The COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of massive shutdowns and lockdowns across the nation dating back to March 2020. Ever since, numerous entertainment venues, fitness centres included, have been forced to shut down due to physical distancing regulations imposed by the federal and provincial governments. People have been forced to stay home and only leave the home for essential travel with a brief opening stint in the late summer and early fall of 2020 eventually leading us right back to square one with a new lockdown being imposed promptly thereafter in November.
The pandemic has been a cause of concern not merely for the lives lost and sickness incurred but also increased social isolation, job losses and unemployment leading to an increase in societal issues such as anxiety, insomnia and depression. None of these effects have an easy solution but nature’s oldest treatment for stress has always been effective.
In studies published by Harvard Health, exercise has been shown to divert the brain’s attention away from the cause of stress and anxiety as well as changing the brain’s chemistry by increasing the amount of anti-anxiety neurochemicals such as serotonin. In a climate such as this with people being unable to leave their homes, people are more eager than ever to get out there and start their lives anew. One of the most popular methods that people use to kickstart a new lifestyle is pledging themselves to a new exercise regime. However, at the current moment, there are some challenges you will have to contend with.
The Latest Updates
As of Feb.18, the Ontario government under Doug Ford has extended all emergency orders under the reopening Ontario Act (ROA) until at least March 21st. The officials have deemed the situation to be too risky to warrant a major reopening in the regions hardest hit by the pandemic which include the regions of Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound which will all be required to remain under stay-at-home orders until March 8th. Other regions across the province with less widespread community spread are slated to reopen on Tuesday February 23rd. Regions across the province from Windsor to Ottawa to Muskoka to Durham are eager to reopen.
The current restrictions placed on gyms are still harsh. Fitness centres have been labelled by health officials as on the list of high-risk activities. This is due to the enclosed area with high contact surfaces and increased breathing and bodily fluids such as sweat. The combination of people being together in an enclosed area simultaneously touching the same metal objects which make for a nice home for a pathogen as well as breathing and sweating make the reopening of fitness centres a painstaking process.
The Rules - What You Can and Can’t Do
Fitness centres such as LA Fitness, Goodlife Fitness and Fit 4 less all have to adhere to the same provincial legislation concerning their facilities. Under the current rules, gyms are limited to 10 people indoors in spaces with weights and exercise machines, ten people in separate indoor classes and 25 people for outdoor classes.
A study conducted by RunRepeat in the summer of 2020 across numerous countries (Canada, US, Australia, U.K) discovered that out of traditional membership-carrying gym goers, a mere 31% had returned to gyms while a staggering number of individuals had cancelled their memberships and many didn’t have plans to return anytime soon at all.
As our technology has changed, so have our lifestyles. The COVID pandemic, while also forcing us to stay home has also normalized many trends that were previously deemed to be odd but have now become normalized. Everything from working from home to children not going to school has now become a regular part of everyday life. The same goes for exercising from home.
Staying in Shape Fitness Centre Free
The COVID pandemic has inadvertently revolutionized workouts by causing a surge in the sales of home gym equipment. And after all, what is the point of driving to your local Goodlife Fitness centre when you can simply order an equipment set online, have it delivered in a couple weeks and avoid membership fees, booking limits and having to leave your cozy home to venture into the cold abyss. Not to mention traffic and most importantly of all, having to put pants on.
Jokes aside, a home gym is an affordable, convenient and effective option when it comes to keeping yourself healthy, both physically and mentally during these troubling times.
The Benefits of Exercise
Besides the obvious proponents of exercise for building muscle mass which is generally what people first think of when it comes to working out, there is so much more hidden underneath the surface that proves to be far more important for your well-being.
Before investing in a home gym, you need to figure out in what way you want to train your body. The two methods offered are aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise involves a continuous activity that is used to build endurance. Some examples include cycling, long-distance running and more. Aerobic exercise involves the process of using your energy over long periods of time to train your body. It has been proven that daily or even weekly aerobic exercise improves your cardiovascular conditioning which in turn leads to a decrease in risk of various heart diseases such as diabetes, lowers blood pressure, improves your lung function and helps in weight management.
Anaerobic exercise on the other hand involves an activity performed over a short time span but with maximum intensity. This is the type of exercise that you can envision your hardcore gym goers and bodybuilders doing every day. Strength resistance training is a major part of anaerobic exercise which includes anything from lifting weights to burpees to rowing. The beauty of anaerobic exercise is its strengthening of the base on which your body is built. Anaerobic exercise has been shown to increase bone strength and density which has directly correlated with a reduction in the risk of degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis later in life. Other benefits also include a boost in metabolism which aids weight management and of course, an increase in muscle mass and power.
A Good Night’s Sleep
The largest benefits however are those that are the least expected. Exercise, particularly in the mornings has been shown to increase people’s quality of sleep with participants reporting sleeping longer hours, finding it easier to fall asleep once in bed and waking up fewer times during the night on days that they participated in moderate to vigorous physical activity. The impact of this cannot be overstated with better sleep contributing to a stronger immune system, increased productivity and better mood alongside many other things.
Ultimately, it’s important to not put all your eggs into one basket. Relying on a single source to get your exercise needs fulfilled leaves you prone to losing it all. In a turbulent environment such as this, it’s important to be self-reliant and have the comforts of the outside right here at home. Exercise is one of the most basic human needs for a healthier and happier lifestyle and that is why FitnessAvenue has been offering affordable and high quality fitness equipment online to be delivered to your door as quickly as possible to ensure your home gym checks off all the boxes. If you’re interested in learning more about our fitness equipment options, visit https://www.fitnessavenue.ca/ today for more information!