There’s no need to let COVID fears keep you from the gym, especially if you work out like this.

Catherine Smith has been a member of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness since she moved to Sioux Falls a few years ago.

After the pandemic began, her gym of choice became the location at 39th Street and Phillips Avenue, where she can walk in, go right up a flight of stairs and start working out in a mask-only space.


“Because it’s a bigger club, there is room to spread out, and in the masking area, people are very good about following the rules of social distancing and wearing a mask,” Smith said.

“The gym is clean to begin with, but the people are good about wiping down the equipment, and it’s a lot of peace of mind when you go work out.”

Within the masked area, Smith has her go-to rowing machines along with free weights and a stationary bike.

“And adjacent to the mask area is a fitness classroom, and when there aren’t classes, people many times will use that space for yoga or dance or riding a spin bike, and they do that while masked too,” Smith said.

“There’s a variety of equipment and a full rack of barbells, and it’s usually not very crowded,” she said.

Working out in a mask hasn’t been a tough adjustment, she added.

“There are number of masks out there made for working out that make breathing easier.”

GreatLIFE’s Woodlake location also offers a mask-only area.

“We want to meet people at their comfort level,” vice president of fitness Randall Hill said.

“Getting back your normal level of physical activity or becoming a new member because you realize you need to become more active will help your overall health and your immunity well after the pandemic.”

Smith encourages others who might be curious about returning to the gym to give it a try.

“A number of my friends stopped working out because of the pandemic and concerns about cleanliness,” she said.

“And this gym, really, it’s hard to go in and not see someone cleaning equipment. And it shows. They take a lot of pride in providing a safe place for people to work out. And there’s room for more people.”

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