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Gym and fitness studio owners disappointed at mandated closures as they find ways to adapt – CNA

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Singapore
Singapore
It was announced on Tuesday (May 4) that all indoor gyms and fitness studios will have to close from May 8 to 30 as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures.
(Photo: Pexels/William Choquette)
SINGAPORE: This Saturday, May 8, was supposed to be an auspicious date for Mr Dittaya Mhosomboon. It would have been the first day of business at his new gym along Hong Kong Street. 
He had set aside slots for clients to attend training sessions and to view the new facilities, with classes lined up from 8am to 4pm.
Instead, the 31-year-old will now remember it for different reasons, after it was announced that indoor gyms and fitness studios will have to close from May 8 to 30 as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures amid a rise in community cases. 

“It was definitely unexpected … It happened to be so unlucky that it was on the first day, the launch,” said Mr Mhosomboon. “The initial first thing that I could think of was: ‘What am I going to do?’”

In announcing the new measures on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said: “Based on overseas and local experience, higher-risk settings such as indoor gymnasiums and indoor fitness studios have a tendency to be hotspots for COVID-19 transmission.

“These settings and the associated activities are where there is a high density of people who are unmasked and in close proximity with one another, often for prolonged periods.”

Ms Dewi Chen, the founder of Terra Luna Yoga, said she is disappointed by the restrictions, adding that authorities should have been more specific in the types of activities restricted, rather than a blanket ban on gyms and studios.
She noted that there also needs to be clearer guidelines for multi-use spaces, as some studios like her have business models based on hiring out the space for other uses.

“I feel there needed to be a bit more elaboration,” added Ms Chen, whose studio is also used for music and drama enrichment programmes. “Is it based on the venue, the business type, or the actual exercise?”

Mr Brandon Koh, who is the studio manager at F45 Upper Thomson, said he believes that the move “blindsided” the industry.
“It wasn’t like a week’s notice to prepare, we are just blindsided and it’s a four-day thing,” he said.
“It’s very difficult for businesses to organise things within four days. We have to work with our other vendors, our landlords, for example, we have to ask for rent relief for this period.”
ADAPTING TO THE CHANGE 
Ms Linda Tang, the co-founder of WeBarre which has four studios in Singapore, said it has “eggs in multiple baskets” as it currently offers both in-person and virtual classes, as well as on-demand workouts that can be accessed remotely.
“We’re very lucky that we are in a position we do offer multiple options for our community. That was something that we’ve always wanted to do from the beginning, just to be able to show up for our community in many different ways,” she told CNA.
WeBarre plans to ramp up its virtual offerings over the next few weeks, said Ms Tang. The company has also created a “limited time” package – for 23 days – at a reduced price for customers during the affected period, she added.

While Ms Chen agreed that online classes are a workaround, she noted that they cannot fully replace Terra Luna Yoga’s business model.
“People do not want to pay enough. Their thinking is that: ‘You don’t have to pay for rent, so why do I have to pay the same price in an online space versus an in-person class.’ The value to virtual classes is still not there,” she explained.
Some gym owners noted that online lessons cannot totally replace the experience of attending class in person.
Mr Koh said there are three “value propositions” that people pay for when attending a studio or gym – the use of equipment, programming and instructors.
“With an online offering, equipment is out because there is no space in Singaporean households for people to rent or buy in general. The programming as a result drops in quality because there is no equipment use,” he said.
“The instructor experience also drops as a result of that and it being virtual versus in person. This leads to a value proposition that is a fraction of what they get in a studio or a gym, and the payment by consumers commensurates with that.”

According to MOH, organised outdoor exercise programmes and classes may continue, subject to a class size of 30 in total. Within that, group sizes must be kept to five, with a 3m distance between each group. 

However, Ms Chen said this seems “contradictory” to the overall intention to reduce crowds given that this could encourage more to congregate in parks.
“It’s a recipe for disaster, simply because we have limited parks in Singapore where those kinds of classes will be allowed, and on top of that, you have got more people who as we have learnt during the circuit breaker period, they would flood the parks.”
Mr Mhosomboon said that outdoor could present a potential alternative to classes within the gym, but there needs to be further clarity on how things can be done.
“We have to wait out and see in the next few days whether there are any clearer parameters that we have to take note of,” he added.
As for his launch, he may be left with no choice but to postpone it. 
“I’ve been planning for many months now, and then to have this setback. I just treat it as another setback,” he said. “Since I’ve been waiting for so long, I’ll just wait for another month.”
FEELING THE PAIN ‘ACUTELY’ 
Given that gyms and fitness studios have been affected throughout the pandemic, those that CNA spoke to noted that the move will hurt their business.
For Ms Chen from Terra Luna Yoga, she said she signed a new lease just last month and will now feel the pain “more acutely”.
She had decided to move to a new space that would be more conducive for clients amid the pandemic, as well as to better adhere to safe distancing requirements.
“The location that we chose – the fact that it has got large windows, bigger space, was simply because we knew that COVID-19 wasn’t going to leave us and that there was already some management from the government side to manage the situation,” she said.
“But clearly, even though you can cover your bases with all of these sorts of measures, it is clearly not enough … Now I’m thinking to myself whether it was a good idea to continue the business. If I had known that this was going to happen, I would have shut down.”
Mr Koh from F45 Upper Thomson said it is important for landlords to help affected gyms and studios during this period.

“The landlords should share in the social burden as well in stemming out the pandemic. Not just the tenants. Many landlords have multiple properties with multiple tenants still in operation. The financial impact is non-material to them but it is to us,” said Mr Koh.
He noted that operators such as himself could potentially see a drop in revenue of between 80 and 100 per cent during this period.
“Charging rent means fitness firms who pay white-collar wages may have issues meeting payroll if everything goes to rent. This fundamentally goes against the grain of society and what policymakers wanted, which is the absorption of those who lost jobs.”

Ms Tang said WeBarre had been operating at about 60 to 70 per cent of its usual capacity even before the closures were announced.
“Already we are stretched in terms of profit margins and revenue, even in Phase 3. So I think this is something that we need to also have foresight in and be conservative with,” she said.
“Our main priority is that business stays afloat, and that our team stays afloat with their livelihood … Definitely, this is something that is very top of mind, and we are trying to think of all creative solutions so we can make it through these three weeks, and not be too far down next month.”

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ChalleNGe Academy graduate prepares for West Point journey – West Virginia MetroNews

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MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – A West Virginia National Guard Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy graduate is the first graduate to earn an appointment to the U.S. Army’s Military Service Academy, West Point.
William Farkas, 17, of Preston County, said he was has made a lifelong dream a reality.
It’s been something I’ve been dreaming about since elementary school and something I’ve been set on doing since middle school,” Farkas said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”
He said the training he received at the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South in Montgomery was key in developing the attitude and work ethic that enabled him to succeed. That level of focus was required to gain admission to one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
“Everybody was encouraging me there. Everybody wanted me to succeed,” Farkas said. “I kept testing on the ACT and I ended up scoring in the 30’s with my composite. I wouldn’t been able to do it without them.”
William Farkas becomes the first Mountaineer Challenge Academy graduate to receive an appointment to West Point. He talks about this next step in his life with @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/jJO0mae0Ap
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) January 21, 2022

Within a paramilitary structure, cadets are challenged to learn coping skills, how to lead as well as how to follow, citizenship and physical fitness. Farkas said the program is very demanding. He was awarded the Robert C. Byrd Distinguished Cadet Award and Adjutant General’s Award for Academic Excellence as well as the appointment to West Point.
“The first day was a shock and the first night was even more so a shock,” Farkas said. “I went to sleep and asked myself,,’Am I really doing this? Am I really sleeping on a cot in the gym on reception day?’”
Farkas is enjoying this success before the next chapter of West Point preparation begins.
“It was worth it,” Farkas said. “Despite the initial challenges it was worth it.”
The next stop for Farkas is one-station unit training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He is scheduled to report to West Point in June to begin his college career.

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Sick Day Management for Diabetes: How to Plan Ahead – Healthline

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When you have diabetes, taking care of yourself during an illness has extra importance — even if the condition is as common as the flu or a urinary tract infection.
To avoid complications, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for how you’ll handle sick days, illnesses, and infections.
This article provides some expert guidance on:
When you have diabetes, an illness or infection can deliver a powerful one-two punch to your body. Here’s how.
One reason to plan ahead is because illness or infection can worsen diabetes symptoms.
Your body reacts to them the same way it reacts to stressful events. It produces a surge of hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone.
When your body is flooded with cortisol, your blood sugar can spike for several reasons:
Both of these actions can mean that when your body is dealing with an illness or infection, you may experience a bump in your blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes, you may have a higher risk of certain kinds of infection or illness.
Research from 2021 shows that people with diabetes are more likely to develop certain kinds of infections, including pneumonia and cystitis (urinary tract infections).
If you do get sick, you may face a higher risk of hospitalization. For example, 2021 research associated diabetes with longer hospital stays, more complications, and a greater risk of death with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
That’s why it’s so important to work with your diabetes care team to plan ahead, so you’ll know how to handle an illness, injury, or infection if it happens. Your plan can give you some peace of mind now, and it may protect your health later on.
Advocates at the American Diabetes Association and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommend that your sick-day plan address the following key questions.
Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.
To prepare yourself for the sick days you’re bound to face sooner or later, talk with your diabetes care team about testing, medications, and warning signs.
When you’re sick, your blood sugar may go up for several reasons:
To keep your blood sugar in your target range, keep eating and drinking as close to your usual routine as possible. That may be easier said than done, especially if you have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you’re having trouble eating and drinking, aim for:
If your blood sugar is too low, you may need to follow the 15-15 rule. That means you’ll need to consume 15 grams of carbs, then test your blood sugar 15 minutes afterward.
Talk with your healthcare team about whether hard candies or glucose tablets would work if you’re not able to keep down food or drink.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing your blood glucose levels every 4 hours whenever you’re feeling unwell.
Keep a notepad nearby so you have an accurate record to share with your doctor. You don’t want to rely on your memory of the readings at a time when your recall could be clouded by lack of sleep or worsening symptoms.
You may also need to test your urine for ketones. Ketones are a sign that your insulin levels are low and your body is using fat for fuel.
Testing for ketones in your urine can tell you if you’re developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition is life threatening, so it’s important to know in advance how to detect these chemicals in your body.
The NIDDK recommends that you test ketones every 4 to 6 hours during an illness.
It’s also important to track your weight, body temperature, and blood pressure. These metrics are important clues that may tell you if:
It’s especially important for people with type 1 diabetes to test their blood glucose more often when they’re sick. Insulin levels can drop sharply as the body fights an illness or infection.
An illness can change how much insulin you need. Talk with your diabetes care team about when and how much to adjust your dosage of insulin and any other medications you take.
It’s important to keep taking insulin, especially long-acting insulin, on the schedule your doctor recommends. It’s also important to continue taking long-acting insulin even if you’re not eating.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications — especially those that treat cough, cold, and flu symptoms — contain sugar. Other types of medication can affect the way your diabetes medications work.
Your diabetes care team may be able to give you a list of medications to avoid when you’re feeling unwell with a common condition.
It’s a good idea to stock up on easy-to-prepare foods, sick-day drinks, medications, and diabetes care supplies so you have these items on hand for those days when you’re not feeling well. Here are some items to include in your sick-day kit:
Keep a ready supply of:
Your sick-day kit should also contain:
Make sure your kit is stocked with:
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor or someone on your diabetes care team right away:
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency: It can lead to coma or death. Get medical help immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:
If your employer or insurer offers telehealth services, consider downloading the app or keeping contact information in your phone to make it easier to get advice if you’re not feeling well.
Diabetes can damage your immune system, according to 2020 research. For that reason, it’s important to take good care of your health year-round, not just during cold and flu season.
You can do this by:
The CDC recommends that people with diabetes get flu vaccines every year. It’s especially important for children, who may have more severe flu symptoms for a longer period of time than kids who don’t have diabetes.
Diabetes can make an ordinary illness more challenging — and feeling unwell can make it harder to manage your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, talk with your healthcare team to plan how you’ll respond to an illness or infection. Together, you can decide in advance how to manage your blood sugar when you’re feeling sick.
You can also stock up on food, beverages, testing supplies, and medication you might need.
A good sick-day plan includes information on which medications are safe to take, which to avoid, how best to test your blood sugar, and what steps to follow to keep diabetes or another health condition from sidelining you for longer than necessary.
Last medically reviewed on January 21, 2022









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Newcastle single mum of three dies suddenly after eating snack with peanuts – Daily Mail

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By Aidan Wondracz For Daily Mail Australia
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A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen.
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4.
Her condition spiralled quickly and she went into cardiac arrest, suffered brain swelling and was declared brain dead before passing away on January 7. 
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old boy who will now be looked after by their grandparents. 
A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4
Her death has come as a complete shock to the family who say the single mother was always careful with the foods she ate.
Ms Scigala had been with her three children at home when she started to feel peckish and she reached for a snack. She had no idea it contained traces of peanuts.
The single mother immediately recognised the signs of an allergic reaction and rushed down the stairs and into the garage for the Epipen she kept in her car.
She administered the dose of adrenaline before calling an ambulance while her horrified nine-year-old son phoned family to come and help.
A neighbour managed to perform CPR until paramedics arrived and wheeled her into an ambulance.
Ms Scigala went into cardiac arrest on the way to hospital but paramedics were successfully able to treat her. 
But her condition continued to deteriorate the following day with the single mother suffering from brain swelling before she was declared brain dead on January 6.
Her devastated sister Stephanie as ‘inspiring’ and ‘very fun to be around’.
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old who will now be looked after by their grandparents
‘As a mum, I think her favorite thing to do was to introduce the kids to new things so they could develop new interests,’ she said.
‘Whatever she could think of or saw that she thought they might like she’d get them involved. She’d put them before anyone else.’
Stephanie has launched a GoFundMe to raise money for her children. The campaign was set up to raise $7,000, but has already drawn in $29,792 in donations. 
‘With their grandfather retired and grandmother working only part time, this go fund me has been made in hopes to help them be able to financially provide for their grandchildren,’ Stephanie wrote.
‘These funds will also go towards funeral arrangements and any other memorial type of function.’
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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