Gyms and fitness centres in Prince Rupert are pumped up for action and re-opening on Jan. 20 after a weeks-long closure mandated by the province.
The new rules state adult indoor individual, group fitness or exercise activities, and adult dance classes, are allowed with increased safety protocols and capacity limits.
“It looks like back to normal for us,” Yvonne Campbell, owner of Genetics Fitness, said.
“I can breathe again. As a small business owner, it was extremely overwhelming during the holidays to be shut down and to be pretty much blamed for the on the coronavirus increase,” she said.
The phone was “ringing off the wall” at some gyms as the return date neared, Linda Lutz, owner of The Gym Prince Rupert, said.
Returning to the gym, David Long reregistered on the first day permitted at the facility he attended up to six days a week before the closure.
“It means that I can get back to exercising and feeling better about myself,” Long said. “I’m pretty sure everyone’s pretty excited about getting back to the gym.”
Fitness centres re-opening is a positive for many people’s physical and mental health, Skye Olmsted, gym attendant at The Gym Prince Rupert, said.
“I think gyms re-opening and being allowed to [exercise] is very beneficial for everybody and their health,” Olmsted said. “I am looking forward to seeing those who use the gym the most, and need the gym the most, to be able to get back in here and work on themselves and better themselves.”
“I personally use it for physical health and mental health and I think it’s a big contributor to [who] I am today,” she said.
The gym facilities at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre also re-opened with increased capacity than it had before the closure. The public fitness centre can now host up to four patrons at a time, Rosa Miller, City of Prince Rupert corporate administrator, said.
During the shutdown announced on Dec. 23, staff at the facility were able to rearrange equipment to maximize space to safety allow for the additional spot. Gym-users are asked to register for a time slot before going, which can be done up to two days in advance. Drop-in will be available only if there are non-registered spaces free to use.
The details of the new safety protocols call for adjusted capacity to be based on seven square metres of floor space per person for individual and group fitness classes. Group sessions are capped at a maximum of 25 participants.
At all facilities, masks must be worn at all times except during active exercise. However, the province and the City of Prince Rupert strongly encourage the public to wear a mask even while exercising.
Scanning proof of vaccination will also be mandatory for entry into facilities.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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