Outside the front door of Fitness Unlimited construction crews have been jackhammering the sidewalk as a part of the East Milton Deck renovation but inside members are working out safely. For the time being, members enter through the side alley door. Construction in front of their club should be completed within a week.
Inside the health club, Beth Whitney and Cynthia McCarthy (owners) – are thinking outside the box with help from their employees. They continually create new programs their members can use to develop strength, stamina, and improve their health.
Whitney and McCarthy took over operation of the business just before COVID-19 closed the facility. They spent the spring and early summer developing new protocols to ensure their re-opening the 40-year-old club would be safe and effective.
Now when a member shows up to workout, the front desk receptionist pulls out a contactless thermometer while sitting behind a plexiglass enclosure. On a table nearby are spray bottles filled with disinfectant. “Each member uses her own bottle to be sure the equipment is clean,” Whitney explains. “They clean before they use the equipment and after.”
In addition, staff cleans every hour to further ensure the club is clean and disinfected. Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. a porter disinfects all high touch points, bathrooms, etc.
"I have belonged to this gym for three years now and am amazed how these ladies have stepped up to create a very safe and clean environment for us so we can continue to work out in the midst of a pandemic. They are diligent and thoughtful with their sanitation procedures and I feel extremely safe and comfortable. I am at the gym six days a week so I witness first hand how impact full their actions are. The amount of cleaning they do is thankless on most days.....but I am here to say thank you for working so hard to keep us so safe. Happy exercising everyone!"
Classes for their members are inside, outside, and virtual. Currently there is a special offer for virtual memberships at $30 a month. They are currently offering an eight-week membership for $99. This in club membership includes the virtual as well.
“People need structure,” Whitney says. McCarthy pointed out that the number of members inside the building is limited to 40 percent of their former capacity.
To be sure the numbers stay within the state guidelines, members register for hour-long sessions on the gym equipment. Signups are handled online through their website or app. But working out reservations can also be handled over the phone. So far everyone who has wanted to use Open Gym has had no issue getting a spot.
Facemasks are required.
“Keeping your immune system strong depends on diet and exercise and can help you fight viruses such as Covid 19 ,” Whitney says.
Some things have changed. Equipment in the cardio room is now shielded by plexi-glass. The floors inside have been marked with social distancing directions. The water fountains have been closed but water is offered for sale.
It’s the new normal.
But it is still a community of women who believe in safety and health.