Gyms and fitness studios in Regina are among the many businesses that have had to adapt in order to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
When the government mandated closures last month, many trainers did not know how they would manage.
“I let myself have a good ugly cry for about 30 minutes as to how my world was ending,” said Fidelity Fitness owner Jill Hanson. She had to come up with an entirely new business strategy.
As with other location-based businesses, the fitness industry has turned to technology to deliver classes online. That has meant a learning curve that has had some unexpected positive outcomes.
“The people we just met in other workshops and other yoga studios, they’re popping in for classes. So in some ways, our market has actually grown significantly,” said Colin Hall, the owner of Bodhi Tree Yoga. He says he has gained more clients because of the online platform.
A lot of preparation goes into online classes, which has forced trainers like Hanson to develop an entirely new skill set.
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“People don’t realize how much behind the scenes work goes into trying to run online programming,” Hanson said.
Not only has the technical aspect of running training programs changed in the past month, but trainers are also noticing the mental health of their clients, and their overall well-being is becoming more important.
Craig Hamaliuk, co-owner of Custom Fit, has been creating daily videos on his Facebook page that include tips for at-home workouts, as well as a positive message for the day.
“I try not to overstep my bounds too much with that aspect. I just try to reflect on what I’m doing myself, and give a positive message out to other people,” Hamaliuk says.
All three trainers believe that their gyms will make it through the closures, and say the technology they are using now, will continue moving forward in some way.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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