Local gyms try to reclaim lost ground from COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The start of the year is the busiest time for local gyms as new clients are looking to start the new year on the right foot.

“You don’t have a choice but to survive, right? So, it’s what do you have to change, what do you have to do to make sure you survive,” said Max Fitness Owner Christy Goodwin.

She said it’s been a rough ride since the start of the pandemic.

“When you’re shut down for two months and you’re a small business, you don’t have a lot of money that’s just sitting on the side if you’re shut down,” Goodwin explained.

“I think the gym was definitely an outlet. I mean a lot of people were upset about it,” said gym member Madeline Mixon.

The constant changes and mandates were jarring as fitness classes tried to teach and maintain mask-wearing and social distancing.

“In the beginning, we didn’t even have classes when we reopened. We had no classes for the first six to seven months because it was just too difficult,” said Goodwin.

Although these past two years were challenging, local gyms and businesses looked to gain momentum in 2022.

“It’s like learning how to live with this. It’s not going anywhere, so I think people are settling into the fact that this is the new norm,” said Goodwin.

She noticed a shift in perspective for many of her members coming out of isolation.

“There are so many people that just continue to work from home now, so people got into a routine of not leaving their houses. People are able to get out now,” she said.

“I was just ready to get back in. Working out relieves the stress of all the worry going around,” added gym member Neal Hendrick.

Although conditions are better than before, Goodwin said she stays diligent, especially with the new variants.

Health officials advised to keep your mask on and continue to social distance if you decide to head to the gym or other enclosed areas.

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