Demand Governor Cuomo open NY gyms

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NYS was presented with a four step process to reopen what were deemed non-essential businesses after beginning a shut-down on March 17, 2020 due to COVID-19.  Phase 4 was presented from the start of this plan as the final phase— this being when schools, churches, and all recreation could resume.  Days before Erie County entered phase 4, the fitness industry was pulled out of the staged reopening leaving thousands of fitness professionals of big-box gyms and small studio owners alike without answers. 

On June 29, 2020, Erie County entered phase 4. On July 20, 2020, the NYC area entered phase 4; thus marking the ENTIRE state as safe for recreation operations with new safety protocols in place. However, as of July 26, 2020 fitness studios across the state remain unable to open their doors. There has been ZERO guidance from the state and owners have fallen on deaf ears as their safety plans are unanswered and continue to go unheard.

Fitness is not only physical exercise, it is a mental health tool. Working out at home is not feasible for everyone. In order to stay consistent in a fitness routine, some people need accountability and motivation only found in a group. Furthermore, the physical space is defined and their goals can be met through instruction and equipment provided by a gym. The owners and employees of these studios and gyms are eager to get back to work. Where is this industry’s chance? Fitness should be considered essential as it has been proven that those who regularly workout have stronger immune systems.  

In addition to all the benefits that working out brings to its members, these businesses stimulate local economies. If the doors to gyms are unable to open soon, many owners will have no choice but to close their doors forever. Other states have successfully regulated the fitness industry and opened gyms with social distancing, sanitizing, and safety practices in place. If we are unable to open fitness facilities, these places— where people go to achieve and maintain physical and mental health— may no longer exist, statewide.