After 12 weeks apart, the reunion between gym’s and their members have been a special one. You can feel the positive vibrations of energy in the air. Gym goers are seeing familiar faces, keeping their social distance, wiping down equipment after use, and openly talking about the similar struggles we’ve all been through.
The most surprising piece of feedback the staff at Planet Fitness have received is the astounding amount of people who’s mental health were impacted by not accessing the gym. The stress relief aspect of physical fitness has taken priority, and it reveals the dark effects that being forced to stay inside had on us all.
A Beyond Blue study revealed in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. This is before we were impacted by Covid-19, and having a barrier placed between us and the physical outlet we crave has had concerning mental consequences.
Speaking with members who are over 50, they highlighted how the social aspect of coming to the gym helps with their feelings of loneliness. This is not a new feeling, as people of all ages benefit from being surrounded by like-minded members who are focused on improving their health and wellbeing, and who also don’t mind having a friendly chat. Covid-19 forced communication to be digitally based, but seeing members reunite with their ‘gym buddy who you only see at the gym’ after 3 months is helping circulate powerful vibrancies between people.
Three Planet Fitness members shared their experience:
“I trained at home, but it wasn’t the same. The gym is part of my lifestyle. When it was closed I struggled for motivation, “ Marty, 26.
“The gym feels like another home, like another family. When it was suddenly shut down, I felt like a part of my life was missing. Being at the gym makes me feel focused, I stop thinking about other issues and stresses. It’s my meditation,” – Simone, 47.
“Being back at the gym has helped bring back a routine. It’s also a whole another element of being social. I’m feeling fitter being back,” -Joel, 25.
Physical and mental health are entwined, but this Covid-19 period has shifted the beneficial focus to prioritize our mentality and emotions. Exercise is proven to reduce stress, help you sleep better, increases self confidence, boosts your energy, releases happiness chemicals- the list is never-ending! We undoubtably need all these benefits during a time where the words ‘fear’ and ‘uncertainty’ are thrown at us daily.
Members have also been expressing that they are feeling a lack of motivation. The idea of the ‘Covid Comeback,’ combined with a sense of expectation to lose the extra kilos you may have gained, and essentially feel normal again can be very daunting. So daunting in fact, that many people are scared to come back to the gym. For this reason, Planet Fitness’s Judgement Free Philosophy is more important then ever.
Everyone deserves to be able to achieve their fitness goals, in the most comfortable and stress free way possible. To understand that there is no judgement, no egos and no big expectations for you when you workout is an extremely important message. It takes a lot of strength to make that decision, but as soon as you walk through those Planet Fitness doors our priority is for you to focus on yourself- physically and mentally.
Written by Gjenae Rosekelly