LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Starting on Monday, May 18, gyms across the state of Texas will be allowed to open their doors but will be limited to the 25 percent occupancy. During Thursday’s City of Lubbock news conference, Dr. Ron Cook said exercise is the best medicine.
"Let me just say that there is no other saying there's no pill that I can give you that's as good as what we call the exercise prescription.” Said Dr. Cook, “And that exercise prescription is 150 minutes in a week. The easiest way to do that is 30 minutes a day, five days a week."
And for many - that means getting back in the gym. Gyms will be allowed to reopen Monday, nearly two months after Governor Greg Abbott ordered them to close. The owners of Zach’s Club West in Lubbock say they’re ready.
"We had the entire building cleaned shampooed disinfected, we moved everything 6 feet apart,” said Brandan Fokken, Wellness Director at Zach’s Club West, “We put other policies and procedures in order. And then as far as disinfecting cleaning stations, we tripled those, and just really made sure that, you know, there was no place within the facility that there would be an issue with."
Fokken said they had hoped, and were prepared, to open in early May.
"We had every intention open on that Monday. By that Sunday, the city manager got in contact with me. We had a great conversation. We talked multiple times,” said Fokken, “And, you know, I made good points- he listened to us and he agreed with us. From there, we talked to Mayor Pope, Mayor Pope was again on the same page with us and agreed with everything. And, you know, you want to do what he could to help us re-open."
So, City of Lubbock leaders got his insight and opinion about how gyms should reopen and passed that information onto Governor Abbott, to help guide the almost 3,000 health clubs across the state of Texas. Now, Zach’s Club West says their sights are set on Monday.
“We’re going to be open on regular hours, 25 percent capacity. So we’re going to be counting people at the door, we’re going to have staff on hand glove to mask,” said Fokken, “We want to really wash your hands and sanitize before they get on to the equipment before they before they get in and before they leave, we’ll have them do the same thing. We’re going to continuously be going around the gym, cleaning, wiping door handles everything.”
But before you get a running start and jump back into the gym, Dr. Cook had an added warning: “Just be careful. We’ve been sedentary for a little while for 58 days, so be careful Don’t overdo it. Certainly, if you have chest pain-- Stop, call your primary care physician and get a checkup. So, keep doing everything that we’re doing. We’re doing a great job, Lubbock.”
Dr. Cook and Fokken both said working out has many health benefits including reducing stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure, just to name a few.