City News

Working out from home: fitness trainers offer gym alternatives amid Sydney’s stay-at-home orders

It’s more important than ever to focus on mental and physical health. Photo: Matthew Henry

BY TESSA PELLE

As Sydney dives into a two-week lockdown, the closure of gyms and fitness centres have forced personal trainers to find other means of keeping their businesses afloat.

The NSW government has limited outdoor exercise to groups of no more than 10 people, meaning most community sport will not be able to go ahead in Greater Sydney.

But this hasn’t stopped owner of Body Flow Pilates, Lauren Burns from offering her services, “let’s take control of what we can control, our health,” she says.

Due to the current restrictions, Lauren is providing at-home Zoom Pilates classes for individuals, families, and groups. She says this has impacted the way she delivers her fitness sessions.

“[Over Zoom] the classes are not as hands on. I like to be quite tactile with helping people, like lifting their hips up because they don’t realise they’re dipping during a plank. Not being able to physically help people makes it a bit harder, but you just get better at explaining things when on Zoom” she says.

After starting her business mid-2020, she is no stranger to operating in a pandemic.

“It’s a bit scary because you don’t know if clients are just going to call it quits, so it’s a bit uncertain in that sense. But my clients are so supportive, so I know I’ll be okay” she says.

Mental health impact

With lockdown underway, Lauren says it’s more important than ever to focus on mental and physical health.

“Winter is challenging. People don’t want to be in class at 6am when they could be in bed so that aspect makes it hard but then adding a lockdown in, people are unmotivated. That’s why I’m trying to boost online classes so they can do something for themselves physically and mentally” she says.

Body Flow classes focus on managing overall wellbeing with an additional meditation segment to further relieve mental stress.

“Meditation is usually seated, and you focus on your breath. It really helps people with anxiety, it helps lower blood pressure and basically just calms you down” Lauren says.

The lockdown has already begun impacting business like Body Flow. The NSW government has announced a Covid-19 Disaster Payment available on July 1 for eligible people and will be announcing support for small businesses in the next few days.

“Obviously I have been impacted by the lockdown and clients have left unfortunately so I’ll definitely try and access whatever is available.”

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