Fitness enthusiasts glad to return after 5-month closure of gyms

Gym members returned to the Fitness Centre, South Park, Tarouba, on Monday, on the first day of the re-opening of gyms under the safe zone guidelines. - Photo by  Lincoln Holder
Gym members returned to the Fitness Centre, South Park, Tarouba, on Monday, on the first day of the re-opening of gyms under the safe zone guidelines. - Photo by Lincoln Holder

HEALTH and fitness enthusiasts were pleased with the covid19 protocols in place when gyms re-opened on Monday after being closed since the end of April.

On Monday, the Government allowed the entertainment sector to re-open to vaccinated people at 50 per cent capacity.

The re-opened places are being called safe zones as covid19 protocols must be followed including wearing masks, temperature checks and sanitization.

Newsday visited two gyms in Port of Spain on Monday afternoon – D Dial Fitness in One Woodbrook Place and Gold’s Gym in Maraval.

After being away from the gym for more than five months, Tessa Clifford was happy to work out at the D Dial Fitness again.

“It feels really, really great. I am really excited about it,” Clifford said.

“Even though I have been doing my little workouts at home just to try to keep physical and maintain my sanity, it’s really not the same. I was eagerly awaiting this day to get back in.”

Fitness instructor Leanna Raphael ( left) and personal trainer Karver Rullow exercise at D’ Dial Fitness Club, at Imax, in Woodbrook, on Monday, now that gyms are allowed to be open under safe zone guidelines. - PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

Discussing the safety measures in place, Clifford said, “So far I feel pretty safe, but time will tell. I just really hope they maintain the standard.”

Leanna Raphael, operations manager at D Dial Fitness, said, “It is great to be back. I missed this.”

Raphael was satisfied with the turnout on day one, saying, “We’ve had a steady flow…I expect it to get better by next week please God. Everybody is watching, observing and waiting for the initial rush to be over before they come in.”

Raphael said all the employees at the gym are fully vaccinated.

Personal trainer Karver Rullow said, “It is like a new year…that is a long time for a fitness enthusiast or a person (into) fitness as a professional or even as a member and my clients to not be engaged in something that they did every day for years.”

Rullow said the safe zone is the place to be.

Gregory Garcia, another personal trainer at the D Dial Fitness, said he had to adjust during the lockdown. “It forced me to do training online, but you could only do that much because you have to hope everyone has equipment. So now that the gyms are open it is a more central place with more equipment. You can do more so I am happy.”

At Gold’s Gym manager Christine Winchester was glad her employees have the opportunity to return to work.

“Most importantly I am super happy that my staff is back out because they have been out for five months.”

Winchester did not expect so many clients to attend the gym on the first day.

“I really did not expect this turnout today to be honest. I am really glad for the turnout.”

Members Chelsea Walker and Owari Jules were at Gold’s Gym when Newsday visited the gym at 5 pm.

Jules said, “It is a relief to say the least after being locked up on the inside. It could become stressful…of course there are opportunities (to exercise) at home, but in my opinion, it is not the same.”

He also feels comfortable returning to the gym.

“So far the gym seems to be doing everything…(you have to show your) immunization card. They have it recorded on a database, people are social distancing and wearing masks.”

Walker said, “It feels great (to be back). I think it is necessary in terms of people’s mental health, people’s physical health in the pandemic. We need an outlet and of course, the gym is an important place for athletes and persons who are invested in their health. I am really happy to be back out for that purpose.”

Walker, who used equipment at home while gyms were closed, is satisfied with the covid19 protocols.

“In terms of the procedures that they have in place, I do feel safe. They asked me all the relevant questions.”


"Fitness enthusiasts glad to return after 5-month closure of gyms"

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