Andrea Keeves and Bianca Bauer from Snap Fitness Kingaroy are encouraging locals to head over for a free session between October 10-17. Photo/Holly Cormack.
Andrea Keeves and Bianca Bauer from Snap Fitness Kingaroy are encouraging locals to head over for a free session between October 10-17. Photo/Holly Cormack.

Gym snaps locals out of COVID blues with free sessions

AS THE mental health crisis continues to leave many Aussies feeling anxious, depressed and emotionally exhausted, Snap Fitness clubs nationwide are encouraging those who may be struggling with their mental wellbeing to hit the gym for free next week, giving their bodies a much needed endorphin boost.

Throughout Mental Health Week, October 10-17, more than 200 clubs across the country will open their doors for the public to train for free, including access to equipment as well as classes.

Having worked in the fitness industry for many years, Andrea Keeves from Snap Fitness Kingaroy said she has personally witnessed the therapeutic effect of physical fitness on a person's mental health.

“A lot of people use the gym as their safe place - as a bit of a sanctuary. It helps not just with their physical fitness and their physical well being, but it's also a mental thing for many people. When we went into lockdown I know a lot of people really struggled,” Ms Keeves said.

Ms Keeves said the thing she was most fearful of during the lockdown seeing her clients go downhill mentally, physically and emotionally. Once a person's mental wellbeing begins to unravel, she said it can be extremely difficult for them to bounce back.

“There are people who do suffer from depression, bipolar, that type of thing, and they just come in here, put their headphones, and have a bit of a workout. When they got thrown into lockdown, and they no longer had that safe space, it had far more of an effect than a lot of people realised,” she said.

Snap Fitness Chief Executive Officer Chris Caldwell said he is excited to see what the fitness community can achieve by facilitating positive physical activity and open conversations around mental health.

“At Snap Fitness our goal has always been to have an all-encompassing approach to health and wellness – we know the strong links between physical and mental health,” Mr Caldwell said.

“The existing mental health issues our society is suffering has been heightened this year with the global pandemic, so it’s never been more important for the entire country to get behind this cause and do something to create positive change in their communities.”

Those who can’t make it to the gym, or who live in an area where gyms are still closed, are still able to ‘take ten’ for their mental health with Snap Fitness and LIVIN running a virtual mediation session this Saturday October 10 via Facebook Live.

LIVIN Founder, Casey Lyons, said the partnership will give Australians a timely reminder to focus on their overall health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, taking a serious toll on those who suffer from mental health issues and those who may be experiencing these issues for the first time,” said Casey Lyons.

“LIVIN was created to break the stigma of mental health and we are asking everyone to take some time to focus on their mental health this month.”

To train for free during Mental Health Week, find your local Snap Fitness club here.

FAST FACTS:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health issues in any given year
  • Less than 50% of these people will access support
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians 14-44 years of age
  • Just over 8 people die from suicide every day
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