancing and other measures your gym may have introduced to keep members safe.
Here are some friendly ways to have these conversations and polite ways to ask people to keep their physical distance here.
Tip 3: Use this as a time to set new goals or resolutions
Ever wondered why people set New Year’s resolutions or start a goal on a Monday? It’s because research tells us that when people close one chapter and open another – like coming out of coronavirus restrictions – it can help them feel motivated to start or return to activities.
So use this moment in time as an opportunity to get moving and feel the benefits of being active in a way that suits your body and empowers you to feel good.
Tip 4: Be kind to yourself and celebrate your milestones
Everyone’s experiences over the past few years have been extremely personal and unique, with no two stories being the same. That’s why when you start to return to your old routine or look to start a new routine, it’s important you acknowledge how your body or wellbeing may be different to those around you.
If you don’t jump straight back into your routine, that’s okay! Give yourself the time and space to adjust and re-find your grove in a way that suits you.
Try to avoid comparing yourselves to those around you, this process should be about how you feel and ways to move that are right for you.
Take the time to acknowledge your achievements, whether you got up early to be active, tried something new or checked in with your body, those are all fantastic milestones!
If you run a fitness class or program, read these top tips
It’s an exciting time for gyms, fitness centres and health clubs who are getting ready to reopen their doors and return to working in a physical space with their members.
Just make sure communicating with your members is part of your planning, so they feel confident and prepared before they walk through your door.
Tip 1: Tell your members what you’re doing to keep them safe
You can help your members feel safe and reassured by being clear and transparent about how you will be cleaning your venue, meeting physical distancing requirements, and any other measures you’ll be introducing to ensure everyone’s safety.
Tip 2: Prepare your staff for every scenario
If a member arrives with a bucketload of questions, you don’t want them to be faced with a staff member who can’t provide answers. That could make them question whether your gym, centre or club is properly prepared.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your team is confident with your new procedures, and fully understand the latest government requirements. A quick meeting with staff can help everyone get on the same page. It’s then important to keep them informed by calling, emailing or printing and displaying signage with the key information to help your staff feel comfortable and confident when they’re working.
Tip 3: Stay up to date with the latest announcements
We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-generation pandemic so it’s really important to stay up-to-date with the latest restriction measures.
We recommend you head straight to the source instead of relying on media or other individuals for the correct and most recent advice.
Follow the Department of Health on Facebook and regularly check the dedicated coronavirus website. Vicsport have also pulled together a wide variety of resources designed specifically for physical activity providers.
Have a coronavirus question?
For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.