Posted on: 17 December 2020

COVID-19 measures in the UK

Across the UK, there are currently varying measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. For the latest COVID-19 rules, regulations and measures, visit the government website of the country that you are based.

England: The latest guidance for businesses in England can be at the UK government website.

Northern Ireland: Northern Irish businesses can find the most up to date guidance at the Northern Irish Department of Health website.

Scotland: For the latest updates for Scottish businesses, visit the Scottish government’s website.

Wales: Business based in Wales can find the most up to date information by visiting the Welsh government website.

The following article may refer to government guidelines which were in place on the date it was published.

How personal trainers can plan sessions safely this winter

As the national lockdown in England has ended, and the UK moves back into the tier system, personal trainers may be allowed to start offering sessions in gyms and leisure centres again.

Depending on the new tier system, there may be certain ways that you can offer exercise sessions to your clients, but as we head into the colder months, how can you keep them motivated and inspired to attend your sessions?

Personal Training and the Tier System

Depending on the tier level that you are placed in following the end of the national lockdown, you will have to plan your sessions accordingly.

Tier 3 and Tier 2

Tier 3 and Tier 2 share the same rules for outdoor exercises.

Even though Tier 3 rules about meeting others from outside of your household or support bubble say that meeting others is prohibited, exercise or organised sport can continue. Indoor activity is permitted as long as clients can avoid mixing.

Tier 1

Exercise classes and organised sport can still take place as usual, with indoor activity permitted as long as the rule of 6, where no more than 6 people can gather, is observed.

The kind of classes that you can arrange

Depending on the tier that your local area is under, you can arrange some of the following classes for clients.

Outdoor running club

Running is a great way to keep fit, and can be an activity that you can do with clients outdoors, even in winter.

Whilst your clients could simply go for a run, offer a premium running club service where you will arrange a structured route that really makes your clients work, utilising inclines or maybe even some cross country if safe and legal to do so. 

Running is an activity that can be done with social distancing, so keeping clients apart to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines should be easier.

Cycling club

Cycling is also a great cardio exercise, but with the added complication of needing a bicycle.

As with running, people can easily do this on their own, so why not make your service more premium by using your local knowledge to create unique routes, for both beginners and more experienced cyclists, or you could even offer cycle hire if you have the budget

Cardio classes

Cardiovascular exercise doesn’t just have to be about a structured run or cycle. There are plenty of cardio-based exercises that you can do outdoors to help clients keep fit.

Boxing, Zumba and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions are all great ways to exercise outdoors, whilst keeping a 2 metre gap for social distancing.

Indoor classes

If you are in a Tier 1 area or don’t mind taking on smaller classes, you can consider offering indoor classes, either at your home or a hired venue, as long as you can follow the regulations about exercise.

Some of the classes you could offer are yoga, Zumba, boxing and other HIIT classes, which keep clients socially distanced.

Indoor classes also offer the benefit of getting out of the winter cold. 

Keeping clients safe during winter exercise

Whilst outdoor classes are a fantastic way of getting your clients some much needed social interaction, fresh air and hard exercise, the winter months can be dangerous if clients haven’t prepared for the cold weather properly. Here are a few tips to help keep your clients safe in the cold weather.

Appropriate clothing

The main way to keep your clients safe is by keeping them warm, but safely exercising in the cold weather is more than just throwing on loads of layers of clothing.

The human body will quickly lose warmth when it is wet, meaning that your clients could risk hypothermia if the weather is too cold and their clothing gets too wet.

Because of this, you should advise your clients to opt for quick-drying synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon and avoid any cotton materials. Cotton will absorb any sweat produced and make your clients colder.

Getting the layers right

Getting your layers right is important to get the right balance of warmth. Throw on too many layers, and your clients could quickly become too hot, causing them to sweat more, and as we previously mentioned, too much sweat will cause a loss of heat.

Your clients should consider wearing the following:

  • A synthetic base layer – this will draw the sweat away from the body, quickly drying to stop the wet becoming cold
  • A middle layer – Something to add a layer of warmth. Avoid cotton materials, as this will absorb the sweat, leading to cold.
  • An outer layer – Something like a windbreaker coat, which will stop the rain and wind from hitting the inner layers, keeping the cold out.

People might think it sensible to wear a waterproof coat in the rain, but waterproof coats can actually prevent the release of moisture, which could, in turn, make the client colder.

As the body starts to warm up, remind clients to remove layers to prevent overheating and to allow the escape of moisture.

Wear bright colours

As the winter settles in, the evenings become darker much earlier, meaning poor visibility.

To keep your clients safe from cars, buses, cyclists or even other people exercising, they will need to be visible, which means that bright clothing should be encouraged.

As part of your premium service, you could provide a supply of head torches, blinking lights or reflective clothing to clients.

Protect skin and extremities

When your skin is exposed to the cold, it can become sore and damaged due to the dry air that takes the moisture out of your skin. Lotions or creams, such as Vaseline, around the nostrils, mouth and ears can help protect your skin from the cold bite.

Extremities like your nose, ears, fingers and toes also need to be protected. In the cold, blood rushes to the centre of the body to keep the vital body organs warm, taking the warmth away from your extremities. Encourage your clients to wear gloves, hats, headbands or scarfs to keep hands, ears and noses warm.

Keeping hydrated

Keeping hydrated is always important during exercise, regardless of the weather conditions.

Advise your clients to take frequent, small sips of their drink throughout the workout to keep hydrated

Warming up and cooling down

Warm-ups and cool-downs are some of the most important parts of training. Warming up is important because muscles need to be prepared for intense exercises, but cooling down is slightly different in winter months.

Once you have stopped exercising in cold weather, the body temperature starts to drop fast because of the external temperatures. The most important way to cool down in winter is to get your cooldown done, and then out of the wet clothes as soon as possible.

Clean equipment once you have finished

If you have lent equipment to your clients, make sure that you give them a thorough cleaning once they have been returned to ensure that any virus particles that may be on the equipment are removed.

Fitness consultant insurance with Premierline

Being a fitness instructor is rewarding work. Helping people achieve their goals, lose weight and get fit requires patience and positivity, but things can go wrong meaning you need comprehensive fitness consultant insurance in case something unexpected happens.

Premierline is experienced in arranging bespoke, comprehensive covers for businesses or freelancers in the fitness industry, so get in touch today to discuss your insurance needs.

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