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Fitness Australia flags outdoor exercise as an alternative to imminent gym closures

Fitness Australia flags outdoor exercise as an alternative to imminent gym closures
March 23, 2020

With the announcement yesterday evening (Sunday 22nd March) of imminent gym closures across New South Wales and Victoria by this Tuesday, Fitness Australia are highlighting that it is still safe to exercise outdoors provided social distancing measures are in place.

The stricter social distancing measures announced today will see all non-essential services including gyms close across NSW and Victoria by Tuesday 24th March 2020.

In a statement released last evening Fitness Australia noted “with safety as our number one priority, Fitness Australia continues to follow the guidelines set out by the state and federal governments.

“We understand that outdoor exercise is still permitted with self-distancing measures being adhered to – including ensuring a 1.5 metre distance between all people.”

Fitness Australia Chief Executive Barrie Elvish said it is still safe to exercise outdoors provided social distancing measures were in place, emphasising “exercise is still safe. The great outdoors is still safe with social distancing in place. Moving your regular training sessions outside will ensure you can still keep your regular routine while protecting yourself during this time.”

Elvish said personal trainers registered with Fitness Australia hold the scope of practice to deliver outdoor training safely as they adhere to the Outdoor Training Guidelines, which have been updated to include COVID-19 restrictions.

Elvish added “people are still encouraged to train with their trainer outside. If your trainer is registered with Fitness Australia then they adhere to the relevant guidelines to ensure the safe delivery of outdoor training sessions.

“Fitness Australia is providing its members, including more than 19,000 personal trainers, comprehensive information to give them every opportunity to run their sessions safely outdoors.”

Physical exercise and the vital role it plays in a person’s health and mental wellbeing has never been more important than now – a time of uncertainty, isolation and increased anxiety.

Fitness Australia advise “as an industry, Fitness Australia believes gyms should be classified under the essential services category given their important role in managing and maintaining mental health and overall wellbeing, and we will be continuing to advocate the government regarding this.

Elvish continued “in our push to see this recognised we are working to ensure that all our members continue to comply with relevant guidelines and recommendations as they continue to evolve.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure people keep active and above all else, ensure they are safe.

“As we continue to work together as an industry, the health and wellbeing of all gym operators, employees and their members remains our top priority in all operational decisions during this time.

“We will be sure to keep you updated with further information as we receive it, and we will continue to support you and our industry in the coming days and beyond.”

Fitness Australia provides a range of information on their website fitness.org.au for both PTs and people who are looking to find a registered personal trainer who can deliver outdoor training.

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