By Vince Gerasole

CHICAGO (CBS) —  Since March, we haven’t been able to work off the stress or the pounds that easily.

This Friday gyms statewide can open for indoor classes and workouts, but it comes with a lot of changes. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has more.

Many joke that in the pandemic they have “put on” the COVID 19, meaning 19 extra pounds. But the state and city believe gyms can safely reopen come Friday. And gyms are working up a sweat to get ready.

Soon you can break out a sweat at the neighborhood gym, but you’ll get a workout before stepping inside. At Chicago’s Crosstown Fitness, you’ll step onto a shoe sanitizer at the door, have your temperature checked and add a mandatory mask to you workout gear.

“We are just making sure that we are doing it right,” said Chris Burt of CrossTown Fitness.

All workouts are reservation only and capacity is limited, just 18 clients at assigned workout stations six feet apart.

“Even when you are stretching and moving, you will have comfortable space,” said Burt, who outlined the specific precautions:

“You get your own set of kettle bells, free weights, resistance bands. Between each use, it’s sanitized before and after,” Burt noted.

At The Space Between, they are measuring space and cutting down the yoga studio’s 26-person classes to a third.

“We are going to have nine people. We will not be using the heat. People will bring their own mats. We used to supply mats,” said Daryn Schwartz, owner of The Space Between.

“Teachers students are going to be wearing masks, which is going to be really challenging. But we’ll do it to keep everyone safe,” Schwartz said.

She admits shes a bit apprehensive about opening and is holding off until July 6, to see if the rest of the state encounters any issues before then.

“I truly believe in science and I believe in data and I am nervous,” Schwartz said. “And if we find it isn’t safe, then we will stop doing it. Opening our business will not come at the cost of people’s health for us.”

Doctors said anytime we venture out in this pandemic, it’s risky. In choosing a gym, make sure you look around for those best safety and health practices.

Also choose a gym that’s as well ventilated as possible.

 

Vince Gerasole