By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — All indoor gatherings with Philadelphians from more than one household are now prohibited until at least Jan. 1, 2021, as the city attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Indoor dining, youth sports, theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, museums, libraries, casinos and gyms were all ordered to shut down at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Philadelphia’s “Safer at Home” COVID restrictions mean gyms and fitness centers in the city will once again be shutting down.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing. We don’t really necessarily agree with the decision,” Bob Polizzano, co-owner of Retro Fitness, said. “Yeah, it’s a shame.”

Owners at Retro Fitness in Spring Garden shut down on Thursday night. They’re preparing the gym for the six-week closures that took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday.

“Members have actually been very supportive,” Polizzano said. “No one wants to see the gym shutdown at this time. Health and wellness, we believe, is essential.”

Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, a retired former U.S. Deputy Surgeon General, says he understands the need to mitigate the spread of the surging virus, but he also says maintaining your physical health is critical to fending off the disease.

“This is a serious disease. It’s a serious epidemic and we need to take it seriously,” Moritsugu said. “It comes down to is a fitness center part of the problem or is it part of the solution? I think fitness centers really do contribute to the positive aspects of COVID-19.”

Moritsugu says it’s up to the individual to establish a daily exercise regimen for themselves. Gyms are temporarily off-limits but preserving your physical and mental health is not.

“You don’t have to climb Mount Everest. It really comes down to perhaps a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day,” Moritsugu said. “For the interim, not to let your physical activity simply turn into being a couch potato. Do something.”

That’s the same sentiment the gym owners at Retro Fitness mimicked, too. They say they offer plenty of exercise routines online.

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