Health restrictions: gyms want to partially reopen

Ready to restore their image after the monster outbreak at the Mega Fitness Gym, fitness centers want to partially reopen their rooms to curb the exodus of their employees.

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“Our professionals are leaving the industry. If we don’t reopen in February, we will have been closed 14 months out of the 24 months [de pandémie] “, deplores Gabriel Hardy, the Quebec leader of the Canadian Council of the fitness industry, which notably represents the banners Énergie Cardio, Éconofitness and CrossFit.

He asks the government and public health authorities to allow trainers and kinesiologists employed by gyms to return to work now, under very strict supervision.

The weight room would remain closed to the community, but “if I have five trainers in my gym, I can have five clients in my gym. My coaches all stay two meters apart according to the established protocol, the client will stay in his two meters, the coach wears a mask, glasses, clients cannot rub shoulders, ”insists Gabriel Hardy.

Unequal

According to him, there is currently an “inequity” between professionals working in fitness centers and those working in private clinics or in hospitals.

He cites the example of kinesiologists, specialists in physical activity. “We want our professionals to work and be able to provide this health service, just like a physiotherapist, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, who have never stopped working since the start of the pandemic”, adds Mr. Hardy.

He strongly believes that gyms can be good partners for post-pandemic government, as sedentary lifestyles have become a serious public health problem.

Bad reputation

Gabriel Hardy is, however, aware of the bad reputation of his industry since the weight room of the controversial Dan Marino was at the origin of one of the biggest outbreaks of the pandemic.

“The Mega Gym has hurt us a lot, he admits. We paid dearly for it […] then I think it’s time for another call. We have to change this perception that gyms are just a place for tough guys that is not safe”.

Mr. Hardy maintains that this is an exceptional case and that “99.9% of the gyms in Quebec are no longer Arnold-style gyms. [Schwarzenegger], where aesthetics is only the thing that is put forward”.

He is also asking the government to include indoor physical training in the same category as other sports in its deconfinement plan.

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