JEDDAH: In keeping with the Kingdom’s efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the General Sports Authority announced on Saturday that gyms in Saudi Arabia are now temporarily closed.
Lamia Binsaddig, founder of BeWellCrossFit said many gym owners were worried about their finances but support the decision for everyone’s safety.
“I know trainers and gym owners — including myself — are worried about their business, but I think in such a situation, we shouldn’t think ‘I’, we should always think ‘We.’ And we should all support this decision,” she told Arab News.
“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community,” she continued quoting American educator and author Anthony J. D’Angelo, “When you care enough to make a difference in others’ lives, trust me, they can feel it. And you will keep them on track.”
Like many other trainers in the Kingdom, Binsaddig is currently providing online classes for her clients.
“I will keep my commitment and show my commitment to each individual in a profound way.” She advises everyone to do their best to get some exercise at home, as it strengthens the immune system.
“The key to getting those immune-boosting benefits is to train correctly,” she said. “Moderate amounts of exercise can support immunity.”
The founder and owner of RK Fit, Reham Kamal, is sending her clients daily workout plans to keep them active and fit while away.
“Prohibiting crowding for the benefit and well-being of people is a good decision because there is a high risk of catching COVID-19 at gyms.
Some people are not conscious about their bad habits — such as not washing their hands, especially at big gyms with so much equipment,” she said.
“It would be very easy to spread the virus this way. This decision is definitely for our well-being.” She added that, as well as strengthening the immune system, exercise also helps to relieve stress.
“There is so much negative talk and fear going around during this time,” she said. “Exercising releases stress.”
Malek Batterjee, the owner of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, said the decision is a great idea for the health and welfare of all people.
“We need to stick together to get through this,” he told Arab News.
He also urged people to help gyms survive the financial impact that coronavirus will undoubtedly have on their business.
“It’s the responsibility of the members to help their gyms to stay alive by not abandoning them in this difficult time,” he said.
“If everyone freezes their accounts or stops paying the gyms, the smaller businesses might close down. So if you can keep your subscriptions active and pay your gyms that would be great, and if the financial burden is too much, or you can’t justify it, then that’s also fair.”
He also encouraged gyms to allow members to claim back any time in which they are unable to use their memberships.
Currently, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s clients are able to continue their training at home, with tailored classes, as long as they have an exercise partner and internet access.
“All of our students have access to all their classes online. They can watch the lessons and practice the techniques,” Batterjee said, stressing that it’s important to keep active at this time.
“There’s no pill to cure (coronavirus). So eat healthy and exercise to stay healthy,” he said.
“This is self-defense and therefore this is Jiu-Jitsu. The first line of self-defense is your health.”