By Sara Picken-Brown
With gyms and health facilities being given the green light to open their doors from July 1st, the 46,000 personal trainers in the UK breathe a collective sigh of relief. This is a green light that this challenging and terrifying period in our personal and collective history is coming to an end. As a former professional athlete, professional ballerina and a Coach of 20 years that has worked with Olympians, USNavy Seals and Fortune 500 company CEO’s I feel this is a green light for change, but what does this mean for you?
You may well be one of the 35% of Britons to have used this lockdown period to focus on your fitness and health. A recent physical activity poll taken by the cold therapy experts at www.Biofreeze.co.uk at the start of lockdown found that 1 in 4 Britons (28%) were more active at the start of lockdown than they had been previously been. Having access to a gym, does not necessarily guarantee you will be more motivated to exercise, nor get the results of weight loss or fitness that you hanker after. These statistics show us that your fitness and motivation are not the results of gyms being available, but rather the result of adaptation to a crisis. The folks at Biofreeze also noted that as the pandemic lockdown extended, our reasons for keeping active shifted from a physical need very quickly to a mental health need. 1 in 3 Britons (35%) are now more active than they were before lockdown. For those who turned to physical activity later in lockdown, the top reasons why were found to be:
· To combat lockdown weight gain – 33%
· To help with my mental health – 30%
· To get out of the house – 21%
With boredom and cabin fever firming their grasp on Brit’s as we move into the 14th week of the lockdown, trending google searches show a growing increase in the number of people looking online to find when the gyms will be reopening. In the past 30 days there has been a 300% increase in the number of searches for ‘gym reopening’, there’s also been a 300% increase in online searches in the same timeframe for ‘best exercise to burn belly fat’ and a 100% increase for searches relating to ‘exercise for lower back pain’ – no doubt as a result for many who continue to work from home.
Bharat Gohil, spokesperson for www.Biofreeze.co.uk, said “It’s fantastic to see an increase in the number of people turning to physical activity while some levels of lockdown remain in place. Exercise has many benefits, from keeping us fit and healthy to stimulating the brain and helping to ease the affects some may be facing around their mental health. Working out in any capacity releases endorphins, known to help trigger a positive feeling.”
Whats more, the stress release from physical activity helps to elevate cortisol production, a known contributor to belly fat and weight gain. So as we move away from isolation, the big questions we need to ask are:
- Can our needs to socially connect be met away from gyms and leisure centres?
- Do we need to be paying large memberships to facilities when online health and fitness is proving to be more impactful to the participation and consistent commitment of more Britons?
The increased popularity of online classes, on-demand platform channels like ‘Valetudo Virtual with Sara’ on patreon.com are an indication that as the landscape of our global social systems evolves and changes, so to are our needs around health and wellbeing. Online services that are cost effective, innovative and accessible means more of us are engaging in and maintaining a fitness regimen. As a Coach of 20 years, I believe this evolution of the fitness industry is very exciting and certainly services more people to move, heal and feel their best.
The old ways are changing and I for one am very happy to see this happen. With social distancing being a factor in our organisation of gathering people, we all need to adapt to new ways of moving and working together, perhaps survival of the fittest has had its day and we are moving more toward survival of the adaptable and resilient.
For classes on-demand: www.patreon.com/valetudovirtualwithsara
Corporate Coaching, Online Coaching & Retreats: www.valetudoretreats.com
Pain management strategies head to: www.Biofreeze.co.uk