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ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie highlights that gyms and fitness centres are part of the COVID solution
Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) Chief Executive Richard Beddie has endorsed recent comments by Dr Richard Carmona, the USA’s former Surgeon General, that exercise is part of the COVID-19 solution.
Beddie has endorsed Dr Carmona comments that regular physical activity and fitness centres are part of the near and long-term COVID resolution, highlighting that unlike bars and restaurants, fitness centres provide affordable access to tangible physical and mental health benefits that combat isolation while giving people an outlet for their stress and anxiety.
He says he agrees with Dr Carmona that gyms which use best public health practices should stay open during covid.
With New Zealand having seen gyms close and open and close again during COVID lockdowns and different alert levels, Beddie (pictured) comments “we, the ‘team of five million’ (are) adhering have to best public health practices, social distancing, masks and staying in home bubbles.
"When Kiwis take to a gym, they know we have really stepped up a level. There is plenty of staff the staff on board, a team approach, cleaning, social distancing, masking, sanitising, machines are separated much further apart for social distancing, and we have strict protocols.
"When best public health practices are applied, New Zealand should consider letting those facilities stay open based on epidemiologic data, because people need that social connection.
“Mental health and physical health are connected inextricably. It is important for people to stay active during the pandemic, at any alert level.”
Dr Carmona recently told the Washington Times that large, well-ventilated fitness centres offer reliable, safe access to exercise, which is essential to strengthening the immune system and decreases the risk of comorbidities such as obesity and diabetes that can lead to severe covid outcomes.
A study from the American Psychological Association has found that 78% of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic was a major stressor for them.
Of Puerto Rican descent, New York born and raised Dr Carmona released a landmark report during his 2002 and 2006 tenure on the health effects of second-hand smoke and was pivotal in the adoption of indoor-smoking bans.
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11th August 2021 - IHRSA and Mindbody collaborate to support fitness studio operators
22nd January 2021 - ExerciseNZ urges seniors to get fitter before their COVID vaccinations
5th January 2021 - ExerciseNZ shares advice on gym reopenings
21st December 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie advises that steady exercise counts
1st December 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie backs WHO’s new weekly health activity guidelines
20th October 2020 - ExerciseNZ cites growing evidence gyms and fitness clubs are safe
19th October 2020 - Reopened fitness clubs see more than two-thirds of members return
21st July 2020 - Technogym’s Nerio Alessandri says ‘gyms are safe’
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