Gyms Are Reopening, but Everything’s Different | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
One fitness club franchisee plans to open a dozen new locations, while a national chain is selling digital memberships. A Pilates studio in Houston is requiring masks; a family-run gym in Indianapolis isn’t.
America’s gyms are reopening to a markedly changed fitness world as coronavirus pandemic restrictions lift. Each business—and its customers—must decide how to navigate new workout habits and conflicting demands around Covid-19 safety protocols.
Some people won’t exercise in a face covering; others will only frequent a gym with a mask mandate. Still others purchased pricey fitness machines for their homes and have spent months taking virtual classes.
“Many of our members have developed habits in a significant way, routines they never had before Covid,” said Jeff Zwiefel, chief operating officer of Life Time Inc. The fitness center chain, with 150 U.S. locations, now offers a $15 monthly digital membership, where people can work out to streaming classes.
Gyms, from boutique studios to sprawling fitness centers, have been among the industries hardest hit by the public-health crisis, as concerns about people spreading the coronavirus during group exercise led to mandated shutdowns and member exoduses.
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