Colorado gyms form coalition in response to pandemic

Health clubs, gyms and fitness studios with locations across Colorado have formed a coalition to establish safety protocols in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as well as promote physical and mental health.

“The fitness industry is a crucial part in improving the health and well-being of Colorado citizens and working to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our state,” said Kelsey Donahue, the regional director of operations at Orangetheory Fitness and a member of the advisory board of the Colorado Fitness Coalition.

More than 30 gyms with a total of 175 locations have joined the coalition. That includes Planet Fitness and Mesa Fitness operations in the Grand Valley.

“The CFC is a much needed, unified voice for all Colorado fitness,” Donahue  said. “Together, we are working to provide our communities with spaces to safely and consistently improve their physical and mental health.”

Coalition members agree to safety, sanitation and security measures for members and employees that include mask wearing, sanitation stations, physical distancing and electrostatic gun sanitation technology. The measures adhere to state and county public health orders.

According to the coalition, one study concluded that with measures in place, there was no virus transmission or increase in COVID-19 cases related to the opening of gym facilities.

At the same time, the coalition promotes fitness as a way to promote physical and mental health and, in turn, reduce the effects of COVID-19.

According to one report issued prior to the onset of the pandemic, Americans were getting only 23 percent of government-recommended levels of weekly exercise.

“Obesity is a risk factor for more severe outcomes with COVID,” said Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director for the Minnesota Department of Health.