KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While gyms, studios and other fitness facilities wait for the official confirmation to open their doors back up to their members, some local places have already started preparing for that May 1st date.

Owner of Real Hot Yoga, Cindy Coats has been teaching online classes so her members could continue to practice yoga from the comfort of their homes, but has put safety measures in place to keep her clients safe while they sweat.

Coats says since the opening of their studio nearly eight years ago, a clean environment — keeping a high standard of cleanliness.

Coats plans to disinfect surfaces, floors and mats frequently, and is asking studio members to bring their own mats, blocks and props to limit the contact between people and surfaces.

  • Some other changes include:
  • 30 minutes between classes to disinfect floors
  • Limiting class sizes from 45 to 15
  • Spacing people apart with roughly 70 square feet of personal space
  • Limiting the amount of people in the lobby

One of the unique aspects about the hot yoga studio that Coats takes pride in — the air quality.

“The most important thing that we’re doing, that we’ve done since the day we opened, and that’s to provide the absolute cleanest, safest air to breathe in Knoxville,” Coats said.

Since breath control plays a big part in practicing yoga, Coats wanted the air quality to be as clean as possible for Real Hot Yoga members. Coats says the studio is equipped with a filter system that passes over UV light, removing 99.9% of germs, bacteria and virus from the air, that circulates and cleans the air all day long–making for a safer environment. Coats says they also keep the humidity levels to between 40-60%.

The YMCA of East Tennessee has procedures in place, ready to open their doors to the fitness community whenever they get the go-ahead from local and state officials.

Rebekah (Bekah) Grace, VP of Marketing for YMCA of East Tennessee and the Executive Director for the C.W. Cansler Family Y says their locations will follow the same set of precautions and rules to ensure the safety of their members and staff.

They are taking every staff members temperatures when they enter the building everyday and provide face masks so employees who want them.

For members, Grace says they are using a touchless scan in system to eliminate contact between staff members and employees, and touching surfaces. As soon as Y members enter they will be asked to wash their hands.

  • Other changes include:
  • Every other piece of equipment open to maintain social distancing
  • Thoroughly cleaning equipment throughout the day
  • Extra staff members to facilitate sanitizing equipment
  • Limit capacity to Y members only, excluding guests for now

When it comes to group classes, Grace says they are able to utilize their basketball courts, parking lots and other large spaces to hold group classes while keeping people adequately spaced apart.

Going above and beyond those measures — YMCA has upgraded their HVAC filters in each building to improve air quality. The organization has also installed an air-fix system in each location that Grace says cleans and sanitizes the air — killing bacteria, mold and the COVID-19 virus.

Both Real Hot Yoga and the YMCA of East Tennessee will continue to create virtual workouts and classes for their members who are not quite comfortable working out in their respective facilities whenever they are allowed to reopen.

A representative from Gold’s Gym sent a statement about changes to their local facilities once they get the green light to unlock their doors.

Statement from Gold’s Gym:

“The health and safety of our team members and members has always been our top priority and it’s never been more important. Because our members rely on exercise as a key element in staying healthy and supporting their immune systems, we are eager to reopen our doors soon. We will follow all government guidelines to make sure that our Knoxville gyms can safely reopen as soon as local mandates will allow. Over the last few weeks we have been taking proactive measures including deep cleaning and sanitizing all of our gyms and spacing out cardio and strength equipment to adhere to social distancing recommendations. Our task force is also preparing to limit gym hours and make face masks and gloves available for members and team members. We want to assure our members that we have taken and will continue to take every action necessary to ensure their safety. ”

-Robert Dennis, Gold’s Gym Tennessee

Each facility taking the extra measures and precautions, to make sure you can safely sweat, and stay active.

Coats says, “We’re excited and  hopeful for the future and that we’re doing everything right that we can provide a safe environment that people have come to love.”