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Over 16,000 people call on the Governor to reopen fitness centers amid health equity crisis

Over 16,000 Californians have sent emails to Governor Gavin Newsom asking for indoor fitness centers to be reopened and to stay open with capacity limits across all four tiers. Currently there is no access to indoor fitness in the Purple Tier, leaving thousands without options for safe exercise if they cannot afford a home gym and are unable to workout outside. Outdoor exercise is not feasible for many due to safety concerns, poor air quality and weather.

“I have had asthma for as long as I can remember, overall the gym has helped with me maintaining a healthy lifestyle and controlling my asthma. Running outside isn’t an option for me and with gyms closed I can’t run on a treadmill and get my lungs the exercise they need.” – Gio Cruz, who is one of the over 16,000 people who emailed the Governor.
The closure of accessible safe exercise has started a health equity crisis in many communities that are already disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

  • Lockdowns have led to 32% reduction in physical activity among individuals who were physically active.
  • In California, physical inactivity is the highest among Black and Latino residents, at 23% and 27%, respectively.
  • Infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists have come together to raise their concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the closures.
  • 53% of US adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to the coronavirus and 1 in 4 young adults have also contemplated suicide during the pandemic.
  • California is on it’s own in the nation in terms of fitness center closures. New York Governor Cuomo said that gyms and fitness centers that are allowed to be open are seeing fewer cases of COVID-19. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that there were no outbreaks from indoor fitness and reopened that states fitness centers as well.

This article was released by The Exercise is Essential for All Coalition.


  1. The fitness centers and gyms in LA county never reopened for indoor activities after the first re-closure in July. Orange county gyms did reopen and were enforcing mask policy. The huffing & puffing evolved to conform to masking. I felt perfectly safe there due to occupancy restrictions and spacing between people, much greater than what I see in a grocery store. Months later the spread in LA county is off the charts, no gyms were involved because the were not open. After all the changes made by gyms, salons, and nail shops I don’t regard them as contributors to the present surge

    1. I stopped going to the gym on a regular basis end of Feb. I tried it once in July, just before the re-closure. It was by appt. only. I took the latest slot 8pm Sunday. I thought this might work. Too many people were there despite appts. Everyone was wearing a mask but you could not avoid getting close to some people in the weight equip. area, such as the next bench press over. The person who used the leg press before me did not clean it! I used a lot of disinfectant spray and a lot of paper towels. I did not feel safe. I’m a senior and so is my wife. When the gym reopened in a couple of months, it was not by appt. And younger people can spread it. No way for me! We have to wait.

  2. I’m in Sac County and I miss the gym nearly as much as anybody. But it is INSANE for gyms to reopen during the pandemic. Talk about a petri dish for spreading the virus: huffing and puffing, sweaty bodies! Wear a mask and social distance in public, and wait for vaccination. Be patient and SAVE LIVES.

  3. If you want to sign the RECALL NEWSOM petition, a table will be set up on Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Seal Beach Blvd at the Shops at Rossmoor (near Hof’s Hut). Gov “Lockdown” Newsom has to be recalled! He has done everything possible to bankrupt small businesses and destroy the California economy.

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