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Covid – Outside Training a Walk in the Park

When the pandemic hit, gyms closed. They were subject to concern following several clusters and the debate followed whether they could be Covid safe. The industry did its best to say gyms were safe, but clusters did impact and it is hard to rebuild confidence. They were victims of the “mud sticks” principal, and as often happens, rumour replaced fact and people stayed away in droves. It has been a battle for gyms to convince former attendees, they are not high-risk environments. They were not helped when the World Health Organisation announced, “it is very hard to make gyms Covid-free.”

As round two of the pandemic restrictions came into force gyms that reopened were required to have a dedicated hygiene marshal. I did revisit my gym and also contemplated joining a new one. It just did not seem the same. Social distancing was in the back of my mind and I found myself thinking who used the machines and weights before me and were they being wiped and cleaned properly?

As a member of Black Label at Fitness First in Westfield Bondi Junction, I was spoilt. It had a members’ lounge, relaxation zone with steam room, sauna and aroma therapy facilities, personal lockers, and laundry services. What’s not to like? I joined a class and, early in the piece, I had a personal trainer.

Part of my purpose for attending the gym was to do something completely different from my business routine. I am not obsessive, but I did go regularly and attended one class a week which I enjoyed. I felt fit and with fitness came a feeling of wellness, not to mention I had my gym friends.

I liked doing free weights while my husband was more into the machines.

Being fairly disciplined (not obsessive-compulsive as some may mistakenly believe) I like routine, hence I would go to the gym three times during the week and once on the weekend when my husband joined me and this allowed us, after a workout, to sit in the food court and have a coffee, a bite to eat and time to relax.

I am not a gym junkie but going to the gym regularly was part and parcel of my lifestyle and I enjoyed it. Though sometimes my husband is reluctant to go, he does confess to feeling the emotional and physical benefit after completing a workout. We found it helps both mind and body.

Covid caused us to rethink and adapt to doing things differently, including exercising. In the lock down I ran into a friend from the gym and she mentioned Selina Markos, a trainer I recalled from Fitness First and who she said was taking socially distanced classes outside. I contacted Selina and my husband and I have been attending her classes in Waverly Park since April. We love working out in the park and Selina a single mum knows how to multitask and applies multitasking to her classes. She tailors routines to individual needs and abilities. Not boasting, but I am fitter and certainly more disciplined than my husband. His needs relate to stretching and gradually building strength and, while I am more physically flexible, the smaller lessons have made him a great deal more flexible. Though we attend the same session, we exercise within our capabilities and build from there. Selina made the transition from indoor to outdoor training, excuse the pun, a walk in the park.

Using minimal equipment and body weight she showed us we can still have an effective workout without being in a gym. She already had experience doing workouts on social media. She also does video calls for interstate clients and those wanting to stay at home.

When I asked Selina what she recommended in terms of exercise for people during Covid, she said “keep active don’t stop moving. Even if only 20mins a day.  Mediation/yoga are highly effective for maintaining good mental health. It can be very challenging for some with changes and uncertainty that exist because of Covid. Working from home sitting long hours each day are now the norm so it’s nice to get out and do something even for a short time. You feel recharged after”

I also asked her how do you compare doing exercises in a gym to outside?  She said “you can learn to use your body as resistance, use resistance bands and other equipment to replace gym equipment exercises. It’s just a lighter load depending on the individual strength but still effective and less stressful on the joints.”

She designs lessons according to age and whether a person has pre-existing injuries and conducts special exercises for pre/post-natal clients and encourages those lacking motivation. No I am not dobbing on my husband…hmm maybe I am!

If you would like to contact Selina – see her details below:

Email: selinamarkos@hotmail.com

Phone: 0449 682 621

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