Lockdown and restrictions limited people‚’s opportunities for exercise,often also resulting in a loss of social contact as gyms and exercise classes closed.This was especially significant for older people, single parents, those who were shielding and those living on their own or in more rural areas.The nation‚’s fitness instructors rose to the challenge.Whilst Joe Wicks did a wonderful job keeping children and families active, all over the country instructors from venues such as church halls and community centres, who had never thought of online classes, honed their IT skills to offer a wide range of activities from Pilates to ballet and beyond in order to keep their classes going and their participants fit.
With nowhere to go and no one to see, Zoom classes became a social and fitness focus looked forward to by many, with the instructors providing cheerfulness and chat and maintaining the sense of community.
Many people found it an opportunity to enhance their IT skills, finding a new confidence and broader horizons. The classes also expanded their audience, including many who would never have joined an organised class or who would have been unable to, for a variety of reasons, such as inaccessibility, disability or cultural practices.
This would never have happened on this scale and at this pace, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that this incredible opportunity is retained and built on to continue the extension of fitness provision throughout the community.