LOCAL GYMS AND FITNESS TRAINERS HAVE BEEN WORKING TO KEEP BERMUDA MOVING
By Melissa Fox
With the 2020 shelter in place and subsequent Covid-19 regulations disrupting in-person interactions, gym owners and personal trainers have had to reimagine how they help Bermudians get and stay healthy.
ENERGIZE FITNESS – energize-wellness-solutions.org
Owner of Energize! Wellness Solutions, Aprille Choudhury-DeShields admits that during the first round of lockdowns she allowed herself to “take a pause”, but soon realized that, in order to remain operational, she would have to step out of her comfort zone.
“Last year this time was quite nerve-wracking,” Ms Choudhury-DeShields said of Spring 2020, “but by introducing Zoom classes, which I had never done before, I had people showing up for classes who had never stepped foot through our doors.”
When feasible, Energize! provides in-person classes with appropriate social distancing, both indoors and out where stairs or benches stand in lieu of equipment. Within the facility, every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of their clients, including spacing out training sessions.
“We had someone from the Department of Health tour the facility and they said we’re doing more than they require,” said Ms Choudry-DeShields.
For the foreseeable future, Energize! will continue to offer classes via Zoom as it has opened up a world of opportunity for both the Ms Choudry-DeShields and her clients.
“Even though we’re a small facility, people come to us because they feel good here, they feel comfortable and at home,” she said.
A Behavioural Change and Nutrition Coach, Jenille Smith found maintaining a positive attitude and managing the “ebb and flow of morale” one of the hardest parts of the pandemic.
“It has not been easy,” she said, “particularly for seniors when they are in isolation and missing their grandchildren and children. It is important to keep their spirits up.”
To stay active, Ms Smith went mobile, offering digital training sessions that allowed her to maintain that personal interaction with her clients in a safe manner, something that she considers tantamount. The initial learning curve was steep, but she credits the Lifetime Learning Centre in bringing her elderly clients up to speed.
She also relies on the temperate climate of our island paradise, which sets an idyllic backdrop for programmes offered under the sun.
“I have a weekly group that walks on the trails. Bermuda is beautiful, I am actually grateful that our community is now exploring other avenues of fitness outdoors,” said Ms Smith.
SCOTT R SMITH – HOLISTIC FITNESS BERMUDA
“The 2020 shelter in place did not stop [my clientele] from achieving what we set out to do,” said Scott Smith, owner of Holistic Fitness Bermuda. “It did make it difficult because I run a tight ship. The restrictions saw schedule changes, even more communication with clients and alterations in training programs.
“Thankfully, [we] don’t work off motivation but rather dedication. Motivation comes and goes but dedication is a lifestyle.”
Voted Bermuda’s Best Personal Trainer in 2020, Mr Smith’s challenge was accommodating over 30 different schedules per week.
“Luckily for me, my clients are very focused and determined and understand the need to stay committed and active,” he said.
Mr Smith also adopted Zoom for one-on-one sessions and tailored routines to allow clients to use what they have available. “It’s not always convenient as some goals require gym equipment but something is always better than nothing,” he said, “and keeping fit and active helps for an easier transition back to the gym.”
All in all, Mr Smith said the pandemic has taught him to be more flexible: “I had a website built which will be used to offer training programmes for all levels, as well as health and nutrition education and guidelines by scientific research.”