BOZEMAN/BELGRADE — If you go to the gym regularly, then you know what this time of year typically means: a lot more people. But what about during a pandemic? What’s the New Year Rush going to look like this year?
“Gym in January is definitely busier. That’s a big time. That’s a big time for everyone when they make those New Year’s resolutions, and they want to make physical changes. It brings everyone back into the gym after New Year's,” said Nicholas Valera, a personal trainer at Access Fitness in Bozeman.
People going back to the gym doesn't usually raise any eyebrows, but this isn’t the time when most gym-goers want to be in a more crowded place. But one Belgrade gym believes the natural effect of the pandemic has fixed that.
“You lose people you gain people, it stays about even all year,” said Jerry Johnson, the owner of The Gym of Belgrade.
But of course, many local gyms are anticipating some new faces with the new year.
“Obviously, I hope everyone that is new coming into the gym keeps up the standards and the protocols that we’ve been following as far as the COVID procedures,” Valera said.
But unlike previous years, gyms may start to see familiar faces coming back as well.
“I’m getting a lot of return members that when COVID hit they canceled their membership, and now they’re all starting to come back. People aren’t as afraid as they were before,” Johnson said.
As far as cleaning, both gyms say they plan on continuing what has been working and maintaining a clean facility.
“We put yellow rags out and spray bottles. Everybody grabs their own. We also put hand sanitizers in three areas of the room. We spread out the equipment to where you’re six feet apart. We also added in to where you work out on one machine until you’re done then you clean it, you leave it,” Johnson said.
But if you’re still not comfortable going to the gym, there are other options.
“All for it if you want to stay away and work out at home and do your stuff. There’s plenty of stuff that you can do at home and still get a good lift in,” Valera said.
No one knows what the future holds or what tomorrow might bring, but health officials still urge everyone to continue following safety guidelines.