The Bloody Long Walk 2020

The Bloody Long Walk is an annual event to raise funds for Mito. The funds will be used in researching a cure for this disease. In previous years it used to start at Fairfield at the Boathouse and then finish in St Kilda. Walkers would go past the city and Southbank before going into St Kilda.

What is Mito?

“Mitochondria are the power houses of the cell providing the body with over 90% of the energy it needs to sustain life. Mitochondria take in sugars and proteins from the food we eat and produce energy called ATP that our bodies use to function properly. Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating and potentially fatal disease that reduces the ability of the mitochondria to produce this energy. When the mitochondria are not working properly, cells begin to die until eventually whole organ systems fail and the patient’s life itself is compromised.” (definition from the Mito site)

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, The Bloody Long Walk has gone virtual! This year its taking place on August 1-10th. It is a 35 km walk and is a lot of fun to do. In past years people ran that 35km. You can do it anywhere and record your walk with a Garmin or a Fitbit. I have a Garmin.

Over that week I ran 35km but over a few days due to the Government’s Stage 4 restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne saying that we can’t go out for more than one hour per day.

If it is run again next year they should organise it just like they did in previous years but with a charity sausage sizzle at the end for people that did not partake in the walk so that they can raise even more funds for Mito.

From now until the next time they run the event they could organise some bake sales and cooking competitions to help spread the word and for them to raise more money towards finding a cure for Mito.

Running during the pandemic

Running during the pandemic is a bit harder as you can only go to certain areas. Many races have gone virtual. Many countries have their own rules on running and where you can run, due to the COVID19. They don’t want the disease to spread.

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And yes running during the pandemic is fine so long as you stay 1.5meters from people. Make sure that you are not sick. Running is good for mental health as is any form of exercise and with the gyms closed in many parts of the world running is the way to go

Coping strategies

Runners will have to find ways to cope with this. One way of coping with it is to join a Facebook group. There are many Facebook groups and there they have online running challenges.

How do you cope?

You just go with the flow and explore what’s in your local neighbourhood. I live in Essendon so I am allowed to go there. There are many places to explore around there. I am in postcode 3040.

I just did one 14km run and it was all fine. Am training for a half marathon in October. I love exploring new places so I joined a group called Essendon Good Karma network on Facebook and here they provided me with some good tips, mainly in the name of pictures of places.

I have to avoid large gatherings which always happen in the park.

Wearing a mask during a run is not mandatory but make sure to carry one for after your run. Or wear a scarf or buff as one.

You’ll get fined if you run outside of your boundary.

Forecasting sales in the Health and Fitness industry

When we talk about sales in this industry we are talking about membership sales and class packages.

During COVID19 the Health and Fitness Industry has taken a huge hit due to closures and going online. Most people elsewhere have lost their jobs and without Jobkeeper the industry will not be able to survive.

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Hence gyms have had to have scaled back their classes for a little while now. Its hard to find the consumer confidence. says that it is hard to forecast sales during the pandemic and after it due to the many lockdowns. Online training has been in demand during the last few months as we bunker down and stay at home. One way they can forecast sales is by using the data that they got when people downloaded their live workouts. Gyms and fitness centers have been putting up live workouts for those to follow.

If it is a big firm or a company they can use statistical analysis in figuring out who visited the gym when it reopened. And then they can rebuild from there. That’s not the case with every gym though- Victoria is one example of being forced back into lockdown.

What we can hope for gyms in a post COVID world is they are COVID safe and are treated more like an essential service as exercise is medicine. And gyms are safe. But unfortunately, too many cowboys and girls are ruining it for everyone else.

Fitness Challenge 2020 June/July

So I was inspired by Dreams and Adventures at Cozy Cottage to take on this challenge. In Coronavirus isolation there isn’t much to do and even if the gyms were open I wouldn’t encourage people to rush back until the end of stage 3 of the lockdowns.

I’m lucky to live near a few good running paths.

June: Goal is to get to 80 miles by the end of the month and explore new places that I have never even heard of now that we are allowed unlimited travel. I met that and I ran 92.3 miles in the month.

During that time I explored Newmarket and Kensington for a bit.

July: Goal is to get to 120 miles by the end of the month. I didn’t meet that but I ran over 100 miles. The Government has put Stage 3 lockdowns in place and we can only run in our postcode but it was fun to explore the suburb.

The gyms were closed again so I couldn’t go there to exercise even if I tried. This month Coronavirus cases were on the high. On the 30th of July, we had 723 cases and people’s mental health had gone through the roof. Mine managed to stay sane due to all the exercise and sunshine I got.

During those two months, I did lots of Body Combat classes. It was fun and I tried lots of new moves. I also walked on the days that I was having a rest from running. It was really relaxing and I got to pat some of the dogs and try some of the yummy foods on offer there whilst doing my bit for the economy.

Changes in physical activity during the pandemic

Cambridge USA has just released this paper on attitudes towards physical activity during the COVID 19 which is said that the levels have decreased. The Stay at home orders was in place on the 16th of March (a week before Australia went into lockdown).

The COVID has increased people’s sitting and screen time and has decreased the exercise. People have been housebound due to lockdowns. Thus this worsens their mental health.

Iowa State University interviewed 3052 adults in the USA from 50 states. Participants were grouped as active or inactive (> 8 hours a day of screen time/sitting time). 62% of them were females aged from 18-75 years and during the pandemic weekly exercises have been reduced and there is an increase in sitting time. Those who were active before the pandemic saw their levels of activity drop. This is associated with poorer mental health. Therefore these people’s mental health issues have increased. For most people, it worsened their mental health as they were isolated.

In Melbourne, we have quite a few lockdowns and in those lockdown suburbs gyms have closed. We can still run outside, but we have to keep to our own area and not go elsewhere. Thus it saw fines increase and mental health problems increase as people were not happy with the current measures. People are lonely as everyone is at home.

We know that being in a gym environment is beneficial for all, particularly during the colder weather. Gyms are safe but people are not and its people that need to be educated on hygiene protocols. If we all practice social distancing at the gym then we’d be all happier and the Government would not need to spend so much money on Mental health services.

What the government should do is allow for gyms to stay open during this and other times.

Choosing the right pair of bike shoes

We talk about choosing the right pair of shoes!

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The right pair of bike shoes should fit as well as look great on you. You can buy them at any budget and there are some as low as $50.

But it takes some patience and a few visits to different stores to see what they have. And you should ask your instructor if you are brand new to the class and want to do a lot of spin classes.

For example I love Black as they are professional and easy to keep clean.

You do need to buy the cleats as the shoes don’t come with the cleats. You can buy them in the same store that sold you your shoes. And you can get the guys to install them for you. The shoes should click on and off the bike easily.

Should I get my shoes insured?

The answer is yes! I got my shoes insured with RACV’s single item policy. Shoes are really expensive and I would leave mine in my gym locker, so I’d like that piece of mind.

To be a good RPM instructor

To be a good RPM instructor, you need to be really healthy and adopt good nutrition at the start. And no it is not for the money. You have to want to change clients’ health!

It take patience and dedication to the job. And no it does not take the non supportive people to take it down.

You need to pay $600-$700 to do the course and then study vigorously. And then you have to have a like for people. You really have to know your choreography and the correct bike technique. If you had been going to classes you’ll see that the instructors demonstrate the techniques and you can practice those. You do lectures for two days and the third one is an assessment day where you’ll show them that you really know your stuff. For those two days, you’ll get given a track to learn and you’ll have a chance to script it and practice it and then you’ll get assessed. But the assessment there is more like feedback.

On the third day, you’ll get your certification if you pass the course.

Between days 1 and 2 and the third day, you’ll have eight weeks to practice your coaching skills and team-teach a few classes. This is where your endorsement from the gym comes into play. Either they will select a mentor for you or you do it yourself.

The good instructors love to help people out especially new people that come to their class. They would help these people before the class starts. There is that sense of community.

And then there is the assessment. The group fitness manager will be assessing you rigoursly. You have to like them to want to work in their place.

It’s really fun but a lot of hard work. Do it if you are really passionate. Les Mills is taking people for the next round and you can sign up here

How do you spot a fake personal trainer

As we go back to the gym and want to work out and be healthy, we should be thinking about how to get the best personal trainer. They should be Covid safe and know what they are doing.

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They also should not be making false promises and asking you to pay them straight up. Most personal trainers offer free sessions to new clients.

What to look for in a personal trainer when you first engage with them

A certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness is required. You should ask about their qualifications and if they are registered with a peak body such as Fitness Australia. You don’t want them to injure you or give you Covid. This is a sure fire way for the gyms to be closed again.

Make sure that you get references from other clients before signing up. Most of them have a Facebook page or Instagram page with their client’s photos and the work that they did with that client. Also, do your workout by yourself and see how they interact with other clients. Do they touch them when they know that they shouldn’t? Are they showing the correct technique? Don’t be sucked in by their challenges. They might also do some free group fitness classes in the gym, so you can participate and check them out there and then.

Make sure that they take the time to listen to you about needs and wants and that they can accommodate those things. They also shouldn’t be working outside their scope of practice which is giving mental health advice unless they are qualified to do so. They also should not be recommending that people do diets which cut out certain food groups.

Happy personal trainer hunting. It may take you a while to get the right personal trainer for you.

Should I exercise when sick

This question gets asked a lot year after year during the winter months.

I have only a very mild cold and no COVID19 symptoms. I have no races in inter thank goodness. My cold is only a snuffly nose and a small cough.

But if you’re sick from the throat down you may want to spend the day at home. Also if you have a fever you shouldn’t exercise. You should just rest and hydrate.

Mild to moderate physical exercise is ok so long as its not a really long run out in the cold. One to two hours is fine.

Exercise and the Immune system

Exercise helps to boost the immune system so you may only get a very mild case of COVID19 or just a cold. But even still you might want to get tested for this. If you’re negative and its just a cold it would be alright to exercise.

The immune system is the body’s defense to fight off viruses. The more immune your system is the better you will be at not catching COVID.

If you exercise a lot you would have fewer colds and sickness. People that don’t exercise much are more at risk of COVID19. Thus this why we are fighting for gyms to be reopened as soon as possible. And for them to fall under the exercise category in the Stay at Home orders

In short listen to your body. If you’re ok and feeling good, go right ahead.

Are gyms healthy?

Post Lockdown and the gyms are open. But are they really healthy? I got the idea from this story from Breaking muscle who says that gyms are about looking good. In the past few days after Victoria was finally allowed to open their gyms cases of Coronavirus spiked.

For most gyms it is about looking good. However my gym has an emphasis on safety and friendliness. However do you want to pay $50-$150 per month just to look good and nothing else?

Also you’ll have to sweat it out with everybody else and that can carry some risk factors. In this case attitude matters for everyone, whether it would be staff or your fellow gym members. It depends on whether or not the gym practices social distancing and abides by those guidelines. The gym will usually follow Fitness Australia’s COVID safe plan but there are some that will do the wrong thing and not follow the plan.

A few things to ask yourself?

  • Do they have online classes for people who are not confident in going back to the gym?
  • Do they do a complimentary freeze for those that don’t want to go back yet?
  • Do they have cleaning protocols in places? I.e lots of hand sanitizer and other items.
  • Are they a member of Fitness Australia? Fitness Australia is the peak body for all gyms, whether big or small. They are advocating for gyms to be more like allied health which is a lot more serious. At the door they will usually have some sort of certificate or sticker saying “Business member”.
  • Do they have guidelines for members in following social distancing and hygiene? If not why not?