HAMPTON ROADS, Va (WAVY) — Gyms are back open, but getting your daily workout now looks a lot different: Planet Fitness is now requiring members wear masks at all times while in the company’s facilities.
Between the heat outside and the heat you feel when you’re working out, some people are saying they would rather cancel their membership than continue working out at Planet Fitness, which has a dozen locations in the Hampton Roads region.
Leaders for the company sent 10 On Your Side the following statement:
“As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, amid an ongoing global health crisis, wellness has never been as essential to our collective community as it is today. Gyms are part of the solution and a key element of the healthcare delivery system, providing much needed access for people to exercise and stay healthy. Given our leadership position within the industry, we believe it’s our responsibility to further protect our members, employees, and communities so that we can all safely focus on our health, which is more important now than ever before.”– Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer at Planet Fitness.
They also sent a tip video from one of their trainers to help people make the adjustment, but not everyone is convinced working out with a mask is for them.
However, the new mask requirement has turned away at least one local Planet Fitness member.
“My first process was I need to cancel my membership,” said Alfred Punter. He had not seen the video when 10 On Your Side’s Tamara Scott spoke with him Tuesday, but he said when he heard the new rules, it was an easy decision.
“I understand what they are trying to do. I think we all are trying to do what we can to help slow the spread of this virus. Who wants to work out with a mask on?” he said.
He said he is worried for other aspects of health.
“It’s already hard enough wearing the mask when it’s hot outside, when it’s hot then going to the gym, working up a sweat, coming out, that’s I could see a lot of people getting sick behind that,” he said.
In the video, the trainer explains different ways to work out, even finding the right mask for you.
“Now, granted, there are masks out here designed to help you with breathing while exercising, but some of those masks can be pretty pricey, and I’m not trying to spend a lot of money on a mask just so I can work out,” said Punter.
Other people agree with Punter. They said they were also worried about health risks, and comfort.
“I’m pro-mask. I wear my mask everywhere I go. However, when it comes to working out, I kind of want to be comfortable and be able to breathe freely when I’m working out … so you can do all the exercise correctly,” he added.
Many people said that while they’re canceling now, they will consider renewing their membership when COVID-19 is clear.