• Gjenae Rosekelly

More Mental Than Physical - A New Era of Fitness

After 12 weeks apart, the reunion between gyms and their members has 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 whose mental health has been impacted by not being able to access the gym.

The stress relief aspect of physical fitness has taken priority, and it reveals the dark effects that being forced to stay inside has had on us all.

A Beyond Blue study revealed that in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. This is before Covid-19 impacted us, and having a barrier placed between the physical outlet we crave and us 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 three 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,“ said 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,” said Simone, 47.

“Being back at the gym has helped bring back a routine. There’s also the whole other element of being social. I’m feeling fitter being back,” added Joel, 25.

We all know that physical and mental health are entwined, but this Covid-19 period has shifted the beneficial focus to prioritise our mentality and emotions. Exercise is proven to reduce stress, help you sleep better, increases self-

confidence, boost energy, release happiness chemicals – the list is never-ending! We undoubtedly 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 than 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 of 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 both physically and mentally.


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