My Rebound: Why gyms need to reopen now

Posted at 11:59 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 19:56:10-04

Editor's note: Kendrais blogging about being a mom trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She is married with four kids: a 1-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 5-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and 16-year-old bonus son. She is also the owner and lead fitness coach of Allegro Coaching in Grand Rapids, which she founded in 2009. She lives in Tallmadge Township.

I get it. You put a dozen or so people into a small space, start huffing and puffing a bit and that’s not good when it comes to a respiratory virus. But how is it that bars can open and we assume people who start drinking will practice safe social distancing, let alone good decision making skills at all? I’m just saying that we are smart business owners and we have gone above and beyond to keep our members safe, even so much as to eliminate high risk classes from the schedule, add expensive cleaning procedures and adapt to outdoor classes in the heat wave. I am simply asking for an end in sight and for the Governor to address the fitness industry, as she has gone above and beyond to address hair salons, restaurants and lawncare industries.


In the meantime, I want to voice my reasons as to WHY boutique studios, personal training studios, gyms and health clubs need to open NOW!

First and foremost….mental health. Yup, I’m going right to the most important one here. We may never know the massive impact of 2020 until years to come. The spike of anxiety is prevalent to almost all of us these days, but chronic depression, isolation, and even suicide are increasing DAILY. Stress is inevitable these days but physical activity has been proven to be one of the most effective coping strategies for years. Movement produces dopamine, adrenaline and epinephrine within minutes, helping us feel happy, creative and energized. Movement is medicine and emotion is lotion. When we feel better about ourselves, we treat others better. When we live with less pain, we have more joy. When we have more confidence, we give more.

Second, we need to build our immune system. Now is the time we need to double down on our self care. Over 50% of Americans had a suppressed immune system prior to Covid-19 and this was mainly due to lack of sleep, poor nutrition and too much stress. We cannot prevent death but we can certainly be proactive with how we choose to live and the quality of life we have ahead. Moving more means we sleep better at night and we manage our cortisol levels. Plus, daily physical activity helps us choose healthier food choices and having a personal health coach can help us stay more accountable with our daily nutrition. Let’s put as much focus and energy on getting healthy, if not more, than watching the news or finding Lysol wipes.


Finally, we need a TRIBE. Sure, you can work out alone or at home. There is a time and a place for this and I love my alone time just as much as any of us do. But we need people to lift us up and help us be better. As I always say, iron sharpens iron. Who is sharpening you? Who are you spending time with each week that will help you be the healthiest and best version of you? Gyms are so much more than a treadmill space. We exist to bring like-minded people together and to help these small pockets of community grow stronger, TOGETHER. We are not meant to do this alone. Living healthy is hard, especially in an unhealthy, double [] society but each gym, club and studio is leading from the front lines. We are here to help you stay healthy and to become better than you were yesterday.