Group exercise set to return to leisure centres.

Leisure centres in Havering are set to relaunch group exercise classes in what has been called “a huge boost” for the mental health of the community.

Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre, Central Park Leisure Centre and Sapphire Ice and Leisure, run by Everyone Active in partnership with Havering Council reopened on Monday 12 April after three months of closure due to the third lockdown. 

And now group exercise has been given the green lightto resume from Monday 17 May in the penultimate stage of the Government’s four-step roadmap.

Prior to the reopening of gyms, customers were able to use Everyone Active’s comprehensive package of online workouts and live streamed classes across its social media pages. 

As restrictions have eased, many have been eager to return to group exercise in centres and Everyone Active’s strict operational measures mean they can do so in a Covid-safe environment.

Research commissioned by ukactive* showed that 58% of people had managed their mental health and wellbeing during lockdown through being active, while 63% said that taking part in sport and physical activity with others could help with feelings of loneliness.

Tom Fletcher, area contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We are delighted to be able to safely resume group exercise classes in our centres. 

“Aside from the obvious physical benefits, this will be a huge boost for mental health and wellbeing in Haveringand comes at an apt time following the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

“Many of our customers thrive on the social element of exercise, not just for motivational reasons but also because they enjoy seeing friendly faces in a familiar environment.

“With social contact having been limited over the past year, the ability to mix safely with other members of the community will be appreciated by many.

“The importance of mental wellbeing is proving increasingly resonant with the public and customers can reintroduce group exercise to their fitness regime in the knowledge they are addressing the needs of body and mind.”

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, added:“As the government roadmap out of lockdown continues, it’s great to see that leisure centres can now reopen for group exercise.

“This past year has been a constant reminder of how important health and wellbeing is. These centres play an important role as COVID-secure spaces for people to get healthier by being physically and mentally active as we emerge from lockdown”

Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found here.

The Government’s roadmap includes detail on which facilities can reopen within each step, meaning some may not be available in the first instance. For details about which facilities can reopen in each step and the latest guidance, click here.

Customers wishing to attend group exercise classes are required to book in advance via the Everyone Active website or mobile app.

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