‘I’m glad it’s reopening’: Health clubs back in business – News – Wicked Local Franklin, MA

After a three-month closure due to COVID-19, another sector of the economy reopened Monday.

FRAMINGHAM – “Amen” is the word Rose Luciano of Framingham used to describe what it felt like to finally return to the MetroWest YMCA after a three-month hiatus.

On Monday, health and fitness clubs statewide reopened as part of Phase 3 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s going to take Luciano awhile to get back to her 14-lap/38-minute pace before the Y’s closure in March, but she’s ready to get back in the pool.

What she’ll find is a new rule because of the pandemic – only four swimmers allowed at one time, one per lane.

Fitness clubs prepare to protect staff and patrons

That restriction and others, including wearing masks, social distancing and wiping down exercise equipment with disinfectant are the new normal in fitness centers. They are just some of the public health guidelines mandated by the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It feels awesome,” said Mark Rozman, co-owner of Evolve Fitness & Studios in Framingham. “It’s great to be back to work.”

All Massachusetts health clubs are required to operate at a maximum of 40% capacity at any time. As of Monday morning, Rozman estimated 40 of the club’s 2,000 members came to work out. Roughly 300 members will keep their memberships on hold until they feel comfortable COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Defiant Oxford gym ready to reopen

There’s also a new code of conduct at Evolve Fitness for members that includes a commitment to social distancing and having their temperature taken upon entering the club. If it exceeds 100 degrees, it’s retaken after a 10-minute wait. If it remains elevated, entry is denied.

Federal government assistance programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program, helped many small businesses survive during closure, including Evolve Fitness.

“Bills have been piling up,” Rozman said, noting that while his landlord has been flexible with rent payments, he still has construction loans and exercise equipment leases to pay.

“They’re not going away,” he said.

Luther White, owner of NRG Lab fitness centers in Milford, Mansfield and Franklin, said he’s lost millions of dollars during closure that he’ll never get back.

Without the Personal Protection Program and other forms of government assistance, White said many health clubs would not have survived.

He’s thankful to reopen, but he’s frustrated that businesses like Walmart and Home Depot were allowed to stay open during the pandemic, while many sectors of the service economy were forced to close their doors.

“We were cut out by the knees,” White said.

White opened his 17,000-square-foot Milford location three years ago, and estimates 30% of members at his three locations will return immediately. Another 30% should come back in three months.

“Thirty percent will never come back,” White said. “Long run, the service industry will figure it out.”

Besides the lane restriction at the MetroWest YMCA, other changes include requiring 14 feet of distance between each piece of workout equipment in the wellness center to adhere to social distancing.

“That’s a big change for us,” said Lisa Mandozzi, MetroWest YMCA executive director.

Others include a maximum of 25 visitors in the center at once, and reservations for one-hour blocks are required; pool reservations run 50 minutes; and the building is closed daily from 1-2 p.m. for additional cleaning.

Mandozzi said 70% of the MetroWest YMCA’s 11,000 members kept their memberships active, while the rest are on hold to see how the pandemic plays out.

Of the facility’s 400 employees, 85% are back. Mandozzi said the hope is to get them all back eventually.

Fighting COVID-19 with exercise

Hours have also changed to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the building is closed on weekends, for now.

Outdoor programs are also in play, including strength training, yoga, Pilates and Zumba.

Carmen Kundakjian of Framingham, a 20-year member at the MetroWest YMCA, plans to take some outdoor classes.

“I was very disappointed,” Kundakjian said Monday outside the YMCA. “But I’m glad it’s reopening.”

Henry Schwan is a multimedia journalist for the Daily News. Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymetrowest. He can be reached at hschwan@wickedlocal.com or 508-626-3964.

— to franklin.wickedlocal.com

Related Articles


Global Wireless Health and Fitness Devices Market 2020 | Know the Companies List Could Potentially Benefit or Loose out From the Impact of COVID-19 | Top Companies: Abbott Diabetes Care, Adidas, Alive Technologies, Apple, ASUSTeK Computer, etc.

Latest Wireless Health and Fitness Devices Market report evaluates the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on the industry, involving potential opportunity and challenges, drivers and risks and market growth forecast based on different scenario. Global Wireless Health and Fitness Devices industry Market Report is a professional and in-depth research report on the world’s major regional market. […]
Read more

7 Need-to-Know Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times. When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to […]
Read more

Rowing Machines Market 2027| Velocity Exercise • Sunny Health and Fitness • Sole Treadmills • Concept2 • LifeSpan Fitness • WaterRower Club • Lifecore Biomedical • Stamina Products

Global Rowing Machines Market 2020 : Covering both the industrial and the commercial aspects of the Global Rowing Machines Market, the report encircles several crucial chapters that give the report an extra edge. The Global Rowing Machines Market report deep dives into the several parts of the report that plays a crucial role in getting […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for: