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Local gyms prepare to reopen, but will look different in a COVID-19 World Submitted: 05/19/2020
Northwoods - While some private gyms are already back in business, the bulk of local gyms will reopen on May 26. 

But before welcoming back members, fitness centers prepare to implement new procedures to ensure they are staying safe while they're trying to get healthy. 

The YMCA of the Northwoods will be changing their gym layout that follows the guidelines provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, CEO Ryan Zietlow said.
"We're gonna have one way traffic," Zietlow said. "When we look at our wellness center, there's going to be restrictions and limitations on the number of equipment that we have. Every other piece of cardio equipment will be open so we can provide the social distance between people as they work out."

For those who don't want to workout alone the YMCA plans to continue workout classes but in a bigger space, Zietlow added.

"We will open up and run our group classes wbut what we're going to do is we're going to shift our focus from our aerobics studio and utilize our gymnasium for it."

In order to maintain social distancing, employees placed taped boxes across the gymnasium floor measuring six feet distance from each other.

The YMCA will also put limits on their pool area, asking members to reserve a lane to limit the number of people at one time.

Fitness centers like Sixel's Martial Arts and Fitness located in Eagle river find maintaining small classes isn't a problem.

"What we have is circuit fitness," owner, Dave Sixel said. "You're 30 minutes in and then you're out. So we never have more than 10 people at a time."

Sanitizing the studio and equipment also greatly increased, Sixel added.In addition to placing more cleaning stations, he added an air filtration system and regularly sprays down the studio three times a day.

Sixel's Martial Arts and Fitness reopened this past Monday. The YMCA of the Northwoods is set to open on May 26.

For YMCA members who do feel comfortable going back to the gym just yet, Zeitlow added that they can continue to put their membership on hold until they are ready.

"We understand that some members aren't ready to come back yet, maybe they have a little bit of fear, but we'll support them and look forward to all of our Y members coming back," Zeitlow said.

Written By: Rachael Eyler

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