PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY SARA SHEIKH / SPUNTIK PHOTOGRAPHY
The Ontario government has announced public fitness centres are allowed to reopen as of Jan. 31, 2022.
As there have been ongoing reopening/closures of gyms, many have unfortunately become accustomed to not being able to attend gyms consistently for the past couple of years.
The current mandate will allow maximum capacities up to 50 per cent, with people hoping for a full reopening in the coming months.
“I feel it is long overdue for these facilities to be opening as there was little reason for them to be closed while other establishments with the same amount of foot traffic have remained open,” said Alex Connolly, a fourth-year student at Laurier Brantford.
Other businesses such as hair salons have been allowed to stay open but have had to reduce their capacities to comply with the safety guidelines of COVID-19.
Some Laurier students have questioned why a similar approach could not have been implemented for the gym, but have had to find alternative solutions to stay active.
“I have had to take my physical activity elsewhere, relying on calisthenics workouts as well as endurance training outside,” said Connolly, “Though the change of workout has been drastic, it is also a nice change of pace and scenery.”
Lockdown restrictions have forced students and athletes to become creative in finding ways to stay fit and healthy.
While the cold weather may have forced many people to stay indoors and complete home workouts, a mixture of outdoor and indoor exercise is also beneficial to anyone wanting to stay healthy.
Mental health has been a topic of discussion that gym users have had to battle with as well, many having feelings of uncertainty and lacking faith that things will reach normality.
“It is like your emotions are being played with and you never know what is going to be open or closed next month and it makes planning your life very hard because of how inconsistent everything is,” said Nathaniel Campbell, membership holder at the Brampton YMCA.
The inconvenience of the closures can affect multiple areas of someone’s life.
While one can never plan for when things close or reopen, people are left in the dark and are unable to prepare for the next steps they may want to take in their lives.
“I always ask myself this question now — will life ever return to normal?” continued Campbell.
Reopening the gyms is a step in the right direction, but Ontarians have seen this same process before. Many are wondering if this cycle of opening and closing will continue or will now become a thing of the past.
Time and improvements for the numbers concerning COVID-19 are the only indications people can hope for at this current time.
As winter sports teams look to be making preparations to start their season, student-athletes are hoping for no more restrictions and delays to interfere with their game time.
Aiming to help with the process, the Laurier Brantford YMCA is excited to be opening again and is looking to welcome back members of the public as well as Golden Hawk students.