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Christchurch – Most of New Zealand is closed down today in the grip of the covid-19 pandemic but exercise has never been more important in the country’s history, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

“One thing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stressed in recent days it is still okay for Kiwis to exercise in wide open spaces or from home, Beddie says.

“Gyms and fitness facilities are now closed for four weeks like everything else but ExerciseNZ is working with gyms, clubs and trainers, supporting them and advising them on how to stay healthy and get through this dire and unparalleled situation.

“People can still get out, with safe distancing, go for a walk, a bike ride, exercise at home and find activities online, despite New Zealand now being in a national state of emergency for only the second time ever. The first was on February 23, 2011, after the Christchurch earthquake.

“Many gyms and trainers are delivering online options. They include everything from 1:1 PT sessions to small group and group exercise classes.  It’s all there, so if you went to a gym or had a trainer they can help.

“We are all in this together. We want to make sure that the exercise industry survives, so that post-coronavirus, providers are there to help Kiwis become more active again when facilities reopen.

“So today we are encouraging members of gyms, users of studios and PTs to support them in whatever way they can. People can use their online products, seek them out, and for those that can afford to do so, keep using their PT or gym in some shape or form.

“The coronavirus has changed our lives in so many ways: the way we shop, the way we work, the way we socialise, and the way we exercise. It is more important during this pandemic than ever, especially when it comes to easing the frustrations so many of us are experiencing right now.

“We support the government’s stringent lock-down measures and Kiwis just have to adapt to a new way of life, like never before.

“Finally, most New Zealanders have never experienced this kind of mass uncertainty which makes it so important to look after ourselves.”

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188