The Struggle for Existence Of Fitness Centers

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Fitness centers and gyms are among the industries that were extremely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. How do they survive?

The coronavirus has infected millions of people from across the world. But the truth is that it is not the only crisis we are facing, as most economies also crashed and burned as a result of the lockdowns to contain the disease brought about by the pandemic. Among the industries that were extremely affected by the outbreak are the fitness centers and gyms, as they are, for the most part, still not allowed in many states as the pandemic is still much going on. That remains the same even after the fact that little by little some establishments like dine in restaurants are already allowed to operate. So what do they do now, especially that there are also small, locally owned fitness facilities that are forced to close as well?

Some owners of fitness-related centers are complaining because their businesses are hurt, and in a report from CBS News, those that are in Arizona and Michigan are voicing out their concerns. They are actually questioning how it is possible for bars to be allowed to reopen prior to them. In the same article, it was said that there are several fitness owners who would rather face the court just to keep their business available. For them, the mandate to keep them from operating is unfair.

On Tuesday, Self Esteem Brands reported that more than sixty leading fitness center owners from across the United States participated in addressing local governments with their plea to allow gyms to resume operations as well. In their open letter, they affirmed that there are actually evidence that gymnasiums do not actually enable continued spread of COVID-19.

According to their open letter directed to the governors, “We know each of you is under immense pressure to stop the spread of COVID-19 in your state. We are writing to ask that you consider scientific evidence, American’s mental and physical health, and not shut down gyms and fitness centers that can operate safely.”

They then presented a survey by MXM/Medallia and fitness industry consultant Blair McHaney, which scoped more than a hundred fitness facilities that had over three million total check-ins, and reported only 0.004 percent were confirmed to have contracted the virus since June 30. They also pointed out how the finding was echoed by contract tracing in several states, like Arkansas which only resulted to a mere 0.3 percent positive cases from those who went to any fitness facility. 

On the other hand, they claimed that public health officials have yet to find any information from contact tracing that proves fitness centers complement the increase in number of cases. They argued in the open letter that “gyms, clubs, and studios are not causing the current virus spikes many states are seeing.”

Further on the letter they asserted a data that says physical activity has been down five percent since the beginning of the outbreak, some due to fitness facilities not allowed to open. They also reminded that working out can also be good for the body, in terms of strengthening the immunity. The open letter reads: “Moderate exercise has been shown time and again to help immune systems. Data shows that obesity increases the likelihood of hospitalization with a COVID-19 infection six-fold.” The importance of maintaining physical wellbeing by exercising was highlighted by their message as well, and the mental and emotional advantages that people can reap from workouts, claiming they are providers of “an essential service to help Americans stay healthy and strong.”

Concluding the letter, they promised that “we will in turn continue to operate in good faith to ensure the facilities that millions of Americans trust to help them stay healthy and strong are clean, safe, and operating in a responsible manner.”

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