As the ever increasing possibility of local and potentially national lockdown looks more and more likely. Closing gyms, health clubs and leisure centres would be the wrong thing to do.
Without a vaccine the health and fitness sector needs to be seen as the first line of defence against fighting the symptoms of COVID to reduce hospital admissions.
In February and March closing gyms was probably the right thing to do. We didn't know much about the virus and I can't argue with the approach of shutting everything down until we knew what might be safe to open. However now that we know more about the virus I just can't see the logic in closing gyms. Before I go on a rant, lets outline what we know about COVID.
- It's a virus which affects the lungs.
The virus predominantely effects the lungs. Most people in gyms are there to lose weight, get fitter or get stronger. The training for all three of these help improve the strength of your lungs or increase your lung capacity.
- Those with underlying health issues are most at risk.
Exercising can literally eradicate a huge amount of health issues. Specifically obesity and type 2 diabetes. Effects that exercise can have on asthma sufferers can also greately reduce the severity of the asthma also.
- It can be spread through droplets in someones breath or from touching hard surfaces.
This is true. However recent evidence shows that the risk of picking up COVID from touching a contaminated surface are relatively low and you are much more likely to pick it up via being in close proximity to someone who is infected via their breath. Gyms have one of the largest floor spaces out of any highstreet stores. So avoiding others is simple.
- Those with a strong immune system tend to suffer only mild conditions.
It's pretty common knowledge that having a healthier lifestyle that includes some resistance training and aerobic work will have a huge impact on your immune function. That is obviously amplified in its importance right now. We may not have a vaccine but we have plenty of tools at our disposal to put us at the minimum risk possible. Vitamin supplementation as well as increasing the strength of our lungs and our heart are key.
- The hyperinflamation of an immune response system can weaken the heart.
Resistance training will increase the strength of your heart, as will cardio vascular training. Being overweight also puts your heart under more pressure so weight loss would severely reduce the risk of hyperinflamation having a damaging effect on your heart.
With all this said and done, I just wanted to list a number of health issues for which exercise and a healthy diet 'IS A CURE.'
- Type 2 diabetes
- Various heart diseases
These are all issues which make you more vulnerable to the virus or from which a huge section of the population are suffering as a direct result of this global pandemic. So, if you want a depressed population that will be more vulnerable to a virus that they are now more anxious about getting then close the gyms. But if you want a happier population more resilient to health complications associated with the virus, a lower number of hospitalisation cases and a generally healthier population. Then the gyms should be the last things to close.