There is no doubt that COVID - 19 has had an unprecedented impact on the whole world and the fitness industry is no different, with gyms and personal training studios closed many were left wondering how to maintain their regular exercise program.
There was one group of Port Macquarie women who worked hard to ensure they stayed connected, supported and focused on their health and fitness throughout this unprecedented time.
Health and fitness specialist Rachel Leman of Miss Motivator said the community support, connection and social interaction people get from their fitness groups is important for mental health. This was even more apparent during COVID lockdown.
"There was no way that I was going to leave my clients on their own during that time. We all needed some routine, structure and support during the lockdown phase," Rachel said.
"Exercise, particularly in a group situation ticks so many boxes as it can help you to feel happy (we all love those post workout endorphins), it can help to increase your energy levels and it can help with relaxation and sleep quality."
As the COVID restrictions tightened the team moved to virtual workouts via ZOOM. All members were equipped with their own log books and resistance bands, ready to get through this period one lounge room or backyard workout at a time. The log books were used for goal setting and to create some structure and plan for the week ahead, when so much seemed uncertain.
"The benefit of virtual workouts over online workouts is that I can see all of the participants and they can see and interact with me and with the other participants," Rachel said.
"The ability to interact allowed us to feel connected even though we were physically apart. One client even needed to quarantine in Alice Springs for a few weeks but could remain connected with the group online."
As a further support for clients, the program also included education sessions from local clinical nutritionist Amanda Fletcher on immune boosting nutrition and Angela Lockwood author of "Switch off and Find Calm" on mindset and ways of navigating our way through this challenging time.
In addition to the weekly workout program, members were supplied with weekly team challenges and personal challenges to keep them moving, focused and connected.
"We even had a couple of social arvos online, sharing a wine and a chat," Rachel said.
"The mid program fitness tests demonstrated an average of 25 per cent increase in overall fitness, I am expecting this number to be much higher when we complete our final fitness testing next week."
Chief executive of national mental health charity SANE, Jack Heath, said as Australia went into lockdown their online forums spiked, with participant numbers doubling from 3000 to 6000 per week in March.
Mr Heath said many of the problems were around existing mental health issues being amplified and it was important to meet these long term needs after isolation.
As restrictions ease, Mr Heath said it was understandable for people to be feeling anxious given how uncertain times are.
Mr Heath's advice is to reach out for help and take stock of any positives to have come from isolation.
"Do a list - two, three, four or five things that were positive and take that with you moving forward," he told AAP.
Lead clinical advisor at Beyond Blue, Grant Blahski, also expects many may find coming out of isolation overwhelming.
When Beyond Blue launched it's coronavirus specific support service on April 9, it received 6300 emails and more than 180,000 visits to the website, Dr Blahski said.
The kinds of issues presented were around isolation, pressure cooker households with lots of kids, unemployment and stress about infection - things that will not simply go away as lockdown ends.
Dr Blahski said as people begin to re-enter society, for anyone feeling anxious it is important to be gentle with yourself and set some ground rules when it comes to communication with others.