“Quarantine 15….”That’s what experts are calling the pounds we’ve all put on since the lockdown forced local gyms to shut down in March.
But there’s good news for fitness buffs or for those tired of stuffing themselves into jeans that have gotten a little tighter.
For the first time in about six months, New York is set to join at least 43 states and Washington, D.C. by allowing gyms to reopen.
At New York City’s Chelsea Piers Fitness, employees are busy putting the finishing touches on upgrades that go beyond what the
eyes can see.
General manger Keeth Smart:
"We've taken all of the necessary precautions and have upgraded our air filters to hospital grade. We have ultraviolet lights. We've implemented social distancing throughout the entire club. So, there's space of six feet everywhere you look. And we're the largest facility in New York City, so members are going to walk into a safe space where they can workout outdoors or inside and not feel like they're at any risk."
The gym has taken up a new cleaning regime… put temperature check procedures in place before exercising… And will follow state requirements that all employees and customers keep on their masks during workouts.
But the gym will be less crowded, as New York State restrictions limit the facility to just one-third of its capacity, which means the days of impromptu workouts are over, at least for now.
"Then we're just going to focus on making sure our members are properly educated to check in in advance of coming to the club. So, that's the biggest hurdle for us, is making sure everyone knows to make it a seamless process. Just check in before, make a reservation, and then we'll have a great experience."
All the upgrades are necessary for the industry’s revival. Gym operators nationally lost $700 million per week during the height of the shutdown, totaling some $7 billion in losses through July 1st, according to estimates from the International Health, Racquet & Sportclub Association.
"Well, we're really excited about reopening. Our members miss the club.”
But exactly when the halls of this gym will be once again filled with spandex is up in the air. While the New York Governor said health clubs can reopen as early as next week, New York City’s Mayor says reopenings will likely have to wait until the beginning of September.