All together, but apart: A Remarkable Women's Health & Fitness gym class via Zoom


It’s almost business as usual for one Queenstown gym, even though its premises have shut due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

Remarkable Women’s Health & Fitness, like many gyms in the country, is looking after its members through a mix of livestreamed classes and weekly online workout and healthy-lifestyle tips.

“It’s very important to keep mentally and physically fit during these stressful times, so we are doing our best to keep everyone engaged, healthy and fit,” owner Carla de Nijs says.

Sensing the country was going into lockdown, she got everything ready so her gym could go online the very next day.

A handful of clients who wanted to carry on personal training were even allowed, for free, to pick up equipment like dumbbells before the premises shut.

De Nijs says other members who haven’t got equipment at home are making do with the likes of chairs, cans of food and pumpkins.

Every week day, at 10am, she or one of her two other instructors takes a class using video-conferencing platform, Zoom.

“Members can see each other and there’s a lot of giggles and laughs.

“Lots of them say, ‘that’s the best part of my day’.”

Remarkable Women’s Health & Fitness owner Carla de Nijs, left, and instructors Carolyn Rockwell, top right, and Danielle Kennedy, below

In addition, De Nijs and her instructors prepare weekly online home-based workouts for their members, along with what she calls a ‘self-care challenge’.

So, as well as receiving instructions on doing specific workouts, members get free weekly tips on how to look after their health in general.

“It’s a matter of keeping up routines during the lockdown,” De Nijs says, “because otherwise you just literally lock down.

“We’re keeping members very motivated, connected and sane, basically.”