With gyms still closed in places like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, some fitness studios and personal trainers are now starting to bring the sweat session outdoors to ensure a safe social distance and no contact with equipment.
Tone House, a New York City-based sports conditioning workout studio, has been closed since March and announced Monday it's bringing back outdoor workouts. Each class will be held at the Grand Street Mini Field at East River Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Classes will be capped at 20 people, and “social distancing will be enforced,” the gym told members Wednesday. Clients must bring their own towels and masks.
And Pure Barre, a barre workout franchise, hosted a parking lot pop-up workout earlier this month in Virginia.
And personal trainers say more clients have been requesting socially distanced personal training sessions.
“I started to train my clients outside more since the virus [started],” Oscar Smith, a celebrity trainer who’s worked with clients like Tom Brady, told FOX Business. “Workouts like yoga work great in a big park setting because you can really space everybody out. Bringing the workout outside also allows for better airflow.”
Gyms have been able to open indoors with restrictions like social distancing and often with capacity limits in nearly half of U.S. states. However, doctors are advising fitness lovers to think twice after a recent outbreak at a big-box gym sent hundreds into quarantine.
At least 200 members of a Planet Fitness in West Virginia were exposed to COVID-19 after a gym goer tested positive for the virus last week. The gym chain said in a Facebook post Sunday it closed for deep cleaning and would reopen Tuesday with temperature checks for members and staff upon entry.
“With the amount of community spread in Arizona, Texas, Florida and the fact that they’re enclosed, your risks for infection is just too high to be at a gym at this point,” said Dr. Matthew Heinz, a hospitalist and internist at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona.
“If you have it and you don't know it, you can give that to several people especially if you're working out and breathing heavily – the vast majority of transmission is the water vapor we exhale, those respiratory droplets,” Heinz explained.