CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New year's resolutions for 2021 may be carrying a little more weight after the way 2020 was for many people, and, in some cases, we mean weight quite literally.
Many of us joke about gaining the "COVID 19" and needing to get back to the gym.
Amy Schaefer is happy to say goodbye to 2020 and the few extra pandemic pounds that came with it.
“I definitely have noticed I gained a little bit of weight through the pandemic," Schaefer admitted. "I think everyone’s doing the best they can.”
But there may be some pitfalls with those intentions.
Many health experts say gyms are one of the riskiest places for contracting COVID-19. North Carolina gyms are requiring masks to be worn and are limiting crowds. Some are opening and then closing again or offering workout classes virtually or outdoors. It's been a bumpy road for gym rats.
Shane Lucas is a founding instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in Charlotte's South End neighborhood. It's a popular national chain that had to shift quickly once the pandemic hit.
“We launched off a thing called Barry’s At Home which took off," Lucas said.
They also reduced the class size from 50 to 16.
“Could everyone benefit from being open at a larger capacity? Of course. We're doing the best we can," Lucas said.
RELATED: A water bottle workout
Smaller fitness facilities have struggled through the pandemic. Aerial CLT, which uses aerial silks and trapeze in their workouts, started a GoFundMe to keep from closing.
COVID-19 also hit other smaller gyms in the area. After 14 years, Yoga One closed both of its Charlotte locations. Plaza Midwood’s Resolve Strength & Conditioning also shut down.
Lem Houston taught popular cardio funk group fitness classes and boot camps across the city, but he lost 75 percent of his income overnight when COVID-19 hit.
"I had to find creative ways because I didn’t want to give up," Houston said.
He started posting workouts online and is growing his clientele there.
Schaefer was grateful for Houston's ingenuity.
“It’s something that got me through the pandemic, kept my workout routine going," Schaefer admitted.
But what if the gym is your happy place and things are still likely to be a little bit iffy for that industry in 2021?
Most gyms said, in some cases, you can cancel your membership completely or freeze it until you feel comfortable going back to the facility.
Lucas said his gym is being as flexible as possible for his members.
“Given the pandemic and living life were pretty open, if you have a membership, you can finesse it as often as you need," Lucas said. "We're gonna work with you.”
If your resolution is to get back into the gym, you may also want to resolve to check the paperwork before making any commitment.
So if you’re not comfortable going to the gym just yet or you’re worried about spending the money, there are still lots of things you can do from home. Houston gave us some great ideas.
“This is short-term," Houston reassured people. "We'll get back to rocking it In class very soon."