It was all smiles as patrons re-entered Snap Fitness for the first time in nearly three months.
On June 15, the local gym reopened its doors as part of Phase Two of the province’s relaunch strategy.
Leigh Ostiguy, co-owner of Sylvan Lake Snap Fitness, said she and her team were happy to be back giving residents the space for exercise.
“You can really see that the lockdown has had some strain mentally on people… People crave structure and their work out routine is a huge part of that,” Ostiguy said.
Behind the scene, Ostiguy has been working to prepare the gym for reopening.
She says a lot of cleaning and preparing has been done in preparation for an eventual reopening.
“We have been preparing as much as possible to reopen, but we couldn’t be completely ready until we heard the requirement set out by the government last Tuesday,” said Ostiguy.
With the new requirements set out by the province, there are some changes patrons can expect when heading back to the gym.
The first is a change in the layout, to allow for personal distancing while exercising.
Nearly all the equipment has been spaced out throughout the gym for the two meters of social distancing. The pieces that haven’t been moved, such as the treadmills, will have every other blocked off to keep the required spacing.
“Because we had to move all the equipment around to allow for more space, we had to move some into our class space. So, we won’t be holding classes until probably September.”
The sanitary guidelines at the gym are now stricter than before the COVID-19 lockdown. Patrons will be asked to wipe down the equipment they are using both before and after use.
Staff at the gym will be wiping down surfaces, such counter tops and door handles, every two hours.
Shower facilities and water fountains at the gym will be closed until further notice.
“Each patron that comes in for the first time after quarantine has to be given a new tour and orientation,” Ostiguy said.
As of right now, appointments are not required, so long as social distancing is maintained at all times in the gym.
Ostiguy says she was shocked when told scheduling was not a requirement of the provincial government when reopening gyms. Looking at other provincial standards, she was ready to begin scheduling for opening day.
“If social distancing becomes a problem we will implement a scheduling system, but as it stands right now there isn’t a need,” she said.
Snap Fitness reopened its doors at 10 a.m. on June 15, three days after Phase Two began.