Minnesota Gym Closures Lead to More Harm than Good


Nate Charles

A home gym setup, the last option for many athletes who would like to exercise, sits unused.

Nate Charles, Staff Writer

With Governor Tim Walz’s new COVID-19 protocols, gyms have closed once again. Since sports are also being put on hold, many athletes would usually turn to the gyms, but since they are closed as well, athletes and other people looking to work out will have to exercise on their own.

Gyms are very important for people because gyms offer a space to get physical exercise, especially when it is too cold outside to exercise. Not only do gyms provide an exercise space, they also serve as a place where people can work through their problems and stress, because exercise helps relieve stress.

After the end of the varsity soccer season, I began going to the gym again to get back into shape. I was going every day after school, feeling ready for the winter season. However, with the new regulations, the winter training has been canceled. So I have no immediate need to be in shape; however, if the season starts back up in the winter or spring, many athletes will have to work back into game shape.

I have also noticed after the gyms closed, my work ethic for school decreased. Without the stress relief and motivation I gained after working out, I found it very difficult to complete school work. I would procrastinate and procrastinate, but when the gyms were open I was motivated to go work out, shower, and then grind out my homework.

Because of gym closures, I have and I know others have gone over to friends’ houses where there is gym equipment to work out. It still feels weird, going over to my friend’s house in a mask just to work out; however, with gym closures, I do not want to sit around and be lazy. So even though my friends house is nowhere as convenient as the local gym, it is worth it for me to continue working out. Because of the closing of gyms, athletes and other people looking to work out have found other places to workout like other people’s houses or work spaces, which puts into question the effectiveness of the governor’s mandates about social gatherings.

Gyms are known for not only strengthening your muscles, but also your immune system. I enjoyed the comfort of knowing that working out also helped increase my immune system’s strength. Working out has provided me with some security knowing I could better my mental health and help my immune system. Especially since COVID cases are increasing, the importance of staying healthy and improving your immune system has grown.

I want everyone to stay healthy. However, I think completely shutting down gyms was a mistake. I know proportionally there has not been that many cases at gyms. There have been some, which warrants restrictions, but I believe Governor Tim Walz could have just tightened up the regulations at gyms, such as reducing capacity more and requiring gyms to be more strict about masks being worn even while working out. Since it is important that people to stay healthy as we enter into the colder months and it becomes harder to exercise outside, the closure of gyms has a detrimental effect.