With the second lockdown coming to an end on the 2nd of December, gyms are set to reopen everywhere, regardless of the tier system.
Salford has been placed in Tier 3, along with the rest of Greater Manchester.
Ever since the second lockdown was announced, there was petitions and campaigns demanding that gyms stay open. Many arguments stemmed from a mental health perspective, that closing gyms would have a drastic effect on mental health.
A petition was circulated, arguing for gyms to be allowed to reopen. The petition accumulated 136,163 signatures.
Using Outdoor Gym Equipment
A lot of people have been utilising their outdoor space and doing home workouts whilst gyms have been closed. Salford has plenty of parks to run in, and plenty of these parks have outdoor gym equipment that can be utilised by locals.
If you don’t feel safe returning to the gym post-lockdown, you can still get out and use outdoor equipment.
The Impact of Exercise on Mental Health
Using the gym also comes with a sense of community. There is an entire culture around being fit and healthy. The gym has a place for everyone, everyone is doing their own thing but the environment is motivating.
Gyms can also be a support group. There is a massive social aspect to the gym, you can spur each other on and help each other with certain aspects of a workout.
There is plenty of evidence that exercise is good for mental health.
Exercising releases endorphins, which is a chemical that our bodies produce. Endorphins can help eliminate symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as giving people a happy feeling post-exercise. There has been research that endorphins can help with mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.
Most of the reaction to gyms reopening has been positive, with gym goers being keen to get back to their fitness regimes.
When Salford Community Leisure announced that their leisure centres would be re-opening on the 2nd of December, there were plenty of happy punters.
“Come on get the timetable back up and running. Can’t wait.” said one user.
Another user was simply ecstatic, commenting: “Hooray! Looking forward to swimming again soon.
But, the entire reaction to the news of gyms and leisure centres re-opening has not been positive. One Facebook user, Bee Mulls, said: “Why would I want to mix with people I don’t know in a gym but can’t mix with my family or friends?”
Another Facebook user, Harriet Heywood, shared their sentiment.
“I can’t go and see my Mum, not even if I’m stood at the end of the drive… but I can have a chat with her if we’re both on a treadmill.”
This reaction is expected, with people being told they cannot see their families.
However, gym’s and leisure centres will still have safety precautions in place: wiping down and sanitising equipment, social distancing and wearing masks where appropriate.
All centres will be abiding by tier restrictions, and hopefully soon we’ll be able to go out and enjoy all the other pleasures of life, not just the gym.