THE world has changed drastically thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and nowhere is that more apparent than in gyms.

I took a trip to easyGym, which is on the first floor of Arndale House (just near Broadway Bradford), to see how a post-lockdown session works.

The gym officially reopened its doors on Monday, July 27.

It is open on a more limited time schedule - dropping from 24 hours to 17 hours (6am-11pm).

Club Manager, Mansoor Hussain, who took us on a guided tour of the premises, said people had taken to the new environment well, with just gentle reminders needed every so often.

Customers enter and leave the gym through two pods, which open, then enclose you in, before letting you through to the other side.

Normally both can be used to get in and out, but the management team have made it a one-way system - one pod to enter, the other to exit.

Gym goers must also sanitise their hands before entering the pods and wear a mask when using the them (both ways) - which admittedly makes you feel as if you're in a sci-fi film, as the screen rolls to the side and you're welcomed to this new world.

Once out the other side (in the gym or the foyer), you can remove your mask.

One advantage of the Bradford location, is its huge amount of floor space.

This has made the whole process easier, but Mr Hussain revealed that they have still had to move things around in around to comply with social distancing.

The distance between weight machines and workout zones has been measured carefully.

The cable and cardio machines (treadmills and cross-trainers), have every other station blocked off, to allow a safe distance between customers.

Meanwhile, Mr Hussain has employed a "safe zone" for the weight racks.

Once in the zone, you should stick to it when shifting different weights on and off the bar, and not move into the section inbetween two separate weight racks, where an "X" is taped on the floor to remind people.

The overarching rule while working out too is to sanitise before and after each activity and also to wipe down the equipment you have used, with cleaning spray and blue roll.

Admittedly this is something I initially forgot on the first, and second, instance of trying out some equipment.

But, Mr Hussain was on hand to remind me, before I carried on.

Overall, it's a fairly smooth process and there's plenty of posters around the gym to ensure you're keeping on the ball.

Several staff members are also rotating around the gym to clean equipment themselves, as an extra safety precaution.

This isn't just a quick wipe down either, they polish every last inch of each station.

For example, one staff member working on one of the weight racks cleaned the end of the bar, the weights themselves, the bulk of the bar and the bar clamps.

Mr Hussain even explained that cleaners from the night shift have been moved into the day to double-up their efforts.

Changing rooms are open with measures in place.

This includes stickers stuck to the benches reminding people about social distancing - users have to sit at either side of the stickers.

It may all seem rather tedious, but that's the way it has to be to ensure all members and workers are kept as safe as possibly, while keeping the business open and allowing people to keep active and healthy.

You soon quickly get back into the swing of things, as gym regular Mohammad Qasim can attest to.

The 23-year-old, who plays football for Campion AFC, declared his relief at being back and explained he has still been able to enjoy the new environment.

He said: "I've been out of the game for about three or four months and it's affected my athletic performance as well, so I'm just glad to be back.

"I was coming about five or six times a week, obviously I have football on Saturday, so that's normally my day off.

"It's not really a day off, but that's my time away from the gym.

"Sunday I'm back in for like a light session, but then Monday to Friday I'm at it again.

"Obviously this is the new normal, so we've just got to get used to it.

"But there's quite a few cleaning stations about, so it's just remembering to clean your equipment after and putting your weights back.

"It's good the fact they've got loads of cleaning stations about.

"Usually when I come, it's not too busy, which is 11 or 12 o'clock."

Gyms were one of the last establishments to be forced to close by the Government.

But they are now one of the final places allowed to reopen as the lockdown eases.

George Taylor, easyGym Franchise Director, says, even though it's early days, things seem to be going "pretty well" at all the company's clubs, but feels the Government has waited too long.

He added: "We were disappointed that we were only allowed to open as late as this.

"Our belief is gyms are a key party of people's health.

"It's important to stay open and keep open.

"We're following ukactive guidelines and obviously looking after members."

I only did a few quick sets on two machines, but even that gave me a rush of feeling my body has long forgotten.

Yes, we've all had the opportunity to get outside and exercise, but nothing quite beats getting into the gym, sticking to a routine and lifting some weights.

This is as much about getting physically healthy again, as it is mentally.

It's a sentiment both Mr Qasim and Mr Taylor both agree with.

Mr Qasim said: "I think one of the most important things is, the Government are pushing your face masks and your one metre distance, but at the end of the day what daily benefits you is your health.

"Your health is your wealth.

"So people are coming back in the gym, they're getting fitter, their immune systems are getting stronger and that's the real way to tackle coronavirus, in my opinion.

"More advice, through the powers that are above, they need to give more advice on ways to improve your immune systems, ways to become more healthy.

"That's the best way for us to tackle this virus, in my opinion.

"So people need to, whether it's gym or going for a run outside, keeping fit, keeping healthy, that's the most important thing."

Mr Taylor said: "I think mental health has not been talked about a lot and I think it's going to be a really important issues.

"I've been talking to a few people now and a lot of people have been furloughed, there is an uncertainty of jobs.

"It's very important to get people training and achieving goals and get them feeling good about themselves."