Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic presented an array of challenges for everyone. Working from home, kids attending school online, and just generally rearranging how our lives looked and functioned became the new normal. For fitness enthusiasts and those who enjoy active lifestyles, the closure of gyms presented a major obstacle to staying in shape. In perusing the latest Los Feliz news, however, you may have seen new gyms opening and existing fitness centers loosening their restrictions, which is a great sign.
Maybe you got really good at doing bodyweight calisthenics. Perhaps you invested in some free weights from Amazon or installed a pull-up bar on your bedroom door frame. No matter how well you adapted to the conditions of the pandemic, chances are you are more than eager to get back into the gym. Fortunately, a return to workout normalcy appears to be on the horizon.
COVID Closures and Setbacks
When COVID let loose on the world in the early months of 2020, there were many unknowns. Between the potential severity of the illness and uncertainties about its transmission, cities and states implemented varying restrictions on how businesses could operate. In Los Angeles County, gyms and fitness centers were hit hard by this in that they had to shutter their doors entirely.
For those who bank on hitting the gym for their mental and physical wellness, this was a difficult pill to swallow. When gyms did eventually re-open, the experience was different, to say the least. Capacities were capped, masks were required, and other extreme sanitary measures were put in place.
In recent weeks, however, Los Angeles has eased its mask requirements. There is evidence to suggest that proper ventilation and high ceilings can do well to mitigate some of the risks of COVID. If you are immunocompromised, however, it is still advisable for you to take every precaution available.
Los Angeles County is still recommending a number of COVID-related health advisories. Mask-wearing is still encouraged, and gym owners must provide masks to their employees, free of charge. Screening is also still recommended via temperature checks. Gyms should also post signage advising potentially sick customers to not enter. Handwashing, avoiding overcrowding, and proper ventilation are also highly encouraged.
Let’s face it, though: we are all eager to get those masks off. The strained breathing and sweat accumulation that comes with wearing masks in the gym has taken some adjustment, to say the least. As the efficacy of vaccines continues and infection rates drop, masks at the gym could–hopefully–become a permanent and distant memory.
Wall Street is Reading the Tea Leaves in Los Angeles
The impact of the coronavirus on gyms and fitness centers cannot be overstated. Long-time fitness staples like Gold’s Gym had to go as far as filing for bankruptcy protection. Forced closures wreaked havoc on a fitness industry that had to rely on government PPP loans to remain solvent. All the while, at-home fitness companies like Peloton saw their sales surge. The high spike in pricey stationary bikes, however, could have been illusory. Wall Street professionals are betting on gyms to return to prominence in a major way.
Planet Fitness, a budget gym with numerous locations on the Eastside of Los Angeles has seen a surge in new memberships. They are also seeing members return at a rate 30 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels. This would appear to suggest that people are eager to get back in the gym, where there is inherently more variety than at-home workouts can offer.
Hedge funds are also buying up gym stocks at a rapid clip. Planet Fitness’ stock price has gone up about 12 percent since last summer. Investors have also been sinking money into luxury fitness chains such as LifeTime Fitness. For at-home product-based businesses like Peloton, however, things have not gone so swimmingly. Its stock is down 77 percent from its pandemic highs, and it recently shed 2,800 jobs while also replacing its CEO.
Stay On Top of the Latest Los Feliz News
So, are the days of your prison-style, at-home workouts over? If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been that it is thoroughly unpredictable. Things have, and may continue to change on a dime, so it may be wise to get to the gym while you still can. Of course, one of the luxuries of living in Los Angeles is the sunny, consistent weather. There are plenty of opportunities to get your workouts outside.
To stay current with the latest fitness events and news happening in Los Feliz, be sure to check back at Silverlandia. We always feature the most current happenings around the Eastside, including Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Echo Park, and beyond.