Alberta needs to reopen gyms

While the decimation of the hospitality sector due to COVID-19 lockdowns has been well reported, gyms which have been locked down have been forgotten.

Among the many things the state has not been doing as they arbitrarily restrict the freedoms of citizens in the name of pandemic control, doing a cost-benefit analysis of restrictions has been one of the most egregious. Closing gyms to citizens at a time like this has done far more harm than good.

The reality is that infections have dropped around the world. Our health systems are far from being overwhelmed and they won’t be. Despite this the government keeps desperately moving the goalposts for reopening and it is harming citizens and business owners alike.

Look at the modelling they used in order to justify lockdowns. It is utter crap and it is an embarrassment. The “experts” who are guiding our government decisions are clearly inept and this governing by magic 8-ball has to end.

Getting back to that cost-benefit thing. It is well established that gyms provide immeasurable benefits to citizens, particularly in winter nations. The cost? It hasn’t been established that well-managed gyms are super-spreaders of the virus and as the government’s own projections have shown, society is hardly at rik right now.

Exercise is good for both the mind and body. No competent health professional can claim that regular visits to a gym are a bad thing. A workout reduces stress and has clear physical benefits. People are still dying of heart attacks, overdoses and suicides during the pandemic even if we aren’t hearing about it and regular exercise is something that gives an outlet to people to avoid all of those potential killers.

Not everybody has a home gym where they can work out. They need somewhere to go.

Gyms also provide guidance for beginning members. Exercising properly is essential and YouTube videos don’t quite cut it for somebody who is perhaps just beginning at a gym or has special requirements due to medical procedures. When full physiotherapy ends for people, gym time begins and working out in the living room doesn’t cut it.

As with so many other restricted activities, gyms also provide a social outlet. Depression is a killer and keeping people locked away from their social activities can make that condition far more acute and quickly.

As we pressure our government to back off on their restrictions upon businesses and citizens, let’s not forget to include gyms in that pressure. Thousands of business owners and millions of Albertans rely on them.

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