Gyms Are Reopening But We Have Learned Three Things Since They Closed

Written by Dr. Bill Booker

On June 30, 2020

As you probably know, Capitol Rehab of Arlington started out in the Golds Gym in Clarendon back in the 1990s so consider me a great fan of gyms as a place for people to congregate and improve their overall wellbeing.

But apparently, 24 percent of people disagree with me.

Gyms are reopening, but according to a recent poll, they are losing a significant segment of their clientèle. A survey done by OnePoll on behalf of LIFEAID Beverage company found that 24 percent of 2,000 respondents said they are NEVER going back to the gym while 40 percent said that they will go back eventually — on average about four and a half weeks after the gym reopens.

The survey of Americans who attend the gym at least twice a week also found that nearly everyone said they’d be more vigilant about wiping down equipment before and  after use, and 49 percent said they’d call out someone else for not wiping the equipment down.

I thought this was already the case before coronavirus, but maybe it was just me.

Interestingly, 74 percent of respondents said they would be willing to wear a mask if the gym required it, with 26 percent of respondents saying they would demand the gym require masks if they are to return. Another 26 percent said they are anti-mask and won’t go to any gym that requires it. The report didn’t say whether the respondents who are not going back are those who refuse to wear masks or those who are afraid of returning to a gym that doesn’t require them.

Additionally, 42 percent of those polled said they have a home gym set-up that they prefer over their membership gym, which suggests a significant segment of people — I like to call them gym rats — go to the gym for other reasons than to workout.

Gym rats may be among the healthiest people I know, but athletes and the health-conscious among us have alternatives. In fact, we’ve learned three things about ourselves during the pandemic:

1) Exercise is essential to boosting immune response, including dealing with COVID-19.

2) You needed a pandemic to show you that you have and need the time to exercise regularly.

3) Gyms are great for many reasons, but you don’t need them to stay fit.

Lastly, the survey found something that I consider a positive change in outlook as a result of our new lifestyles — a full 75 percent said they have greater acceptance of their imperfect bodies! And the average respondent said they have made four positive lifestyle changes since the pandemic started.

Positive change in a seemingly terrible experience. That’s the spirit!

Are you working out at home or outdoors? If so, you are probably experiencing aches and pains that come with the territory. If you are, please hit me up so I can send you some injury prevention and rehab exercise videos that you can do at home.


  1. Ann

    Thank you for sharing this very reliable and informative article.

  2. Shane

    This is a great article.

  3. Dr. Ashley Prince

    Great Post!

    Thanks for sharing the three things that you have learned about “ourselves during the pandemic”. It was very helpful. 🙂

  4. Devin Luzod

    The three things you have learned are such great and helpful tips! Keep sharing. 🙂


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