Champions for Exercise

As a lifetime career firefighter we need to be able to work out both on and off duty. We utilize our local gyms to be able to stay physically fit and ready to assist the public during emergencies. These local gyms are an essential function and vital to our physical and mental well being during this stressful time of COVID-19. We deal daily with the stringent requirements to safely respond to emergencies and will do the same to keep our local gyms a safe environment to be able to maintain our health and wellness.
Being able to workout in a clean gym has helped my quality of life immensely and I was starting to decline in my health until the gym finally reopened and I was so grateful for it. I am advocating for all gyms that are able to follow the Covid-19 protocols to stay open.
I struggle with anxiety and depression and so the gym is not only a place where I can workout and see friends but it’s a place I feel most comfortable and where I know my depression and anxiety can be controlled. It’s the one thing I can do that helps keep my depression down and it’s been a huge part of my life and my recovery. It keeps me stable and has helped me progress for 25 years. I know we have to be safe as well, so if there’s anything we can all do to keep the gym a safe place I’m more than willing to do my part.
I am a 50 year old diabetic that was over 420 lbs. Going back to gym saved my life. I have lost over 140 lbs working out regularly and I am off of diabetic medication. I control it with diet and exercise. At my age cardio isn't enough and resistance training is vital to maintain my health goals. In addition, with the weather getting so cold outdoor activities are not really viable. I need the gym not for physical aesthetics but for my physical well being. Since the lockdowns I have struggled with my blood sugar and I have experienced numerous spikes that put my life at risk. I know it's a tough decision but while the gyms were briefly open Planet Fitness maintained a level of cleanliness much higher than department or grocery stores. People constantly wiped down equipment and maintained social distancing. There are far more sanitation stations than probably even needed. I ask that you consider making indoor gyms essential. My life and many others lives depend on them for our physical and mental health.
I am a nurse and a frontline worker. I deal with unimaginable events all day, and I need a place to come and unwind and exercise. It helps fight off depression and fatigue after experiencing so much trauma. I have to be there for everyone else, but who is there for me? All I'm asking is that you be there for me and let me have this one thing. Please let me go to the gym! I leave before the sun comes up in I come back after the sun comes down. I need the artificial tanning booths not for vapid reason but just so I can have access to the sun. I need to keep my immune system up to be there for other people so that I can help save lives. I need to keep my muscle tone up because moving and lifting patients all day long, I don't want to get injured. So I implore you. Please open the gym so that I can be mentally and physically prepared to be there for my patients. Think about it. What would you rather have? A burnt out, out of shape nurse that is tired of the COVID situation? Or would you rather have a rejuvenated, and both physically and mentally strong nurse to be an advocate and fight for you?
My only shower is at the gym. The gyms are the best places to get clean. They also provide me with mental and physical health in these difficult times. Everyone at the gym practices COVID precautions. Please reconsider what is actually good for the community. Even without the virus, CA needs access to clean showers and restrooms to help the community at large. Please provide adequate restrooms to all of us in need. It will help everyone and it could provide more jobs.
As person who has been overweight for most of my adult life, my fitness has been very important to me as I had weight loss surgery and its a dire need for me to continue to exercise to keep my weight off!
Being able to workout at my gym has been so great for my physical and emotional health. When I do not have access my gym due to the shutdowns it has a negative impact on my health.
As an essential worker in a high stress environment, the gym was my happy place after work where I could de-stress in a healthy way. The gym is a coping skill for so many people and it would be in the best interest of the population's mental health to reopen them as soon as possible.
My wife and I are Army soldiers; part of our duties are always to stay physically and mentally fit. Without the gyms, that task is made more difficult than what it already is. It also helps us with our mental health which is very important especially during these difficult times. By having access to the gyms, it will have a positive impact on not just our health but also our communities. Can you please help us Californians in staying healthy, fit, and open the gyms up Governor.
Jonas & Clarissa,
Los Angeles
As a retired CHP officer, it's essential that I stay healthy not only mentally but physically ..please re-consider opening the indoor gyms! People that live a healthy lifestyle will adhere to the rules, especially in this new year. People are searching for a positive outlet.... this might decrease the high amount of suicides, family abuse and drug use.
Huntington Beach
As someone who is physically disabled and has the limited ability to do many exercises at home, this is basically my only way of getting my daily exercise. Without Planet Fitness, I wouldn’t have the resources to stay fit and healthy.
Yuba City
As a mother of 5, I never had time for fitness. Now that my children have grown, I am able to focus on myself! The year prior to COVID, I lost 40 pounds and made a lot of strength gain. Sadly because the gyms have closed I have lost some of that. Exercise makes me feel good! It actually is a great way to create happiness during these dreary times. Being healthy is important and exercise is a key to being healthy! The gyms take great precautions to keep clean- they always have - even before COVID!
As a physical therapist, I am well aware of the benefits of physical activity as well as maintaining the safety and well being of my patients. It is imperative that my patients have access to safe and regulated facilities to support them on the journey to recovery. I ask that you please consider opening up the gyms in California to allow my patients as well as myself, my staff, and their families to have access to a place to improve their fitness especially in these colder months.
As an Army veteran who was diagnosed with not only PTSD but with multiple sclerosis, going to my local fitness center has improved my physical fitness and made my MS disorder easier to bear. But it has also assisted me with my immense depression. Please consider reopening fitness centers.
Red Bluff
As a respiratory therapist fighting COVID-19 among many other diseases and illnesses, I understand and stress to my patients, friends and family the vital importance of physical fitness for a strong immune system, mental wellness, and overall health. I and others have received the vaccine and with the safety measures implemented by our gyms it is more than appropriate if not imperative for these essential businesses to open and remain open for the betterment of us all.
About 8 months before the gyms had shut down, I had finally hit fitness goals, lost a ton of weight, and got healthy after years of trying to find motivation to get into the habit of being healthy and fit. Then COVID happened, I've gained back 35 pounds, and I'm back to where I started. Please open the gyms so we can start being secure in our own skin, have energy again, and become healthy and happy instead of fat, lazy, and having to squeeze into our clothes that fit before all of this happened. Give us our freedom back, as well as our health.
Please open the gyms, I had a critical medical procedure 2 years ago and the gym is a vital part of my recovery and continued health. My health is being negatively impacted by not having access to the gym. Some exercises you can only do at gym.
Culver City
As a disabled person with chronic pain, the only way for my pain levels to stay down without pain medication is by going to my fitness center and walking indoors on a treadmill and using the massage chairs. When my pain flares up, I find the only that helps is going into the gym and using the machine that helps me stretch. This way, my depression also stays at a low level. I need my gym to stay open so I can keep my pain down and stay healthy.
Our kids are just sitting at home getting physically out of shape. Planet Fitness is very cautious on social distancing and disinfecting. We saw it the last time they reopened before they had to close again. We felt safe, both me and my son, as we worked out together in the gym. Please reopen our gyms who are keeping safety procedures implemented, masking, and social distancing. We need to stay healthy and the gyms are a way to get well again.
Baldwin Park
As my son’s full-time caretaker, I need the gym in order to build up the physical strength I need in order to lift him and transport him safely. As much as I love to take care of him, I also need a place to relieve stress from a hectic schedule and to have some time for myself. I need to the gym in order to achieve all of this and continue to care for my son in the best possible way.
I have scleroderma, and interstitial lung disease in which exercise is imperative to the health and maintenance of my lungs, strength, and mobility. This is a crippling, scarring, and depressive disease. Going to my gym everyday gives me the endorphins and strength to keep fighting another day. The love and support I receive from the management at my gym is so important, it is like a church and safe haven for my body, they are my motivational angels! It is so important to have a physical outlet away from the stress of life, I don’t know what my family and I would do without the gym!
I have asthma and am a diabetic, so I have to pick and choose what to do to make sure I stay safe. I am disabled after losing my leg from diabetes. One of the things that I choose to do is go to the gym as often as possible to keep myself healthy. My gym is safe and has all the equipment that I need to exercise. I tried walking outside for exercise during the shutdowns, but it was not the same workout and I had to stop when the air got too smoky. The day I heard my gym might open again, it made my week. I started back immediately and go almost everyday. I understand the need for places to shut down, especially for the safety of folks with conditions like I have. But not a gym. Our gyms are essential to our wellbeing. If it wasn’t for my gym and the ability to workout, I would likely be in the hospital or dead.
As a mother of three kids who are all in school doing virtual learning, being a full time teacher and a mom day and night has become very overwhelming and mentally draining. I also lost my job due to COVID-19 so the gym is my safe place to get out and de-stress. The gym helps my mental health and my sleep cycle. I always feel better after working out, I don’t know what I would do without the gym.
The shutdown left me feeling unmotivated. I stopped working out and started gaining weight, which led to going back to fast food, which just continued an unhealthy trend. I would drive by parks that were open and see 40 people exercising with no masks, yet my gym was closed. As soon as my gym opened, I began going and have not felt unsafe at all. They are following all safety protocols like masks, social distancing and frequent cleaning. I’m finally back to feeling healthy again and more like my old self.
Garden Grove
I’ve tried my workout outside, but there are many days over 100 degrees. The air quality has always been poor, but now the fire season has made that problem worse. Soon we will be heading into the winter months when it will be too cold to work out at night when I get home from the office. We need gyms to open as soon as possible to give people a safe place to exercise inside.
As a teacher and an essential worker going into school each day, I see the impact that physical inactivity has taken on myself, my students, their parents and my colleagues. Exercise is important not only for physical strength, but for mental health and stress release. I relied on my gym because it was a workout I could afford. Building a home gym or working out outside is simply not feasible. We need gyms to open, to give people access to exercise, especially for those who don’t have other options.
La Verne
The pandemic has really impacted my life – from my finances to my mental health. I am an esthetician and my place of work is still closed as is the Planet Fitness that I go to in Inglewood. Outdoor exercise is not an option for me and I don’t have space or resources to buy equipment to create a home gym. Exercise has always been an outlet for me and if my gym was open, it would help me get through the challenges the pandemic has brought.
My fitness journey started two years ago, and it has now become a lifestyle for me. The gym is a big part of my life now; working out gives me so much energy, improved my mental health a lot, and being around healthy individuals is the best thing because we motivate each other. I believe that fitness plays a significant role in overall health and our immune system. I think that gyms now, more than anything, are essential because this is the time that our health matters the most. In my opinion, if restaurants and bars are open, why can’t gyms be opened? Gyms should be more important than anything because it is the key to a healthy immune system, and it is what will keep people sane. A lot of people’s anxiety and depression is getting worse because of staying at home all day. At least with the gyms opened, people will be active, healthy, and feel good about themselves
San Bernardino
As a child I was caught in a vicious cycle, often bullied for being heavier than my classmates. I will never forget my doctor telling my mom “I will be waiting for her here when she has diabetes”. In 2018 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and fatty liver disease. I had dislocated my hip and my knees were hurting. I was depressed after losing our first pregnancy of twins along with the passing of my niece. I didn’t even feel like going out. On January 1,2019, I took one of the biggest steps of my life - I finally got a gym membership. By the end of the year, I had lost over 150 lbs. Having access to a safe and affordable gym has literally changed my life. Gyms provide an essential service for health and need to be open.
Paso Robles

Claudia's Success Story in Pictures!