Bhubaneswar: Gym owners across the state finally heave a sigh of relief after the State Government on Friday allowed reopening of fitness centers and gymnasiums from August 5 after almost four months. The lockdown had impacted the small and medium fitness centers heavily across the country and the situation in Odisha was not different. Many owners and staff who remained unemployed during the lockdown due to closure of the centers, had to change their occupation to make both ends meet. With Unlock 3 allowing the reopening of the Gymnasiums and Yoga centers, they have now expressed happiness and are hopeful of maximum attendance.
Gym owners are hopeful that they will at least be able to meet the fixed expenses such as rent and electricity, which they had to pay even though the business’s were closed.
Speaking exclusively to thenewsroom.co.in, Hari Prasad Patnaik, President. Utkal Karate Association and founder of Katos Gym, said, “The state government’s decision has given us a positive hope. The industry was struggling to make ends meet. Trainers were forced to do odd jobs in the interim and now they have welcomed the announcement.” We are welcoming the government’s decision and thankful as well.
Meanwhile, he has apprehensions that the customer footfall may be less as the number of corona virus cases is rising and customers may choose to stay away from gyms. Patnaik says “While maintaining social distancing is not an issue with the gym, undertaking sanitization is a big challenge and involves cost as well.” We will adhere to the norms laid down by the government for reopening the gymnasiums. We will ensure that all are wearing masks, and maintaining social distance” he said.
When asked whether fees will be hiked, he said, there is possibility of hike of fees as we have to operate with less number of people and less than our capacity. It’s a loss to us. But it all depends on the arising situation and business prospects.
We are once again welcoming the government’s decision as fitness will boost the immunity of the people to fight against pandemic.
On the other hand, fitness geeks also welcomed the decision and eagerly waiting to go back to the fitness centers. According to Somanath Pradhan, a regular Gym attendee, “I am waiting for the day when the gyms will be opened. In the last four months, due to staying in house without any physical work because of shutdowns and lockdowns, my weight has gained from 81 kgs to 96 kgs.” Regular exercise and use of various equipments in the gym have helped me keep my sugar levels and blood pressure under control, he said. I would request all to go back to gym centers but maintain the social distancing measures and wear masks. I would also request the gym owners to reposition there equipments to open spaces so that there will be no chances of infection, Pradhan said.