Gyms Reopen as COVID Continues

Gyms Reopen as COVID Continues

Gyms around the country have begun to reopen as coronavirus cases continue to rise. My gym, Equinox Austin reopened on June 1st and although I was skeptical about going back at first, I have to say that I feel incredibly safe when I am there.

Before the pandemic, I would work out four to five times a week and not having the option to go to the gym during lockdown was challenging for me. The classes at Equinox are taught by some of the most talented and inspiring people who not only motivate you to take your workout to another level, but they also make you leave feeling better mentally and physically.

The entrance of Equinox Austin.

I have been a member at Equinox since 2015 and I have always been impressed with their level of cleanliness and small class sizes, but now in the time of COVID, they have taken their standards to another level. In May, ahead of the gym’s post-lockdown re-opening, I had to read and sign what seemed like dozens of pages of new guidelines. Before each visit I make now, I have to read and sign a shortened health declaration before I am allowed inside.

Explanation of the Equinox Health Declaration.

The new rules at Equinox require members to make appointments to visit the gym–whether you’re going for a group fitness class, a personal training session or just to use an elliptical, you must schedule your visit in advance. Once in the gym, members and staff are required to wear face masks until they are working out. A member of the Equinox staff also checks everyone’s temperature at the door…anyone with over a 100 degree temperature will not be allowed in the gym.

All guests entering the gym are stopped at the door to get their temperature checked. Anyone with over 100 degrees will not be admitted.

Since going back to the gym, I have only attended group fitness classes and I have loved how much Equinox is respecting spacing, safety and cleanliness. In rooms that can fit up to 40, classes have been limited to under 15 people. All of the spots in the classes are spaced at least six feet apart and cleaned equipment is set out for each guest. Equinox has also shortened class times to allow more time in between classes for a deep cleaning of the studios. During class, instructors do not walk around the class, they stay at the front of the room to maintain social distancing standards.

Since June, I have not seen crowds of people and the equipment looks very clean in the main parts of the gym. There are also sanitizing stations in several locations around Equinox. To maintain cleanliness standards, Equinox is not providing their iconic chilled eucalyptus towels, which I kind of live for, but they do offer clean towels in plastic bags upon arrival.

One of the many sanitizing stations at Equinox.

One other heartbreaking change at the gym is that the steam room has been closed since the reopening. I used to use the steam room two or three times a week before coronavirus because of the many benefits steam can offer for skin and health, but it was also just so relaxing. Social distancing is a top priority in the bathroom as well. Sinks, bathroom stalls and showers are being rotated to maximize spacing and to make sure they aren’t being over-used.

The bathroom sinks at Equinox Austin.

Have you gone back to the gym yet? I hope these insights help with your decision making on whether to go back into the gym or not. If you have any questions I have not answered in this post, please leave me a comment and let me know!



Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

  1. Beauty Bio Collagen Eye Patches 2. Yoga with Baye Tilson 3. Levi 501 Skinny Jeans 4. Juliette Collarless Blazer 5. Nars Afterglow Lip balm

I have been using the Beautybio eye patches almost every day this month. I love putting them in the refrigerator in the morning and then putting them on in the afternoon when they are chilled, it is truly so lovely. They are $40 for a pack of 15 patches and I know that seems high compared to Patchology, but when you break it down per pair, these are the cheaper option and I think they are a better product overall.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been doing Baye Tilson’s yoga classes on Youtube and love them so much!

Wearing my Levi 501 Skinny Jeans at home.

The Levi 501 Skinny jeans have kind of a cult following and for good reason. These jeans are perfect for lounging around the house, but in a *slightly* put together way. They are also a little bit thicker than your average jean so they are very forgiving which is good for all of us right now. I have been wearing these at least two or three days each week and love them.

I ordered the J.crew Juliette Collarless blazer in white the other day and am so excited to get it! I bought this blazer last year in an olive green color and it was perfect to wear to the office or out to dinner.

Wearing the Juliette Blazer in olive green for a day at the office last fall.

Many of you might remember the blazer was popularized by Meghan Markle last summer when she wore the grey version to the US Open. After that, it was backordered for months, but you can now get it in a few colors for $58!! I plan on wearing this all summer with dresses or with white jeans and a tee. I’ve learned that this style runs big so I would recommend sizing down from your true size.

I also highly recommend the Nars Afterglow Lip Balm. I probably use chapstick and lip gloss too much but I HATE having chapped lips. This lip balm is the perfect blend for me because it is hydrating and provides a little pop of color. I chose the color “Fast Lane” and it compliments my olive skin tone really well.

What did you think of the picks this week? Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorites are!



Staying Active at Home

Staying Active at Home

Working out has been a part of my daily routine since I was in high school and when the quarantine caused gyms to close, I was thrown for loop. Whether it is yoga, cycling, cardio kickboxing or walking, working out is essential for me to stay healthy physically and mentally.

During quarantine, I have gone on long walks every day and have loved discovering new virtual workouts. In Austin, there are a number of trails to walk on that have remained uncrowded.

Town Lake in Austin, Texas.

As far as virtual workouts, I have been living for Megan Roup’s Sculpt Society and Baye Tilson’s yoga Youtube classes. On the Sculpt Society app, Megan provides such a wide range of classes from dance cardio to sculpting and meditation. She also offers several different lengths of classes–from 10 to 50 minutes so you can squeeze in a workout even on your busiest day.

Baye Tilson. Photo courtesy of Baye’s Instagram account.

Baye’s yoga classes have also been amazing and they are completely free to view. She regularly teaches yoga at Black Swan Yoga in Houston, Texas. She has a great energy and also offers multiple class lengths so you can always fit it into your schedule.

Prepping for a workout at home in my favorite new tennis shoes.

For me, working out is always more fun when I have a cute outfit. I recently got these multi-colored Stella McCartney for Adidas tennis shoes on the Shopbop sale and am in love with them. They are lightweight, but provide enough support for the jumping required in many of the Sculpt Society classes. I have also been loving these scalloped yoga pants from Lululemon.

What are your favorite at-home workouts? Leave me a comment and let me know below!