To Whom It May Concern,
I am one of the 250,000 residents of Maine that utilize a health and fitness club every year to pursue our health goals, I am eager to see health and fitness centers reopen in Maine in a safe and sanitary fashion.The health benefits of exercise are well documented and well known.
I applaud your efforts to protect resident's safety and health. However, I believe that health and fitness centers should be allowed to reopen as of June 1st as originally planned. I believe my fitness center can and will be a safe, clean establishment which excels at improving the health and well-being of it's members.
Health and fitness centers play an essential role in the promotion and maintenance of mental, physical, and social health in their communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), physical activity and other lifestyle changes can prevent five of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. (before COVID-19). Additionally, evidence and studies show that physically active lifestyles can improve immune system health and diminish the risk of contracting some communicable diseases, including upper respiratory tract infections.
During this lockdown, physical activity levels have declined sharply, which is particularly alarming given that obesity-related conditions seem to increase the risks associated with COVID-19.
In addition to the metabolic and immune system health benefits of physical activity, it has extensive mental health benefits. This is critical as many citizens are experiencing sadness or loneliness. Studies show that exercise can help prevent depression, and can be an effective treatment comparable to pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. Exercise also has numerous benefits to people with substance use disorders, who are particularly suffering during a pandemic that addiction experts have called "a national relapse trigger."
My fitness center has been actively communicating their plans to safely open. They are ready, willing, and able to implement safety and sanitation procedures to ensure their members' health and safety. I am sure that I speak for many patrons when I say that I have the utmost confidence in my health club to follow the proper procedures to ensure my safety upon reopening.
Many other states across the country have safely reopened their health and fitness centers, I urge you to return to the original reopening date of June 1st to allow health clubs to resume their role in returning and maintaining the health and wellness of residents in Maine.
[Insert Your Name Here]