Gyms in a Pandemic: Open? Closed? Safe?
August 21, 2020 // Fitness
Monday, August 17th
11:30am – “Gyms and fitness centers across the Empire State are permitted to reopen starting next week at 33 percent capacity and masks must be worn by those inside at all times, Cuomo told reporters during a press briefing in Manhattan.”
4:47pm – “Mitch Schwartz [spokesperson for the Mayor] declined to set a timetable for when gyms would be back in business but noted that the city had already opted out of allowing indoor fitness classes and reopening indoor pools “at this time.”
So… are gyms [in New York] able to open back up?
At this point, no one really knows.
With the conflicting information between state and local governments, I can only speculate.
Residential, private gyms seem primed to reopen without much delay. There are far less residents back in the city at this time, so naturally these fitness centers should see less activity, which lowers the risk of transmission. I’ve already heard of a few residential properties unlocking the doors to their gyms.
Commercial gyms, however, will have to tip-toe around the state’s orders, especially if getting an approval from a local inspector is not possible at the moment. One misstep and a hefty fine is likely to follow (which many speculate is purposely designed as a source of revenue for the state, but that’s a discussion for another time).
Even with the green light from Gov. Cuomo, this calls into question the safety of reopening gyms amidst the current pandemic.
The question becomes: Should gyms open back up?
Well, a health center is usually where people tend to be… healthy. As the CEO of Planet Fitness explained, gyms are actually part of the solution to the pandemic.
It’s a mixed bag. If the practice of exercising indoors increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, it certainly seems unnecessary. But how is this space any worse than going into the grocery store and waiting in line? How about riding the subway?
There are many ways to look at this topic, and all arguments seem valid. Ultimately, this is a person-specific agenda.
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s the ability for us to adapt our routine(s) to a new environment.
Though exercising in a gym is preferred by most, is it worth risking our health?
For some, there’s nothing like the gym. And if the facility (and its members) are adhering to the safety protocols, it makes sense to open and use the gym.
For others, it may be better to utilize a combination of the endless digital fitness resources along with the great outdoors.
Can you manage your weight and improve your health without stepping foot into a gym? Absolutely.
It’s truly up to you.
We’re all trying to navigate this seemingly endless nightmare.
The gym is a place where many go to clear their minds, shed some stress and regain control.
So should they reopen, or should they remain closed?
Is it even safe to be in this setting?
Hard to say. Time will tell.
And that’s all we really know.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the unique options and guidance we have available below.
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If someone’s been dieting for a long time and is ready to maintain their current level of body fat, reverse dieting can help increase maintenance calories, resulting in a more sustainable way of eating long-term.” [Precision Nutrition]
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1. Prep For Success
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[Dr. Melanie Katzman]
“Explosive, jump-heavy movements — aka, plyometric exercises — are featured in a lot of home workout videos because they don’t require a lot of space or equipment. But while you’re working out from home, it’s important to know alternatives to jumping exercises.” [Bustle]
“Oh, we’re not open,” said one of the trainers.
What Evelyn uncovered can only be described as a speakeasy gym. You know, illegal, hush hush, like the underground bars during the Prohibition era. These underground gyms appear to be popping up everywhere, from LA to New Jersey.” [NPR]
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