Ettienne van Wyngaardt, manager of Tzaneen Health and Fitness Gym, encourages the fitness fraternity of Tzaneen to get back into action in a safe regulated environment. Photos: Roelof de Jonge

It is back to the dumbbells and treadmills as the new Level 2 regulations allows for the reopening of gyms and fitness centres. Bulletin spoke with the manager of Tzaneen Health and Fitness gym, Ettienne van Wyngaardt, on how some of the ludicrous lock down regulations affected the fitness industry. And the preventative measures that are now expected to be in place to operate in a ‘safe and hygienic’ space. A lengthy list was released indicating what is to be expected from gyms to operate a Covid-19 free environment.

Tracy Petersen, fitness trainer at Tzaneen Health and Fitness Gym.

It is going to take some serious getting used to when you return to the gym to rid yourself of the excess covid-19 belly fat you acquired on that couch the last five months.

Among the new rules which you will have to adhere to include always keeping to social distancing and that no socialising will be allowed on site. Shockingly, the government will also expect gymgoers to wear a mask during their workouts. Classes need to be booked in advance (a two week no booking penalty will be given to persons not pitching up for classes after bookings were made), no sport bags are allowed and members are required to bring their own water.

Strictly no showering or changing clothes on site, members must come dressed for fitness sessions and there will be no hand shaking allowed. Members should not visit the gym if they do not feel well, have a sore throat or fever and no children are allowed.

All persons will have to sanitise before entering the gym. At the registration desk the staff will do temperature screening whereby the names and contact details of persons are taken down in a log book to keep track of the health of regular visitors.

Before entering the booth at the registration desk, members must sanitise their hands once again. All the equipment used is placed in clearly marked blocks on the floor to ensure social distancing and all equipment needs to be sanitised before and after use. Even the floor of the fitness classes with its limit of 14 persons per class, is clearly marked in squares to ensure social distancing.

Mziwethu Sithole and fitness trainer Tracy Petersen.

“The extra measures we now have in place to protect our gym members and workers, could have been put in place from the start. I feel there was no need really to close down the fitness industry for five months,” said Van Wyngaardt. “Gym and fitness training centres have always been known for following hygienic protocols even before the outbreak of the Coronavirus. With the added Covid-19 preventative measures, we have all the needed requirements in place to operate. Our gym members and staff have no reason to fear infection, they will be safe.”

Australian gyms were permitted to reopen two months ago and have not recorded a single infection since then. “In my opinion and having been in the fitness industry for many years, I can say that fitness and regular training is one of the best ways to boost a person’s immune system which in turn helps to fend off viruses.”

“We can only allow a maximum of 50 persons per hour, so it is essential that persons book in advance. Our aerobics classes will only accommodate 14 persons per class from now on in order to follow the protocol as set by the Department of Sport.”

Johan von Molendorf, staff member at Tzaneen Health and Fitness Gym, are ready to scan members and visitors entering this fitness establishment.

Tzaneen Health and Fitness Gym is situated at the corner of Windsor and Agatha Street and can be contacted at 073 265 2650 or 076 413 9257. Van Wyngaard and his staff are eagerly awaiting to welcome members and new members.



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