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    CRUCIAL STEP: Horsham Aquatic Centre fitness instructor and centre director Mark Meyer puts plans in place for virtual gym classes for members. Picture: PAUL CARRACER

Horsham Aquatic Centre An offers workout for fitness fans | COVID-19

Wimmera health enthusiasts are moving fitness sessions online after COVID-19 restrictions closed sport and recreation centres across the state.  

Horsham Aquatic Centre, which runs an extensive range of group fitness sessions, is offering virtual fitness classes in an effort to help people retain their fitness level while self-isolating.   

Fitness trainers at the centre will live-stream and provide videos for members to enable them to continue their workouts at home.  

Kelly Miller, who teaches ‘body attack’ classes, said exercising had never been so important for people’s health and wellbeing. 

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“Staying active during this crisis is more important than ever,” she said.

“Not only does exercise make us feel good, it can support our immune system and improve our physical and mental health. It is a great way to clear our minds during these uncertain times.” 

Members are encouraged to join Horsham Aquatic Centre’s ‘Covid-19 Fitness Crew’ Facebook group, where people can find the live streamed fitness sessions and share their own workouts. 

Centre director Mark Meyer said the team would continue the online service for the foreseeable future. 

“We are going to try to put up at least one workout video in our group challenge at least once a week,” he said. 

“For our members, having people they know and trainers they know conducting the sessions will allow them to still feel a connection.

“We’re going to start releasing mindful mediation as well, so if people are feeling anxious or stressed, they can get involved in that.”

Mr Meyer said sessions would vary in difficulty to cater for people of all fitness levels. 

“We have a diverse community, we are mindful of that, so we are providing lower and higher intensity options for all of our members,” he said. 

“We are going to focus exclusively on body weight activities and things people can commonly find at home. 

“So that people aren’t excluded, we’re not going to do, for example, barbell work outs – not everyone has those pieces of equipment.”

Mr Meyer said going online provided the dual benefits of continuing to employ trainers at the centre, while motivating the public to stay active in self-isolation. 

“People are out of work at the moment. We’re going to try to engage with as many of our trainers as we can and provide them with opportunities to work with our community through our social channels,” he said. 

Mr Meyer said having the online resource was a crucial step forward for the centre, aiding people to continue on their fitness journeys for the weeks ahead. 

“This has hit a lot of our members quite hard, having the centre closed, because they do rely on their physical activity to get them through their day-to-day lives,” he said. 

“Some do it for stress relief, some do it to maintain their mobility. It’s a hit temporarily losing a centre like ours – we need to be more creative with how we work with the community.

“It’s a really uncertain time at the moment, which can create a lot of anxiety and other mental health problems as well, and obviously being physically active is a protection against things like anxiety and depression.”

– Dylan De Jong

The entire April 1, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!