YMCA Reopening

The Wood River Community YMCA will welcome back the public in limited numbers beginning next week. Strict sanitation and social-distancing protocols will be in place.

After many weeks of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many gyms and fitness facilities will open back up on Monday. Safety protocols implemented to limit the risk of coronavirus transmission under stage two state orders will change the experience and likely restrict the number of clients from pre-virus levels.

Those considered “vulnerable” to the coronavirus, including the elderly, are recommended to remain in self-quarantine by state officials. Health-conscious people eager to get back in the gym could face a choice between risking infection or keeping fit and strong, which can boost the immune system response against infections.

“We believe the best defense [against COVID] is a great offense,” Hardcore Training Center owner Bill Nurge said. “The nasty-19 isn't going away anytime soon, and many of us, despite our best efforts, will eventually be exposed.”

Nurge, who has a master’s degree in exercise physiology, said studies indicate that the best way to bolster one’s immune system and “vaccinate organically” is to decrease body fat and increase cardiovascular fitness. He is posting his safety protocols in advance of a Sunday “soft opening” that includes hand washing before and after workouts and using regularly disinfected weights and other training equipment at his Ketchum fitness studio.

“We have 2,000 square feet with lots of windows and fresh air for three clients at a time,” Nurge said. “Anyone caught touching their face, coughing or sneezing in the air, or coming within 10 feet of someone will be sentenced to extra pull-ups.”

Large facilities like the Wood River Community YMCA and Zenergy have more fitness equipment options, rooms and classes, and therefore are posting more complicated and detailed protocols.

For full story, see the Friday edition of the Mountain Express.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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