While lots of people have been able to create at-home fitness solutions for themselves in wake of gym closures, some people’s home gym options are much more limited. 

Matthew Borrelli is a Ph.D. student at Western University in London, ON, and says working out at home is complicated given his circumstance as a student living in a high-density apartment building. 

“Pretty early into the pandemic, the fitness room in my apartment building was locked down much like the gyms. Given the lack of space or equipment in my own unit, this was pretty disheartening as someone who uses fitness to help manage my mental health.” 

Matthew says exercise is the one hobby he’s been able to enjoy throughout university, and that going to the gym has become a major part of his life. 

After using his campus gym for a few years, Matthew decided to join the Sherwood Forest Mall GoodLife Fitness in 2019, so he could continue casual bodybuilding and strength conditioning with more space, and better equipment. 

Unfortunately, he currently has neither space or equipment to use in the interim.

“As a student living in an apartment, I don’t have the money or space to really invest in a home gym. I also have to be conscious of making noise with high intensity workouts, so I don’t disturb my neighbours.” 

Using some weights and a doorway pull-up bar allows Matthew to do some exercises in his space, but he says it’s a far cry from the training opportunities he’s used to at the gym. 

Like many, Matthew also uses fitness to manage stress. His graduate studies often involve long days in a laboratory, and he wishes he could use the gym to unwind after those long days. 

I think fitness plays a huge role in managing mental health for a lot of people. Especially right now with all of the added stress people are under. I think we could all benefit from being able to get our minds and bodies back on track.

The pandemic has been full of challenges and triumphs for our Members and Associates, especially in areas where gyms have faced frequent and lengthy closures.  

Throughout June and July, we'll be using our channels to share your stories. We want to hear from you. Tell us what you missed most about gyms being closed during the pandemic and how it impacted your health. How did you adapt your fitness routine and what are you looking forward to most when Clubs re-open? 

Please submit your story here.