Before working out, Bay Ridge resident Tina Carrozza bundles up. Not because she’s heading to a health club, but because she’s going to her garage.
"I like being here by myself. I feel more comfortable than I would at the gym," Carrozza told NY1 mid-arm workout.
Since the pandemic erupted 10 months ago, a growing number of New Yorkers like Carrozza have been shunning gyms and health clubs to avoid the coronavirus. Some are working out at home instead.
Back in April, Carrozza rearranged her garage and began renting exercise equipment from a company called Carter's Home Gym.
"I love this. I have two small children at home. I'm able to just come out of the house and do a few sets and run back in,"Carrozza explained.
She pays $250 a month for all of her machines, but says the convenience alone is worth the cost. And she likes being able to work out without a mask when she is alone.
"I feel much safer and there are times I am here by myself and I don't even have to wear a mask and it is much easier to workout without a mask," Carrozza said.
Sales of health and fitness equipment have surged in the last year, and at-home workout companies like Peloton have prospered.
Most New Yorkers, of course, do not have a garage to turn into a gym, but even apartment dwellers are carving out space to workout.
Nigel Barker is the founder of The V1VE, a digital fitness platform, and a co-founder of the gym Dogpound. He says he doesn't know if people will ever return to gyms like they did before the pandemic.
"I think there is a seismic shift that has happened in fitness in large part, one, because we are much more comfortable working out at home and obviously the digital experience — as difficult as it is "Zoom-ing" on screens — we have become accustomed to it. It hasn't been just a few months, it will already be almost a year and I think it is just going to continue," Barker said.
Carrozza notes her gym has brought her a sense of normalcy through the pandemic and she said she doesn't plan on going to a public gym anytime soon.
"If everything closed again, at least I have everything here and during these times I love working out. It's a stress reliever for me, especially during these hard times," Carrozza said.