Why Should Coming Back To The Gym Be A Priority?
Offering huge doses of fun & motivation, plus myriad physical and mental health benefits, gyms are the cornerstone of our workout habits. With lockdown lifting in many parts of the world, is now the time that we can finally get back to exercise in our favourite forms?
By Jak Phillips from Fit Planet
KEEPING UP THE HABIT
Lockdown has brought great progress in the range of options for people to stay active at home, leading some to question whether we actually still need gyms to service our fitness needs? After all, no one owns the patent to the press up, and there’s no finer treadmill than the great outdoors. So why is it that gym members are on average 14 times more active than non-members? One reason is that our facilities don’t just serve up fitness, they give us motivation. Motivation remains a key ingredient for regular exercise adherence & is the very reason why gyms exist in the first place.
There are many forms of motivation. Among the most powerful motivators are the accountability & sense of connection we get from working out with others. Nowhere is this more evident than in a group exercise class.
“Absolutely nothing beats a live class,” says Les Mills Chief Creative Officer Dr Jackie Mills M.D. “There’s always an amazing vibe created in the room, the loud music is pumping, & you’re all working together & pushing each other. The sense of connection & accountability can’t be beaten.”
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Plenty of research shows this sense of connection & accountability pays dividends. Research indicates that when we work out alongside others, we’re far more likely to stick at exercise than if we go it alone. Science shows that we get more enjoyment & satisfaction when we work out in a group. & there’s evidence that when we’re surrounded by the healthy actions of others, it rubs off on us too.
One study published in Obesity Journal indicated that when overweight people spent time with their fit friends they lost more weight, and the more time they spent with these friends, the more weight they lost. This is backed up by another study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showing that 95 percent of those who follow a weight loss program with a friend complete it, but just 76 percent make it to the end if they go it alone.
RETURN OF THE CLUB
Motivation is a key component of an enduring exercise habit & that’s why it’s so important to get leisure centres – & all the things that make them inspiring – back in our lives as soon as is safely possible.
Being among the first public facilities to close & the last to be allowed to reopen, leisure centres around the world have been hit hard by COVID-19. Misinformation that COVID-19 can be spread by sweat (it can’t) has stalled their recovery, but clubs are beginning to get back on their feet, bringing members the much-needed gift of motivation. Stringent new hygiene measures have been added to protect members’ safety, with new research supporting the effectiveness of these measures.
EMBRACING ACTIVE HABITS
The UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser, Chris Whitty, said it best when giving a daily coronavirus briefing on 15 April.
Whitty said being physically active was “very important to long-term health” and crucial for keeping people fighting fight during the ongoing pandemic.
“There is no situation, there is no age & no condition where exercise is not a good thing… exercise is one of the best things you can possibly do.”
So as the world adjusts in the wake of a major health pandemic, with lessons learned and safer processes in place, it seems that finally, we can start to get back to normal. And from an exercise perspective, we can reconnect with the miracle cure by working out in the ways we love to best.
START YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY
We have re-introduced gym sessions, lane swim sessions & loads of classes… & there is more to come over the following months! Register or book your first session today.