While they can no longer workout together, trainers at 30 Minute Hit want to ensure everyone stays healthy and are urging the public to keep exercising not just for the physical benefits, but also the mental ones. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

WATCH: Vernon gyms bring workouts home

‘This doesn’t change what’s happening in the world, but it can change how you cope with it’

With gyms closed and people cooped up inside, the importance of fitness is being exercised.

Residents are reminded that regular exercise not only gets us in better physical shape, it has a positive effect on our mental well-being.

“This doesn’t change what’s happening in the world, or your life, but it can change how you cope with it,” said Kristi Bieber, owner of Vernon’s 30 Minute Hit franchise.

“Exercise isn’t just about fixing something, you feel good when you exercise. So it makes a good day better, it makes a bad day better, it makes a bad life better, it makes a good life better.”

She’s seen the difference it can make in the lives of those who are struggling, especially with mental health.

“People who have lessened or completely eradicated medication because they’ve found a different medicine — exercise,” Bieber said.

And she’s personally benefited, during a struggle with postpartum depression with her second child.

“It saved my life,” said Bieber, now a mother of three. “It was my happy place away from home and it was exactly what I needed.”

Like these personal struggles, there are many people who are fighting effects of depression caused by isolation during this pandemic.

Therefore many gyms have adapted to the challenges by offering virtual workouts to members. But a few have gone even further and are giving everyone a chance to stay in shape while staying home.

“We’re just trying to stay proactive since the announcement of the closure until May 30,” Bieber said.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

Other groups are also opening up their services online, and some are using it as a chance to give back. Such as Grace+Flow, which is offering online yoga classes by donation to the Archway Society for Domestic Peace.

The boxing and kickboxing facility was one of the first to close, even before Interior Health’s order issued April 2, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Vernon gyms sweat decision to close

While there are major benefits to those struggling with everything from depression to Parkinson’s, Bieber said, exercise is important for everyone. And she has seen it all through her members.

“Women coming out of bad relationships. Women who have it all together but still want to hit things.

“We’re trying to make people feel good about themselves, stay strong and healthy.”

Bieber, 42, opened 30 Minute Hit five years ago. Along with celebrating her anniversary this year, the owner was featured on the cover of a North American magazine, Franchise Business Review. She was also featured in the Franchise Canada magazine with a three-page spread.

While she has been helping to transform women’s lives for five years, Bieber joined the community of hitters 10 years ago.

“I was in love from the first punch I threw,” she said of the workout plus the group camaraderie.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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