Benefits of going to gym outweigh risks of catching Covid, says local coach

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Lucy O’Sullivan said that gyms should be deemed ‘essential’ and that measures could be put in place to minimise the risk of infection.

Last week Health Minister Richard Renouf said a cluster of 22 cases in a gym earlier in the winter highlighted the need for them to remain closed as part of coronavirus measures introduced late last year.

Ms O’Sullivan said opening them would relieve some of the pressure on the Island’s health services.

‘The health and fitness industry is recognised internationally as being a main source of helping individuals reduce high blood pressure, helping to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, providing a mental health support system for individuals
and helping reduce obesity health problems – all of which takes away pressure from the local government and hospital spending.

‘The gyms create a healthy culture, both physically and mentally, and I think the reward to our health outweighs the risk of catching Covid. It will help people be in the best shape possible to deal with Covid-19 should they unfortunately catch it.’

Ms O’Sullivan believes the scheduled opening of hospitality venues next month shows they are valued more than the health industry.

‘How can the government open restaurants but not gyms? The influence of alcohol causes people to ignore social distancing and encourages an unhealthy lifestyle which could negatively impact someone should they catch Covid.’

She added: ‘All gyms across the Island are really clean and we can put measures in place to ensure the risk of catching Covid is minimised.

‘All facilities are cleaned constantly, we can introduce booking systems with time between slots to minimise mixing and allow for extra cleaning, and having spoken to other trainers and clients, most would be happy to wear a mask when training if needed.’

Ms O’Sullivan has called on the government to meet representatives of the industry to see how preventative measures can be implemented.

‘The most frustrating thing is that the government did not consult us prior to closure,’ she said.

‘We know our industry best and we know the approach we could take to minimise the risks.’

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