Kilburn welcomes back eager gym-goers
- Credit: Terry Longmore
As Brent retail and pubs welcome back clients, members have also been hitting the gyms and heading to leisure centres as part of the government's relaxing of Covid regulations.
Terry Longmore, of NXT PHASE Fitness in Kilburn, spoke of the exuberant response he had from clients as he reopened his north-west London gym.
“It was positive, we signed up the most people we’ve ever signed up in one day.
“The response for us has been positive, I think, because we’re a new boutique gym, and people like the fact that everything is new and clean.”
Returning members, Terry said, were “dying to come back,” and could do so with confidence that the facilities were as Covid-safe as possible.
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“In our physical facility, we have hand sanitiser everywhere, there are alcohol wipes everywhere.
"Whenever someone uses a piece of equipment or a machine, they’ve been pretty much coached to wipe down their machines or their area.”
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Like many gym owners, Terry is waiting for lockdown measures to be eased further, allowing group adult exercise classes to take place indoors. This is currently planned for May 17.
Throughout lockdown, NXT PHASE has offered a virtual alternative to in-person exercise classes, in an attempt to keep members motivated and fit whilst stuck indoors.
“Ever since the lockdown began in December of last year, we just started offering classes online, and that went very, very well. But, I think people get checked out after a while," Terry said, adding that interest in the virtual sessions "teetered off" by March.
"Once [PM] Boris Johnson made the announcement that everything would open up in April, and it started getting lighter, the days were longer because it got darker a little later, then people thought, ‘I’ll just go outside,'" the gym owner added.
Terry emphasised the important of fitness for mental and physical health by saying: “People’s psychological edge was being tested anyway, just because of life, and then you’re told to be locked down for four and a half months, and then there’s whatever you’ve got going on in your life, whether it’s work, or you’ve got personal issues, marital issues, whatever – you can’t go anywhere, it’s all on top of you, you need something to release.”