Gold’s Gym CEO says people need an outlet during pandemic: ‘Exercise is medicine’

“But we’ve been working for months to deliver strict sanitizing, cleaning, distancing guidelines and protocols to help keep our community safe. And to your point, exercising, it is medicine. It is very important to people. And as gym operators, above all, we absolutely value the well-being of our communities.”

He added that being in gyms was an “essential part of people’s lives.” “During these tough times, in this pandemic, we’ve got to keep gyms open — people need that outlet and they need to stay healthy,” that he said.

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Gyms are just one of several large facilities that have had to shut their doors amid the pandemic. The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged governments to reopen schools, for example, noting the importance of in-classroom learning.

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While many have expressed reservations about allowing in-door gatherings, Zeitsiff argued that there wasn’t any evidence that presents gyms are spreading COVID-19.

He alluded to research cited by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a trade association for commercial health clubs. The organization recently sent letters to every U.S. governor, outlining evidence they said showed the safety of reopening fitness facilities.

A press release from the group read: “In a survey consisting of 135 clubs with 3,443,123 total check-ins, fitness industry consultant, Blair McHaney of MXM/Medallia, reports that there were 0.004% of positive cases reported as of June 30.” A Norwegian study similarly indicated gyms were relatively safe during the pandemic.

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However, some experts have cautioned against time for the gym.

“If it had been someone within my family [who was high risk] I would suggest they not visit a gym,” Dr. Saadia Griffith-Howard, an infectious disease expert at Kaiser Permanente, reportedly said. Griffith-Howard added that gymgoers should assess their very own risks and review gyms’ safety measures.

“Are you seeing them regularly clean equipment? And are staff and other clients in the gym wearing a mask?” she asked, based on NPR.

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