From Thursday, England will be thrown into another national lockdown, with non-essential shops, hospitality venues and gyms closing their doors to the public once more to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
However, many commentators have argued the move could cripple the economy, put businesses out of action permanently and harm the health of a nation. These arguments will, undoubtedly, fall on deaf ears, but one gym owner is taking a stand and making sure his voice is heard.
Alex Lowndes, who runs independent gym Gainz Bedford, posted a video on his Instagram page explaining why his doors will remain open from Thursday evening, pointing out how health and fitness, and encouraging people to work out, is part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to the pandemic.
'We have done a lot of thinking and we have decided that we are actually going to stay open,' he said in the video.
'The reasons for that are laid out in a document that we have prepared, which is two full pages, contains a lot of facts, a lot of relevant information.
'No this isn’t Liverpool, this isn’t Tier 3, this is national lockdown.
'The same arguments apply, the same logic, the same facts. Gyms are part of the solution here, not part of the problem. We need to be allowed to stay open. We are going to stay open. We hope that becomes legal in time.'
The document released by Gainz Bedford argues that boosting the immune system through exercises is of 'paramount' importance during the pandemic. With numerous studies highlighting how obesity heightens the risk of covid-19 and potentially worsening the effects of the virus, the gym owner's argument isn't without merit.
'We all know that obesity is the biggest co-morbidity when it comes to Covid, and what has the government done about this? Absolutely NOTHING. In fact, they subsided fast food, so that people could buy cheeseburgers for 45p.
'Why not invest in educating people on nutrition, encouraging physical exercise? Perhaps a VAT cut on running shoes, bicycles, gym memberships. Closing gyms goes against the science in every way possible.'
From Thursday, it will be illegal for gyms to remain open, and anyone caught breaching the rules could face a hefty fine.
According to Test and Trace data however, gyms were responsible for just 3% of coronavirus infections in October. From 20,766 public infections, gyms accounted for just 620.
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