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Coronavirus: Gym owner Jenna gets personal to help her clients stay positive


Diversified business: Jenna Turkington of JW Fitness in Gilford

Diversified business: Jenna Turkington of JW Fitness in Gilford

Diversified business: Jenna Turkington of JW Fitness in Gilford

A gym owner is aiming to improve her clients' mental health as well as their physical strength during the lockdown.

Jenna Turkington (29), who owns JW Fitness in Gilford, Co Down, has, like many businesses, diversified as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

Not only is she hosting two fitness classes a day through the online video conferencing website Zoom, the Tandragee native has introduced 30-minute 'lifestyle chat shows'.

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The chat shows allow her members and newcomers to discuss the struggles of living in self-isolation and keep spirits high.

While Jenna's gym members are now on a reduced rate, newcomers can join free of charge.

In a further effort to help people's mental health, Jenna, along with JW Fitness' Alex Costa, has been conducting personal check-ins with members through 30-minute phone calls to make sure everyone is on track and in good spirits.

Fearing that everyday pressures would be exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown, Jenna wanted to boost morale.

"We've worked hard to build a very tight-knit community in the gym and that's always at the forefront," she said.

"Good training and fat loss is why people go to the gym but we have always tried to go above and beyond for anybody to make sure that when they come into the gym they feel better.

"They could have had a bad day, they could be stressed out at work or the kids are doing their heads in.

"If they can tune into us for half an hour or do a workout for 40 minutes then at least they're feeling better.

"The response has been great and the support has been brilliant. We are getting lots of messages and emails saying that it's keeping everybody sane and helping them through these difficult times. I've been quite overwhelmed with some of the comments and some of the messages that we've got from people."

During the lifestyle chat shows, Jenna has also invited beauticians, nutritionists and a live singer to keep spirits high among those tuning in, as well as hosting quizzes.

When the lockdown was first introduced in March, the gym owner held online classes, but now welcomes almost 100 people during the chat shows.

"We have found quite a lot of people tuning into our lifestyle chat show," commented Jenna.

"At 10am every morning we have a half an hour chat in our Facebook group and we pick anything from mindset, nutrition, sleeping habits and working from home. People will type in their questions and we get back to them to discuss it."

Belfast Telegraph

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