Gym owner, fitness director weigh in on new year’s resolutions during pandemic

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Combat Athlete Performance Facility and Planet Fitness agree exercise is essential to fight COVID-19

(WKBN) – One medication that isn’t bottled but is equally as necessary is exercise. Whether it’s at home, outside, or at a gym.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is one factor that increases a person’s risk of having COVID-19 complications, which makes exercising important.

“This year’s our third New Year, and the difference that we noticed this year is there are less people coming in, new people, although our members now have really ramped up their training,” said Brian Needham, owner of Combat Athlete Performance Academy in Howland.

Last year, business was down about 39% for them, but it’s starting to even itself out.

Steven Reider, a fitness director for the Planet Fitness franchise said he couldn’t speak on Plant Fitness’ numbers specifically or the industry but said the industry is making moves to continue progressing through the pandemic.

Reider oversees locations in seven states and some states are handling the pandemic differently than others, which affects businesses such as wellness centers like Planet Fitness.

“There are differences and by no means is this not a battle, we have to keep pushing through just like many other companies, but at the end of the day fitness is an essential business and it’s our mission to make it so we’re confident that we will pull through,” Reider said.

Planet Fitness and Combat Athlete Performance Academy offer different types of training and wellness, but both agree that gyms are essential, especially now.

“It’s huge,” Needham said. “We don’t hear a ton about building your immunity, getting your fitness level up. Figure the more vitamins you take, the more times you workout, you get that heart rate up, lower the heart rate, get back up, you’re building that immunity.”

Reider mentioned that he used to be a trainer and says many people will come to the gym after a big life event, such as an accident or loss of a loved one. He says the comradery of the gym helps, not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

“This has happened before COVID, during COVID, and will continue to do so afterward. The health that comes with that, too, is so significant it needs to be at the forefront in what we do to get through COVID-19 as well,” Reider said.

Combat Athlete and Planet Fitness comply with local COVID-19 guidelines in terms of capacity and continually clean throughout the day to keep guests and staff safe.

“Luckily though with the members, we have they’ve been solid. I was getting messages like crazy, keep my payment coming out, keep the business alive, so thanks goes out to all of them,” Needham said.

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