PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - When gyms and fitness studios were left out of New York's coronavirus pandemic reopening plan, Steve Panzik, the owner of Power 10 Fitness Club in Port Washington, took matters into his own hands.
"We're trying to do whatever we can: one is to provide a service and one is to provide a living," Panzik said.
Last week, Panzik put up tents and brought some gym equipment to the outside parking lot for members to take advantage of.
Power 10 is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offers organized outdoor fitness every hour. Sign-ups must be done ahead of time, 20 people maximum at one time. Equipment is cleaned between each use and everyone is asked to keep their distance at all times.
"As dangerous as COVID is, the comorbidities are just as dangerous," Panzik said. "That's one thing we can have a positive impact on."
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Panzik requires temperature checks at check-in followed by hand sanitizing. He is even getting some new members from neighboring communities who missed working out.
"If I have to put a mask on or hand sanitizer, I'll do it," said one member.
Experts say leading a healthy lifestyle will help in the long run.
When gyms finally get the green light, Power 10 has dividers between machines and plans to leave some equipment outside so people have options.
"Why don't we give the people the strength to be as healthy as possible to fight a potential second-round by putting them in the gym," Panzik said. "Fitness is medicine. Fitness provides health for people."
And Power 10 is not the only one revamping the industry because of COVID. Apex Fitness in Farmingville and some SoulCycle studios in the Hamptons are also holding outdoor classes.