A Salford fitness group is getting ready to resume a series of ‘Covid safe’ outdoor bootcamps when the lockdown restrictions ease.
U-First Fitness Society, which is based in Buile Hill Park, has been on hold for the last few months and the couple behind it is encouraging people to join them on March 29th.
The outdoor sessions ran before the pandemic and continued until measures became too strict in the first and most recent lockdowns.
Co-founder Sarah-Jane Broderick said: “We’re aware that there’s not much of a community spirit anymore, as we all move towards social media and become less and less social so we really wanted to create a local community almost as like an extra support network for our members.
“After the first lockdown when we were able to get out in the summer we had a huge surge in memberships, we were probably the busiest we’ve ever been since starting the business, and as of this last week, we just started to get enquiries starting to trickle back in again. It seems people are kind of preparing themselves for end of lockdown for getting back outside.”
Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, it is still clear that people are anxious about going back to living ‘normally’.
Antony Tucker said: “There’s a lot of people that are still a bit wary about going back into the gym setting as well, so I think training outdoors, obviously with ventilation, the risk is a lot lower.”
Sarah, along with her partner Antony, have been doing online coaching sessions in the meantime.
She said: “When the first lockdown happened, we had to stop all our sessions and take it onto Zoom. We took a massive hit and lost a lot of members. We then had that big boost after the first lockdown and then we went back into lockdown just before Christmas for a few weeks, so we adapted and made use of the two people workout together outside rule.
“As we’ve come back into this lockdown that was a no-no, our insurance wouldn’t insure us for that anymore, so we’ve had to take it back to Zoom again.”
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Gyms and fitness centres not being able to open has been an issue that has affected a lot of people, not just physically but also mentally.
Sarah added: “Exercise has always been important for mental health, when we train and when we exercise our body releases a hormone that’s known as endorphins. It makes us feel good. But I think since COVID happened and especially towards the end, people are starting to realise that exercise is integral for keeping mental health.
“I think there’s been a bit of a shift, not that physical health isn’t what people are thinking about any more but mental health certainly seems to be the more important issue at the moment.”