Gyms and fitness centers hit hard by Honolulu’s reopening strategy

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new reopening strategy gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to open, but only for outdoor exercise and at limited numbers.

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The caution for indoor training comes after two Oahu gyms were linked to clusters of COVID-19 cases back in July.

Before the second stay-at-home order went into effect, Parado Power Personal Training owner Blake Parado upgraded his facility to make it compliant with the guidelines.

“We invested money and tried to follow all the protocols, we actually tried to exceed the protocols,” Parado said.

He says he now has to take things week by week to see if his business can survive until tier two, where they can go back indoors with just 25% capacity. That’s followed by tier three at 50% capacity.

Group fitness classes are allowed to have 5 people outdoors in the first tier, including the instructor. In tier two, 10 people are allowed outdoors and five indoors. The indoor allowance increases to 10 in tier three. For tier four, 25 people are allowed indoors and outdoors.

In each tier, face coverings and/or social distancing are required.

For now, gyms have to be creative.

“We fortunately have a lot of parking at our gym right outside,” Parado said. “So I feel like they allow us, and we get the ok to block out a few stalls. A lot of our equipment is easy to move like kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine bars so we can easily push them outside of the gym.”

Kids have been couped up indoors without school, parks, or sports.

Personal trainer Kenny Patton, who works extensively with young athletes, is keeping his classes online.

“It’s kind of unpredictable right now and with the tiers now it’s kind of a little bit better so now I can kind of plan a little bit more,” Patton said.

Outdoor organized sports with a permit aren’t allowed until tier four. Outdoor sports without a permit are allowed five people in tiers one and two, 10 people in tier three, and 25 people in tier four.

“We do weekly challenges so they compete against themselves and kid against each other, and I’m trying to get to the understand like what’s not complain,” Patton said. “These are the cards we’re dealt, let’s just get better.”

No matter the age, and with gym options so limited, there are ways to get exercise in. Both Patton and Parado recommend doing so slowly to begin to avoid injury.

“If you can try to get outside going for walks, it may not seem the same as going to the gym but at least better than nothing,” Parado said.

“Do 20-30 minutes a day, nothing crazy,” Patton said. “You got to get started somewhere. There’s yoga classes. There’s all kinds of things on YouTube that you can do.”

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