Chicago tightens restrictions on workout class sizes, even as gyms say members aren’t rushing back

Beatrice J. Doty

Gym-goers have been cautiously but steadily returning to health clubs and fitness studios in the 3 1/4 u00bd weeks since those businesses were allowed to let members back in for more than personal training.

But gym operators worry a new 10-person cap on the size of indoor fitness classes, which takes effect Friday, will hamper their efforts to rebuild business after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close temporarily. More stringent rules for bars that also take effect Friday have prompted some to call it quits for good.

Some fitness clubs and studios were surprised by the more stringent regulations. They’ve already taken precautions like temperature checks and more aggressive cleaning, and in Chicago, members must wear masks during exercise in addition to practicing social distancing.

“We definitely didn’t think we’d be the subject of being pulled back given all the vigilant measures we’re taking,” said David Blitz, CEO of

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Missing the Gym? Experts Say You Might Want to Consider Taking an Outdoor Fitness Class

Beatrice J. Doty

As many states begin entering re-opening phases—including opening retail stores, restaurants, and movie theatres—experts agree that one of the highest risk environments for contracting coronavirus is the gym. So, what should you do if you want to start exercising and home workouts aren’t satisfying? Consider taking an outdoor group fitness class, such as pilates, yoga, or barre. You’ll get the same health benefits of exercising in the open air as you would in a studio or gym, but there’s far less chance of spreading germs.

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“Doing group exercise activities outdoors is going to be much more safe than doing (it) indoors,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an infectious disease physician, told TODAY. “That could be much more conducive to social distancing and putting in measures that might make it less likely to

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This duo wants to help you find the best fitness class

Beatrice J. Doty

With the recent boom of apps like ClassPass and workouts like those offered by Orange Theory, SoulCycle and Pure Barre, it can feel overwhelming to dive into the world of fitness classes — especially when you aren’t sure what you’re getting yourself into.

Elizabeth Endres and Dale Borchiver, the co-founders behind the popular blog and Instagram account, Sweats and the City, had no idea that reviewing their fitness classes and giving healthy lifestyle tips could become a full-time job.

But in 2016, that’s exactly what they did, and now their Instagram account has amassed more than 88,000 followers.

“Sweats and the City is an all-encompassing health and fitness lifestyle blog,” Borchiver told In The Know. “We’ve got health, we’ve got beauty — everything from facials to food. We really like to make it a go-to destination for New Yorkers and beyond.”

The idea originated with Dale and Elizabeth were

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