Jeff Smith has done his best to keep active, but admits exercising has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It drives me nuts,” said Smith, who resides in Edna. “I need to start working out. It’s killing me.”

Smith and others around the state will get the opportunity to visit fitness centers on a limited basis in the upcoming week.

A number of fitness centers in the Victoria area plan to reopen Monday, but with restrictions.

The facilities closed in March as COVID-19 began to spread.

Gov. Greg Abbott, earlier this month, ruled that gyms could reopen Monday at 25-percent capacity, but showers and locker rooms should remain closed.

The YMCA of the Golden Crescent, which includes facilities in Victoria and Port Lavaca, Citizens HealthPlex, DeTar Health and Fitness Center, Planet Fitness Pure Fitness & Training and Anytime Fitness in Victoria and Cuero Wellness Center will open.

The track near Memorial Stadium in Victoria will also open Monday, but other Victoria school district facilities will still be closed.

The YMCA has been open for child care, and Citizens HealthPlex has offered free exercise classes videoed live on its Facebook page during the closure.

The YMCA and Citizens HealthPlex will require COVID-19 checks before entering the facilities.

The HealthPlex will be open limited hours. There will be no group fitness or kids in motion classes, and no basketball or pickleball.

Workouts will be limited to 90 minutes, and members will be required to wear gloves and disinfect equipment before and after use.

The swimming pool will be open, but members must bring their own towels.

The locker rooms will be closed, but members may change in the restroom.

“I would be inclined to work out because Citizens is a hospital facility,” said Smith, who is a member of the Healthplex. “They have the best practices in limiting the risk and keeping protocol.”

The YMCA’s fitness, wellness center and weight rooms will be open to members only.

The swimming pool will be closed, and the gym will remain closed because it’s used for child care.

Members are encouraged to wear workout clothes to the facility. The staff will be wearing masks. Members are encouraged but not required to wear gloves and masks.

YMCA member Mark Zafereo is looking forward to returning to the facility, but will do so on a limited basis until the locker rooms reopen.

Zafereo likes to run during his lunch break and return to work. He plans to continue running in his neighborhood until the locker rooms open.

“I’m a longtime member and a longtime supporter of the YMCA,” he said. “I totally understand the situation. I’ll still go to the Y to lift weights after work, but I can’t go run without a shower.”

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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