By Alecia Reid

ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) — Gyms across Pennsylvania are preparing to reopen for the first time in weeks under revised COVID-19 restrictions. Gyms in the commonwealth can reopen on Monday.

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to get back in the gym. Although they’re currently closed in Pennsylvania, that wish may come true in just a few days. Now that 2020 is in the rearview mirror, there’s no turning back. Instead, there is something to look forward to.

“We’re really looking forward to showing that businesses can safely reopen,” Life Time Fitness Senior General Manager Miklos Horvath said. “We can put these measures in place.”

Fitness centers were first targeted by the state for a four-month closure at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After reopening with additional safety restrictions in June, they were hit unexpectedly with another near-month-long closure mandate in December amid rising cases.

“We’ve done more than probably any other industry out there to protect our members,” Horvath said, “to make sure that we’ve got classes that have reservations, that we’re keeping people separated. We’re requiring members to wear masks even while you’re exercising. Even though it’s not as fun as it should be, it’s still much better to be in here in person exercising, seeing other people, and being invigorated and kind of feeding off that energy.”

Some restrictions are being lifted on Monday and that includes gyms. The hope is that once gyms in the commonwealth reopen, they’ll be able to stay open.

At Life Time Fitness, which has four locations regionally, New Year’s Day is also “Commitment Day,” where clients commit to making positive changes starting Jan 1.

The traditional 5K with thousands of people across the U.S. participating has turned into a virtual event.

“Taking care of yourself mentally, make sure you’re taking time to relieve stress, meditate, maybe practice some yoga,” Horvath said.

2020 was a turbulent year, to say the least. It’s important to remain encouraged to get back to your health and fitness goals.

Employees at Life Time have been cleaning and prepping for Monday’s reopening.

“We’ve implemented extra cleaning, more filtration systems, we just have launched a couple of new digital options here,” Horvath said.

That digital membership has options for virtual personal training. Owners changed with the times to meet clients where they are. Before the latest shutdown, they were seeing about 10% capacity.

“We haven’t been close enough to have to worry about it,” Horvath said.

As gyms look forward to welcoming clients back, they’re not expecting a huge rush. Understandably, some folks are still a bit hesitant due to COVID-19.


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