SAULT STE. MARIE: As many gyms patiently wait for the reopen come Friday (July 17), one exercise practitioner continued to offer her clients services through zoom meetings, phone calls and outdoor activities. Amanda Lambert, CEO of Strong Minds, has been organizing outdoor fitness classes at Clergue Park three times a week to offer the community a way of staying connected and staying in check with mental health as we head into the fourth month of Covid-19 stress.
“We’ve been offering outdoor fitness classes for the community since June 17, it’s just something to be able to offer the community while we’re still waiting for gym facilities to reopen. We’re offering classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12 p.m., led by Spencer Bordin, our instructor. Monday’s is Strong Hits, Wednesday is Strong Body Bootcamp, and Friday is Strong Moves. It’s different classes to target an all-body workout and are suitable for all levels” said Amanda Lambert, Registered Health & Exercise Practitioner, CEO of Strong Minds.
Strong Minds is offering classes all summer long, and are also offering online workouts, and group classes where Strong Minds comes to you instead of going to Clergue Park. Lambert has been offering these classes to the community as a way to help individuals cope with any mental health concerns that may have stemmed from the pandemic.
“Well, in all honesty, the pandemic really affects the average person. But if you go through any mental health concerns it really is detrimental to one’s health. I just truly believe that physical activity helps our mental health in so many ways. It helps decrease anxiety, depression, and negative moods. Physical activity helps increase our self-esteem, cognitive function. It has a lot of benefits. Unfortunately, a lot of health and wellness facilities are really impacted by this where the only options that we can offer are outdoor classes.”
Outdoor classes haven’t been the only thing Lambert offers. As she’s been able to assist clients through Zoom meetings and if there are any face-to-face interactions social distancing is adhered to.
“When Covid first hit, I really had to offer a lot of services and support through Zoom, and phone. When restrictions and guidelines did lift I was able to work with some clients but we still have to be very conscious of the government guidelines, by adhering to social distancing. It’s still impacted, I’m not able to take any of my clients to the gyms, I’m able to take them out to outdoor classes like Strong Minds has been providing. It’s been a challenge for everyone and I’m really hoping that things start getting back to our old norm.”
As gyms start to prepare for the reopen, that means fitness-based therapy plans will begin again, but how does one get motivated after so long without gyms? SaultOnline had the chance to ask Lambert, how does one get motivated?
“I always tell my clients, when you want to improve something to start small. You want to set yourself up for success, not failure. If physical activity is something that you’re wanting to start implementing into your routine, start slow. Join a class or two and kind of work yourself up.”
If the gym isn’t your taste and you may be too nervous of potential exposure there are different ways to get your fitness needs met.
“If you are looking for things to do I highly recommend looking on social media. A lot of health and wellness facilities are putting things up on Instagram and Facebook, and come and enjoy some outdoor classes.”
Strong Minds is also offering community support groups. If you’re having a day where you feel like you just need to talk to someone Strong Minds is there.
“Strong Minds’ goal is to fill in the gaps because there aren’t a lot of services that are being offered right now, especially for mental health. We really want to be able to help the community in any way possible. If you are needing help or services, please reach out and we will help you in any way possible. I would highly recommend if you are someone who does struggle with any mental health concerns during COVID, to reach out. It’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes we’re needing that additional support to be able to help function in our everyday life. I would recommend reaching out to someone and try to do the opposite action. If you’re feeling like you don’t want to do something, do the opposite and get yourself out there.”