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Local gyms, gym-goers react to mask requirement while working out

Masks are now required while working out per county and city orders. Palm Springs implemented this order Wednesday night, followed by the county starting Friday.

“Change is scary and being uncomfortable is scary. Those are the two things that were the main concerns, but we’ve noticed in the last couple of days people coming in, they realize that it’s actually not that bad,” said Mandy Herbster, head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness in Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

Orangetheory Fitness opened its Palm Desert and Palm Springs studios a couple weeks ago with new COVID-19 safety guidelines, including increased cleaning, smaller class sizes for social distancing, assigned stations, temperature checks and screening questions. Even planning for some masks-only classes at the request of some members. Now, it’s a requirement for all classes.

“It is more health beneficial to come in here and workout versus the inconvenience that you’re going to have from wearing a mask, so get in here, just get that body moving,” said Herbster.

I personally took a class this morning at Orangetheory Fitness in Palm Desert and while wearing a mask wasn’t the most comfortable, it was definitely manageable. 

Some members were concerned with masks inhibiting the ability to breathe properly. To that, Herbster said it’s like coming back from an injury… your body needs to adapt.

“You may not be able to pick up the weights you want to pick up. You may not be able to do the cardio the way you were doing last week, but that’s ok. We may have to slow down a little bit, but it’s not going to be forever," she said.

At EOS Fitness, masks are nothing new. The gym had been requiring them since reopening in June. Like at Orangetheory, avid gym-goers weren’t turned away by it.

“If I had to wear a full body suit I would do it, but I’m fortunate, the mask doesn’t really bother me. I would’ve done anything to get back to the gym because I missed it so very much,” said Rene Lassalle, a member at EOS Fitness in Palm Springs.

“This mask is not ideal, but we’ve got to work with what we’ve got to work with and change is scary, but we’re going to do it together,” said Herbster.

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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