• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Why are gyms not deemed essential?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Scotrail12

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
837
We’re heading into winter, it’s really too cold to exercise outside so I have to ask, why are gyms not deemed essential?

They aren’t open in England at the moment and they will shut in any Tier 4 region of Scotland as well.

Exercise is surely important and it’s not like gyms are places which have had much transmission. Do they actually care about physical health?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
5,236
Location
Birmingham
Gyms should be open, though i question the notion that you can't exercise outside now, i do so every day...
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
4,856
I think the government does not want to admit publicly that schools are one of the main areas that transmission of the virus is occurring.

Because they have a policy of keeping schools open at all costs, other settings such as non essential retail, pubs, gyms and places of worship are being made scapegoats for the increase in cases.

Closing places such as gyms makes it look as if the government is doing something to control the spread of the virus, even if the closures have a minimal impact on infection rates.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
68,140
Location
Yorkshire
I think the government does not want to admit publicly that schools are one of the main areas that transmission of the virus is occurring.

Because they have a policy of keeping schools open at all costs, other settings such as non essential retail, pubs, gyms and places of worship are being made scapegoats for the increase in cases.

Closing places such as gyms makes it look as if the government is doing something to control the spread of the virus, even if the closures have a minimal impact on infection rates.
I agree with the majority of this post but I don't think there is that much transmission in schools (unless a huge proportion of it is asymptomatic), but that's for another thread.

Because they are not I guess ????
By that logic, nothing is essential other than basic things like bread and water?!


The reality is "essential" is a very arbitrary term, and has effectively been defined by wealthier people who tend to have loads of spare clothes/shoes, reasonably proportioned homes, with gardens or access to recreational land, and so on. Lockdowns are effectively a form of class war.
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
6,680
Location
Northern England
Well, why should they be deemed essential?

There's plenty of exercise you can do other than in a gym.

Edit: Note: I'm aware this sounds overly harsh because it was made on the assumption that a lockdown is a given.
While I'm of the opinion that in a lockdown, gyms aren't necessarily essential. However, I don't really believe a lockdown is a good idea. Please see my posts below.

As such, while this post still partially reflects my opinion, it is also partially playing devils advocate
 
Last edited:

big_rig

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2020
Messages
394
Location
London
Well, why should they be deemed essential?

There's plenty of exercise you can do other than in a gym.
This is really the crux of the ‘race to the bottom’ lockdown absolutism. I *could* run round in the dark and cold after you know, working during each and every daylight hour during winter. It’s not impossible. It would be a miserable experience, unsafe for women, and mean no exercise beyond cardio is possible, and I probably just won’t bother. But it’s not impossible and closing gyms could maybe save one life from covid, no matter the impact on people’s mental and physical health. What a way to look at life - everything should be banned indefinitely unless it’s need is absolutely proven otherwise. Hope nobody who supports that way of thinking is having anything but gruel for tea though.
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
6,680
Location
Northern England
This is really the crux of the ‘race to the bottom’ lockdown absolutism. I *could* run round in the dark and cold after you know, working during each and every daylight hour during winter. It’s not impossible. It would be a miserable experience, unsafe for women, and mean no exercise beyond cardio is possible, and I probably just won’t bother. But it’s not impossible and closing gyms could maybe save one life from covid, no matter the impact on people’s mental and physical health.
I take your point... however, a lockdown means closing everything that isn't entirely required for society to function.
If gyms were open, then there'd be a thread on this forum saying "Why aren't pubs open? Gyms are open, so pubs must be safe as well!"
If pubs were open, then there'd be a thread saying "Why aren't cinemas open?"
And so on.

Schools being open is at this point the anomaly. But the point I'm trying to make is that the people who get their exercise by going out for several hours on their bike at the weekend rather than going to the gym in the evening will start to question why people are allowed to go to the gym, but they are not allowed to do [insert their preferred activity here]. Whatever you do, you're going to annoy somebody.

Whether a lockdown is the correct course of action here is not something I will discuss or even express an opinion on, as it's been done ad nauseam in several other threads. But if you want a lockdown (which, again, I am not saying I do), then you have to actually lock down.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
68,140
Location
Yorkshire
I take your point... however, a lockdown means closing everything that isn't entirely required for society to function.
If gyms were open, then there'd be a thread on this forum saying "Why aren't pubs open? Gyms are open, so pubs must be safe as well!"
If pubs were open, then there'd be a thread saying "Why aren't cinemas open?"
And so on.

Schools being open is at this point the anomaly. But the point I'm trying to make is that the people who get their exercise by going out for several hours on their bike at the weekend rather than going to the gym in the evening will start to question why people are allowed to go to the gym, but they are not allowed to do [insert their preferred activity here]. Whatever you do, you're going to annoy somebody.

Whether a lockdown is the correct course of action here is not something I will discuss or even express an opinion on, as it's been done ad nauseam in several other threads. But if you want a lockdown (which, again, I am not saying I do), then you have to actually lock down.
I have to wonder what job you do and what exercise you do?

Last week I left work at various times between 1800 and 1900. By that time it is completely dark, cold, and you want me to go "for a bike ride"? Why can't I play football, which I spent 5 hours doing in the previous week?

By your logic, why don't people just wake up, do nothing all day apart from eat basic products such as bread and water, go to sleep and repeat every day until everyone has the vaccine?!

Your apparent proposals to do loads of people out of work and make life far less enjoyable than it was before is not sustainable.

And if you are "not saying" you want this, why suggest it?
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
6,680
Location
Northern England
To be completely honest... no, I don't really want another lockdown.

The point I'm trying to make is that if we are locking down again - which someone in government has decided we are - then it's necessary to pick a cut-off somewhere for what is considered to be essential. Wherever you put that cut-off, you are going to annoy a considerable number of people who discover that their preferred activity is the most essential thing to be deemed non-essential.

Personally, I'm reasonably happy with the balance the government has chosen, by the standards of these things. But I'm aware I am a very outdoor-oriented person; I don't really particularly mind the cold etc. - so it happens to work for me. But that's from a selfish perspective, and I understand that.

The first post I made in this thread may have come across as a little harsh, and was partially playing devils advocate (in that the absolute ideal scenario would be no lockdown at all).
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
16,223
Location
0036
I would very much like gyms to reopen in England. Physical fitness is very important and in the current weather conditions the availability of gyms will make a considerable difference to how much exercise people get. And it is well-settled that physically active people are healthier overall.

I am hopeful that they will not bring in the absurd requirement from Wales and Scotland that masks be worn when not "actively exercising".
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
6,680
Location
Northern England
masks be worn when not "actively exercising".
I'm usually less critical of the mask requirements than most on here, but... I'm sorry, what the hell is that supposed to mean? It's vague to the point of being meaningless.

Are you required to put your mask on if you put down a weight for a couple of seconds to take a drink of water? Or are you allowed them off until you get back into the changing area? Or anything inbetween?
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
16,223
Location
0036
I'm usually less critical of the mask requirements than most on here, but... I'm sorry, what the hell is that supposed to mean? It's vague to the point of being meaningless.

Are you required to put your mask on if you put down a weight for a couple of seconds to take a drink of water? Or are you allowed them off until you get back into the changing area? Or anything inbetween?
Your guess is as good as mine. The Welsh legislation does not spell it out. Their government website says:

What about exercising and using the gym?​

Gyms and leisure centres are indoor public places so you will need to wear a face covering when you go there and you will need to keep it on depending on what you are doing. If you are preparing to exercise, changing or undertaking any activity that isn’t strenuous, especially when in close contact with other people, you will need to wear a face covering.

However, there may be circumstances where the layout of the premises and the nature of the exercise you are doing mean that it would not be reasonable to expect you to wear a face covering. The World Health Organisation advises against wearing a face covering when exercising as sweat can make a face covering become wet more quickly, making it difficult to breathe and promoting the growth of microorganisms. It advises the important preventative measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance from others.

Gym and leisure centre operators will be expected to give you further information about the systems put in place and what you will be expected to do.
 

big_rig

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2020
Messages
394
Location
London
By that logic, nothing is essential other than basic things like bread and water?!


The reality is "essential" is a very arbitrary term, and has effectively been defined by wealthier people who tend to have loads of spare clothes/shoes, reasonably proportioned homes, with gardens or access to recreational land, and so on. Lockdowns are effectively a form of class war.
This really is the crux of it, isn’t it, but I would add ‘intergenerational’ to the form of class war that lockdown is as well.

If gyms were open, then there'd be a thread on this forum saying "Why aren't pubs open? Gyms are open, so pubs must be safe as well!"
If pubs were open, then there'd be a thread saying "Why aren't cinemas open?"
And so on.

Schools being open is at this point the anomaly. But the point I'm trying to make is that the people who get their exercise by going out for several hours on their bike at the weekend rather than going to the gym in the evening will start to question why people are allowed to go to the gym, but they are not allowed to do [insert their preferred activity here]. Whatever you do, you're going to annoy somebody.

Whether a lockdown is the correct course of action here is not something I will discuss or even express an opinion on, as it's been done ad nauseam in several other threads. But if you want a lockdown (which, again, I am not saying I do), then you have to actually lock down.
I read this as a ‘slippery slope’ argument which I strongly disagree with for gyms because:

1) Exercise is essential (unless we think otherwise healthy people getting fat and sad is a good outcome). Cinemas and such aren’t (and I include golf etc in this too);
2) ‘non-essential’ activities can be replicated in some other fashion to a much higher degree than exercise in winter - Netflix, online betting, zoom calls etc (as dire as they are), or have been allowed to continue in the current lockdown under whatever the rules are that people do or don’t follow (one person for a walk or whatever)
3) In winter exercise is very difficult if not impossible to replicate for many, if not the large majority of people, unless there is nice weekend weather or you have the space and money to have bought indoor equipment before it sold out.

I really think in this winter lockdown there’s a genuine case to classify gyms as essential businesses. I also note the SAGE ‘evidence’ to support closing them was exceptionally low value (it was basically ‘yeah running in winter is a non starter but oh well umm councils could maybe do something about that?’). Let’s hope they open up again.
 

mawallace

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2006
Messages
291
To add some discussion - I have an office job - and normally go swimming 3 times a week and swim at least a mile each time.

I have a medical issue with my leg - always blows up and causes an infection if I do not get enough exercise .

Surprise- last lockdown I ended up having to get medical treatment - why? cause I not exercise enough (despite walking 1 1/2 miles a day). Point is - that was caused needlessly by the fact I did not go swimming.

Problem is that we look at one aspect - COVID-19 - not the bigger picuture.
 

ChrisC

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
1,630
Location
Nottinghamshire
When did going to he gym become essential? Reading this thread has got me thinking about this.
I understand how important going to the gym is for so many people these days and how many do consider it essential because it’s such an important part of their lifestyle.

However, I do think it’s a generational thing and many older people would not see it as essential because it never has been part of their lives. I’m in my early 60’s, and apart from PE lessons when I was at school, I have never been in a gym in my life. I would like to suggest that it was not a thing that people of my generation and older did. Even if you were keen on taking part in sport and played football, cricket, rugby etc, regularly going to the gym was still something you did not do. I can’t remember any of my friends going to a gym and although I know that quite a few older people have taken it up in recent years, I don’t personally know many of my generation who do.

Yet, despite the fact that I have never been to the gym, I am not completely unfit. I don’t sit around for hours every day watching the tv and eating junk food. I live quite an active life including doing lots of gardening and lots of walking. Every week, even in winter, I try to do at least one walk of between 5 and 10 miles and I walk over a mile to my nearest shop a few times each week. Perhaps it is easier for me living in a rural area rather than in a city.

I’m not attempting to take sides in this discussion and accept that for some people gyms have become an essential part of life. However, they are not essential for everyone in the same way as food and drink.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
68,140
Location
Yorkshire
I’m not attempting to take sides in this discussion and accept that for some people gyms have become an essential part of life. However, they are not essential for everyone in the same way as food and drink.
Exercise is as essential as food and drink.

No-one is being denied access to food and drink items, so no-one should be denied access to forms of exercise.

I can't easily replace football with other activities, especially not during winter.

I'm fed up of being dictated to by the pro lockdown brigade and most people I know are fed up too.
 

ChrisC

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
1,630
Location
Nottinghamshire
Exercise is as essential as food and drink.

No-one is being denied access to food and drink items, so no-one should be denied access to forms of exercise.

I can't easily replace football with other activities, especially not during winter.

I'm fed up of being dictated to by the pro lockdown brigade and most people I know are fed up too.
I am certainly not pro lockdown.
I fully understand that exercise is essential, including for our mental health also exercise of the mind.
I also feel that it was essential that children returned to school and that they remain there.

All I was doing was asking the question when did going to the gym become the essential part of so many peoples lives. Did it begin during the 1980’s, 1990’s or later. I am just interested to know as it’s something I have never really given much thought to and it is obviously now an essential part of many peoples lifestyle.
 

WestCoast

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,590
Location
Glasgow
I am not supportive of closing gyms which are following the guidelines, although I did have some concerns about some of those visting my local gym (which is one of the big budget chains without a reception nor much in the way of a staff presence). Big groups of teenagers seemed to be roaming around not supporting social distancing nor wearing face coverings. I reported this to the operator but it didn't appear to receive much in the way of an answer just a link to their generic policy.

I'm hoping to spend Christmas with family as Covid negative but even though gyms remain open in Scotland so I'll probably give it a miss just to avoid any such situations.
 

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
3,680
Location
Sheffield
@py_megapixel

Are you required to put your mask on if you put down a weight for a couple of seconds to take a drink of water


If you can drink water with a mask on, you have a rare talent. Have you considered becoming a ventriloquist? :D
 

AM9

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
14,302
Location
St Albans
Yes, although you are trying to make it sound like Siberia. I agree that gyms should be open but the notion that it's too cold to exercise outside is absurd.
Precisely. Anybody can exercise outside by walking, running, - even cycling if they really are concerned about their physical health. So closing enclosed gyms is compatible with restricting heavy breathing in an indoor public space but not an excuse for not exercising at all. Arguably the only leisure centre type of activity that should remain open is lane swimming in an indoor pool. Providing the correct spacing and security is observed in showers and changing rooms, actually swimming in a salted/chlorinated water pool carries far less risk than any other indoor exercise location.
Apart from a few privileged people who have access to indoor private pools, there is no practical alternative, especially in the colder months. Unsupervised wild swimming is not safe enough and even if it was, there are plenty of areas where there is no suitable stretch of water anyway.
 

farleigh

Member
Joined
1 Nov 2016
Messages
1,148
Precisely. Anybody can exercise outside by walking, running, - even cycling if they really are concerned about their physical health. So closing enclosed gyms is compatible with restricting heavy breathing in an indoor public space but not an excuse for not exercising at all. Arguably the only leisure centre type of activity that should remain open is lane swimming in an indoor pool. Providing the correct spacing and security is observed in showers and changing rooms, actually swimming in a salted/chlorinated water pool carries far less risk than any other indoor exercise location.
Apart from a few privileged people who have access to indoor private pools, there is no practical alternative, especially in the colder months. Unsupervised wild swimming is not safe enough and even if it was, there are plenty of areas where there is no suitable stretch of water anyway.
So you swim and don't use gyms?
 

big_rig

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2020
Messages
394
Location
London
So you swim and don't use gyms?
Selfishness really is the main character trait of the lockdown lover isn’t it, closely followed by a desire for others to not have any enjoyment in life.

Back in the real world when the sunrise is at 8AM and sunset at 4PM, and people work for a living during the day, different requirements for exercise exist.
 

AM9

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
14,302
Location
St Albans
So you swim and don't use gyms?
I can exercise (in the dark if necessary) by walking. There's no limit on that in this short shutdown period. Fot those that are serious about their health, rather than sit around moaning about gyms being shut for four weeks, they would do some exercise. And no, I'm not swimming at the moment, just like many others for whom swimming is a therapeutic tool. I'll be back when they open though.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
3,642
Location
First Class
I am certainly not pro lockdown.
I fully understand that exercise is essential, including for our mental health also exercise of the mind.
I also feel that it was essential that children returned to school and that they remain there.

All I was doing was asking the question when did going to the gym become the essential part of so many peoples lives. Did it begin during the 1980’s, 1990’s or later. I am just interested to know as it’s something I have never really given much thought to and it is obviously now an essential part of many peoples lifestyle.

I think I know where you’re coming from here so I won’t bite your head off, as livid as I am about gyms being closed!

To answer your question, I think the widespread popularity of gyms came into being post-2000 as more and more people earned their living sat behind a desk. There’s since been a trend for gym-going and I think it’s seen as ‘cool’ to go these days which is no bad thing. I myself train at a boxing gym, it’s the antithesis of the fitness studio type gyms that are now so popular but it’s each to their own; I fully understand why most people choose to get fit without being punched in the face! As well as the fact that gyms allow people to train in a comfortable environment (not everybody is hardy enough to go for a run in the cold!) many also offer classes. A lot of people struggle with motivation so these classes are ‘essential’ to those individuals. Regardless of what type of training you do it’s certainly beneficial both physically and mentally, but without gyms many people simply won’t enjoy the benefits. I’m very much of the opinion that closing them is doing far more harm than good, they’re another victim of government posturing....
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
17,825
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Selfishness really is the main character trait of the lockdown lover isn’t it, closely followed by a desire for others to not have any enjoyment in life.

Back in the real world when the sunrise is at 8AM and sunset at 4PM, and people work for a living during the day, different requirements for exercise exist.

We went out for a walk earlier. Having completed all the other domestic tasks, by the time we got out it was dark, cold, raining and windy. Better than nothing, but felt like self-torture at times. Thanks Boris.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
20,432
Location
0035
Well, why should they be deemed essential?
“Essential” is a misnomer.

Businesses and attractions are allowed to stay open if they are determined by the government to stay open - how “essential” they are (whatever that means)
doesn’t seem to come into it.

Garden centres are allowed to stay open as are botanical gardens. Estate agent branches are still open and house viewings still taking place. Shops like The Range and Wilko are allowed to stay open despite the fact the number of products they sell that could be deemed as “essential” are minuscule and readily obtained elsewhere, but they sell numerous categories of products that means that those responsible for enforcing the law have deemed them acceptable to keep trading.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top