OPINION – Exercise is an incredibly useful tool for people to utilize in order to stay healthy. And while Americans across the country and throughout California continue to fight against the coronavirus, maintaining a strong immune system has never been more important. As Governor Gavin Newsom continues taking steps towards reopening businesses safely, it is smart for gyms to be included in those plans.

Small businesses like mine, which were closed for several weeks, are fully prepared to reopen safely. I own and operate an Anytime Fitness gym in Placerville, California, and as a company, we are taking several precautions to ensure that we can reopen responsibly and provide our members with a safe place to exercise.

Anytime Fitness is unique in that we are small, making it easier for us to adhere to safety guidelines put forth by government officials and health experts. Our club is 4,000 square feet, and during our busiest hours, we average about 16 people in the facility at any given time. We are also implementing a scheduling application for members to plan their workouts ahead of time to make sure that only the appropriate amount of people are inside the club at once. In addition to executing strict social distancing guidelines in our gym, we will also be enacting enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices for our members and staff by using medical grade supplies more frequently. These are just a few examples that highlight our readiness to reopen.

Just like Governor Newsom, my top priority is keeping members of our community safe and healthy. Allowing small gyms like mine to reopen will help achieve that goal.

By Catherine Heath

Catherine Heath is the owner of Anytime Fitness in Placerville, California.