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Gyms, fitness centers prepare for resolutions to give rid of pandemic pounds – Clay Today Online

Posted: December 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm


By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com

CLAY COUNTY Gyms and fitness centers around the county are preparing for an uptick of memberships as many will pledge to get rid of their pandemic pounds in the new year.

Losing weight is one of the most-popular New Years resolutions, but gym memberships dropped significantly as the COVID-19 pandemic closed many doors. Like the rest of Florida, Clay County felt those effects. As the state moved from Phase 1 safety protocols to Phase 2 and now Phase 3, gyms are ready for what is usually one of the busiest times of the year.

We expect an uptick in memberships, First Coast YMCA vice president of operations Jon Dearolf said. To ensure safety, we will continue our thorough cleaning procedures, temperature checks upon entry, mask requirements in high traffic areas, socially distanced markings in group exercise classes, and continue our registration system to help provide a safer room capacity.

Dearolf said the YMCAs in Clay County has seen a slight increase in memberships over the past few months, especially in the Youth Sports programs. Signups for the current season exceeded the previous season, which showed Dearolf and the YMCA that parents still want to keep their children active during this time.

He said something unique about signing up for a YMCA membership as a New Years resolution or at any time really, is that the organization provides virtual exercise options and outdoor opportunities for classes in the cooler months to ease member anxiety associated with working out indoors.

To help with our building capacity, we have increased our building hours and will be adding more group exercise classes to give more exercise options for our members, Dearolf said.

Achieve Fitness Center on Fleming Island has been preparing its expected New Years uptick in membership with additional safety COVID-19-related protocols. General manager Michael Glickman said when you first walk in to Achieve, youll notice that all of the clubs doors have antimicrobial material on them that kills bacteria on contact. You also wont be able to work out until completing a temperature check to determine you arent running a fever.

We have also added an additional 10 sanitization stations so we have 15 of those now, Glickman said. We recently introduced electrostatic charge spraying as well and we do that every seven days as thats how long the treatment lasts.

There are ultraviolet rays integrated into the childrens play area of Achieve and in all of the buildings heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and social distancing is practiced in the cardio equipment areas and classroom sessions.

We have about 20,000 square feet of building and every other machine is shut off currently, Glickman said. Everything were doing is to make sure our members feel safe, which is why all of our staff wear masks and its why we offer masks and gloves to every member that comes in.

Baileys Health and Fitness in Orange Park is practicing similar measures with multiple touchpoint cleanings throughout each day, UV lights installed in HVAC systems and more. Its about the safety of the members and providing the means for them to remain not only safe, but healthy through fitness as well for each of these gyms.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying active is even more important during this time, Dearolf said. We will continue to ensure a safe and encouraging environment to help people reach their goals and overcome stress.

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Gyms, fitness centers prepare for resolutions to give rid of pandemic pounds - Clay Today Online

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