“I Told You So” – Gym Owners to Government on Declining Health

A gym owner looks perplexed beside the quote "what did you think would happen?"

“It’s always good to quote from experts.”

The sarcasm dripped from Sun Media columnist Anthony Furey’s statement.

He’s talking about the post-pandemic “revelations” from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

Apparently “movement behaviours and mental health status worsened among Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

I know that certainly isn’t news to gym owners who had to close their businesses for lengthy periods over the last years.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

We’re clearly in the stage of 20-20 hindsight as we review pandemic measures. And of course hindsight is rarely fair to people who make decisions.

That said, the report is a johnny-come-lately echo of all the common-sense things gym owners said when they were being told to close their doors and turn clients away in 2020 and 2021.

“Patterns of declining rates of physical activity worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Ontarians and other Canadians were significantly less active and even more sedentary. Studies have associated these rapid declines with pandemic-related measures, including closures of schools and recreation,” the Science Table report reads.

Furey’s reaction is likely a profanity-free reflection of each gym owner’s thoughts: “Reading this report, you’re kind of at your wit’s end. You’re like, guys, really. Like, please. Just ghost away. Just go away.’ … Big lockdown boosters: ‘Shut it all down.’ (And then): ‘Oh maybe it wasn’t so good that we shut this down,’” Furey comments in this video.

With the pipes clear of I-told-you-so bitterness, it’s worth looking for a silver lining. It exists: Reports like this remind people that they should probably start working out and eating better.

It’s never easy to get a sedentary person moving, but gym owners have been doing that for many years. So every government report about inactivity, weight gain and poor nutrition represents, in a backhanded way, a little assistance for gym owners.

Let’s not forget government restrictions caused a lot of the problems the reports are highlighting now. That fact shouldn’t be ignored—especially when the next election rolls around. But don’t dwell on that. Get moving.

Whenever you see government reports on declining health conditions, be sure to remind your audience that you can help.

My advice:

  • Create some media: blog, video, podcast, social post.
  • Refer to the government report or news article on the report.
  • Highlight the problems the report lists.
  • Present your solutions.
  • Reassure people that health and fitness can be improved quickest with the help of an expert coach.
  • Link to your free consultation booking page.


With that productive act complete, feel free to stomp your feet and remind your close confidantes that the government caused the problems it’s now documenting. Sharpen a pencil in anticipation of the next election and make a commitment to toss those responsible out of office. Scream “I told you so.”

Then straighten your hair, put on your smile and get back to helping people become healthier and fitter.

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