There’s definitely more people in Canada that don’t go to gyms and fitness centres than people that do. Each group has their reasons and most if not all are valid. But when our daily lives take a shake-up like they have in 2020, we start re-evaluating things. Maybe we should be re-evaluating some of those reasons? Especially, if you’ve never set foot in a gym.

Perhaps the most noted response for never having been inside a fitness centre, (by a whopping 45% according to an Ipsos poll) is other people watching and judging. Whether those polled were trying to lose weight, rehabilitate an injury or just take positive action for their health and fitness – feeling uncomfortable around groups of other people was prominent.

With the re-opening of fitness centres and gyms across British Columbia, one obvious factor has been the restrictions. A few of these restrictions were actually a standard for many gyms prior to 2020.

Equipment sanitization

Stricter cleaning and sanitization protocols for gyms have recently been implemented in British Columbia. Did you know that many gyms including Gridiron, had disinfecting spray and rags on each piece of equipment prior to 2020 to be used before and after? This and other strict cleaning protocols have been a Gridiron standard since its founders opened in 2008 and passionately continued over the past 10 years by Wayne & Tammy Schmidt.

Some of these restrictions however, have made it tough for gyms and fitness centres to remain successful. Social distancing of 2 metres means that gyms have had to restructure their equipment layouts and usage areas, not only to ensure the equipment is 2 metres apart but also to ensure that while on the equipment, users remain that safe distance apart.

If you’ve never been in a gym, not a big deal right? If you’re shy and prefer to keep to yourself, you might think it’s like a dream come true. The previous trend in physical fitness made it a very social part of most people’s day, and adjustments are being made by everyone. For some, they’re taking it all in stride and finding other ways to be social, while keeping up with their fitness. Others are going back to taking fitness classes, because the distance can remain safe but classes at the reduced numbers are still social.

Reduced capacity, increased equipment and social distancing might be making it tough for some gym-goers but it’s opened up the doors – literally – for nervous first-timers.

  1. Want to try out a treadmill? Gyms now have more space than ever before surrounding cardio machines. Some having to place “Out of Service” signs on every second machine. That’s a lot of personal space!
  2. Need someone to tell you which machines to use and how? Personal trainers are available to do just that, and with reduced capacity compliance, you can really feel like it’s just you and your trainer.
  3. Just curious? If you’ve never been to a gym, the photos of fitness centres packed with physically fit people has probably not been something you wanted to walk through. It’s high on the intimidating scale. Hence, this is a great time to get a tour. Call to book a time with a staff member for a walk-through of the facilities. Informing staff that you are a first-timer will ensure you get a detailed description of protocols, services and equipment.

So while 2020 is proving to be a year where gyms and fitness centres are restructuring to be able to continue providing a safe workout environment, it’s looking like the perfect year for first-timers to take a look at gyms.

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