ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to start focusing on health, leading to customers rushing gyms and small fitness centers to start their work out plans. This year, owners say business is slow and limitations from COVID-19 are making things difficult.
Gym goers like Brandi Henry are still grappling with concerns about COVID-19. She says that’s keeping her out of the gym.
“We’ve been taking precautions pretty seriously. So we’ve been trying to do stuff from home, a lot,” Henry said.
With people like Henry choosing to stay out of the gym, small fitness centers like yoga and dance studios are not seeing the crowds they’re used to in the start of a new year, and that’s hurting business at the Nu Movement yoga and dance studio on University Ave.
“Economically yeah we’re struggling,” said Danielle Merrill, Owner Nu Movement Studio/Artisan co-op. “We actually started a go fund me page because we used up a lot of the grants during the first shut down.”
“People are hesitant to teach these classes, especially in person and I understand as far as safety goes but it still hurts small business for sure,” Merrill said.
Right now fitness centers in orange zones can open at 25 percent capacity with testing of employees.
Bob Duffy, the Head of reopening in the Finger Lakes Region, says while transmission of the virus is no longer linked to gyms, hospitalization rates are a big reason for the restrictions.
“A lot of business owners have put a lot of money to keep their place safe,” Duffy said. “I have not heard of any expansion and I would say in good conscience what’s open now, I doubt they’ll be expanded until these numbers go down.”
Nu movement is offering some in-person classes, but they are down in the amount of classes they can hold and the class size is smaller due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Some instructors are finding an alternative online but keeping the studio open is still a challenge.
“A lot of people are making the move towards doing things through live streaming, which is great. Its a great way to continue to offer the services,” said Merrill.
While the COVID-19 limitations will make the gym look a little different this year, owners say it’s still a good time to focus on your health and sign up for a new class.