As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, many Berks County residents are left wondering if it is safe to return to the gym.

Scott Gardner, General Manager and Partner at Retro Fitness in Kenhorst Plaza, is working hard to make sure that his clients feel safe returning to his facility. Among other safety precautions, Gardner shared that all staff and clients have their temperatures checked on the way into the building, they have tripled the amount of wipe dispensers and hand sanitizer, removed the drinking fountain, and are selling masks.

All workout machines are guaranteed to be six feet apart, and while fitness classes have resumed, stickers on the floor ensure that guests stay six feet away from one another.

“We also have a full-time cleaning person during the day, and a professional cleaning crew that deep cleans the gym at night using a disinfectant fogger,” said Gardner.

Shillington resident Lindsey Hart, believes that the pros of returning to her workout routine at Colonial Fitness are greater than the cons.

“While everything was still closed, I did my best to recreate workout routines at home, but after a while, finding the motivation was a challenge for me,” she says.

“I’m one of those people who gets the most out of physically going to the gym and engaging in Group Fitness Classes. I feel really safe because [Colonial Fitness] is taking a lot of precautions. There are sanitizing stations everywhere, members are asked to wipe down the equipment after each use, and wear masks when walking about common areas. It feels so good to get into a routine again!”

Fleetwood resident Kristen Rothenberger has a different perspective since the start of quarantine. “I realized I would need to tweak my workout plan,” says Rothenberger.

“Instead of running on the treadmill, I switched to running outside almost every day. I have chosen not to go back to the gym yet because I do not feel comfortable indoors in a gym environment. I’m sure at some point I may decide to go back…but I’m managing well without it, and living a safe and fulfilling life right now with my family.”

Kristen also shared that she is a member of Fit4Mom, an outdoor program designed for moms and their children.

There are many factors that will determine whether or not it is safe for an individual to return to the gym, including age, pre-existing conditions, and the proper safety protocol put in place by the gym itself. Ultimately, this is a decision that each individual can only make for themselves as they carefully assess the risks and benefits associated with returning to the gym.

This article is also available in: Español (Spanish)