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The Healthy Lifestyle Column - ISSUE 2 (MK)

Hi everyone, Welcome back to my healthy lifestyle column.

So this issue I’m dedicating my column to a local inspiration, Alex Lowndes, owner of Gainz Fitness and Strength in Bedford and St Neots. Alex refused to give up the fight for gyms to remain open during Lockdown 2 and be classified as essential during the lockdowns to support his members with their physical and mental health. Alex believes the government has had it very wrong with what they classified as essential and has always relied on the facts to back it up. I followed Alex throughout his journey and was able to secure an interview with him which I want to share with you all:

So where did your mission begin with your fight to make gyms an essential business?

It all began on the weekend before Lockdown two,

the Saturday before that we put a video on socials that we were planning to stay open and the reasons why and we shared a two-page document backing up our decision with government facts .From then on there was a lot of media interest in it so we decided to use this platform to educate people why gyms should be essential.

noticed initially the reaction from the public, even though it was only a minority, were saying “surely you can go a few weeks without preening yourself, etc” and a lot of people weren't focused on the health benefits from training?

Exactly, this is where we decided to educate people and show how important training is for mental health and also to keep you physically healthy. Gyms are effectively the first line of defense. Closing a gym in a pandemic, just seems crazy to me.

As a result of your mission, there was a change in the government's approach to gyms being open within certain tiers?

Yes and no. They re-jigged the tier system and what we all thought was an introduction to tier 4 or a stricter tier 3 was a stricter tier 3 and we were concerned gyms were going to be excluded from tier 3, but we now have an exemption from closure in all three tiers across England.

Are there other issues you would like to raise on the back of your initial mission?

As a country, we should be doing so much more to be encouraging exercise as much as possible and especially whilst in lockdowns. Healthy eating - what have we done to encourage healthy eating? It needs to be looked at more seriously by the government, we have a long road ahead with mental and physical health as a result of these lockdowns and we look forward to being back open and being able to play a part in helping our local community and members. The issues at hand here are much bigger than just gyms being open for me.

Alex throughout his journey was fined £1000 for keeping his gym open although he had a go-fund-me page set up by his loyal followers which raised £1060 to which Gainz then also kindly donated to three charities Papyrus, Mind, and Calm.

Alex has created a two-page document which can be found on their website www.gainz-gym.com which outlines all of his reasoning including facts if you would like to take a more in-depth look. For anyone looking for that community feel with top-of-the-range equipment and a 24-hour opening timeframe, I would highly recommend joining on the 12th of April -


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