Fitness enthusiasts are braving the chill to work out after an Elgin centre created an outdoor gym to avoid having to shut down under Level 4 restrictions.
And the makeshift studios, which have been opened in shelters, have already proved a hit with enthusiasts – despite some morning workouts being done amid light flurries of snow.
Moray Sports Centre was closed for five months earlier this year during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
An easing of cases across Scotland allowed the complex to open again to members in August after months of only running online sessions.
It faced closing its doors once again when Moray was plunged into Level 4 restrictions with the rest of the Scottish mainland on Boxing Day.
However, instead of accepting the shutdown, staff at the Elgin sports centre closely examined the coronavirus rules to determine what was permitted before beginning work to create an outdoor gym.
Chief executive Kathryn Evans said: “When the Level 4 measures came out we looked at the leisure section very closely because we thought there must be something we can do.
“When we saw that outdoor gyms were allowed we thought, ‘right what can we do to make it work?’
“Since the first lockdown we got given some big tractor tyres, which we were going to keep for the summer, but we thought there’s no better time than now to get them out.
“One of our senior instructors also did some heavy weightlifting to check it wasn’t going to damage the floor. It’s absolutely fine so it’s good to go.
“We didn’t know how people were going to take to it, especially because there’s been some snow in the morning, but the response has been phenomenal so far.”
Instructors at the Elgin sports centre have set up eight stations in the outdoor gym for fitness enthusiasts to continue to work out while Moray is in Level 4.
Staff are able to set up each area for activities including cycling, weightlifting and rowing among others.
Meanwhile, dedicated group sessions are also being arranged to help maintain camaraderie among users.
Bike sessions have already been christened “i-cycle” in a playful reference to the temperature of the outdoor classes.
Ms Evans added: “It’s not going to be for everyone, but for some people going to the ©gym and exercising is a fundamental part of their day.
“It’s an important part of a lot of people’s mental health. Just being able to get into a social setting and get a bit of normality is very important at the moment.
“We’ve pretty much been able to take everything that is high-intensity outside. Things like yoga and other slow-moving exercises run the risk of injuries so we’re not offering them but we’re taking as many classes as we can outside.
“It’s just good to be able to continue to offer something.
“We’re going to keep everything under review and look at it again in January when the three-week Level 4 period comes to an end but the current plan is to offer it for as long as we need to, or as long as people want it.”