After a five-month absence Frances Castles was just glad to be back at the Launceston Wellness Centre.
The centre was closed when COVID-19 restrictions came into effect and staff held off reopening until they could be sure seniors who use the centre would be safe.
Matthew Fulton, the centre's exercise physiologist, said a large number of clients reduced the amount of exercise they did during the centre's closure.
"A lot of our clients have deteriorated quite significantly in the five months off, they've all been very keen to get back into the gym," he said.
"People with osteoarthritis notice that everything is aching a bit more, people with diabetes have a harder time controlling their sugar levels and things like that.
"The mental health of people has declined... the gyms are where people are keeping fit and getting those happy hormones going through exercise, a lot of people have missed that."
Mr Fulton said while the centre offered clients home exercise options online, technology proved to be a hurdle many had struggled to overcome.
"We definitely had a lot of clients not access those services due to technology and the difficulties surrounding it.
"We probably had 80 per cent drop off due to the technology barrier."
Mrs Castles was one of the first clients to be back at the centre when it reopened.
"I want to be physically there, I'm not good with technology," she said. "It was wonderful to go back, you just feel part of a team there.
"I haven't got any health issues, I've had knees done and things like that and that's why I wanted to get back into fitness, I didn't want to be getting in a wheelchair or something in a few years."
In addition to improving her fitness, she said the centre presented her with an opportunity to make friends and build her confidence.
"I've turned into a geriatric gym junkie," Mrs Castles said.
Mr Fulton said to make the centre COVID safe, staff asked clients screening questions before entry and conducted temperature checks.
"We're also limiting our gym classes to a smaller amount so we can keep at least one bit of equipment in between each person," he said.
"We've closed our kitchen off, we've also had to space out our waiting areas so that we've got people 1.5 metres apart.
"Everyone cleans their equipment after each use and I'm cleaning after each class."