Gym wear, workout gloves and a pair of trainers! Actress Sakshi Agarwal is all set to hit the gym after a gap of five months, as we land at her place. We follow her to the gym and capture her first-day experience. “Hey, got to put on the mask,” she tells us with a grin.

Visibly excited as she reaches the gym, she says, “I feel like a kid in a candy shop now.” After getting her temperature and oxygen level checked, she puts on a pair of plastic shoe covers and a face shield. And yes, she sanitises her hands before putting her gloves back on. And for the next two hours, she’s in total workout mode as our photographer clicks her working out.

“For five months, I was completely at home. So, stepping out of the house itself is so exciting to me,” she tells us when she takes a break. “And seeing all the equipment, listening to good music and working out — all of this is so exciting. Fitness is very close to my heart. During the initial days of the lockdown, I was working out with bags, water bottles and pillows. I didn’t even have dumbbells then. When the lockdown was relaxed, I got a few dumbbells. But that’s not enough. In a gym, you have complete workout equipment. I feel weight training is important for toning one’s body. And you can do that only in a gym. I am so thankful to the government for allowing gyms to reopen; you need some place to unleash your energy. Seeing a few people around you is also soothing these days. Such small things are important for mental well-being as well,” she says before resuming her workout.

First-day-first-show at the Gyms

We had 50 per cent of our usual capacity. I feel many of them still want to wait and see. We’ve one-hour slots each from 6am to 9pm. There’s a gap of 15 minutes between each session for sanitisation. If it’s a single-floor gym, we are allowing 15 members and in double-floor gyms, it’s restricted to 20. We’ve also got plastic dividers between all equipment as a safety measure apart from temperature checks, sanitisation, etc.

On Monday, we had around 20 fitness enthusiasts altogether. We aren’t expecting many people this week. This period will give us an understanding of how things are going to unfold and we can work accordingly. The good thing was that we had five walk-ins. They came to see the gym and said they would join in a week’s time. I am glad that people are stepping out, finally. If we’re still worried about corona, that’s everywhere. In fact, gyms keep them in good health and help them build immunity.

We have actually been following social distancing even before the pre-COVID-19 era since our way of training is different. We usually have four-five people in a slot (one hour per slot), but there were only two people in a slot today. People are still unsure and I think it will get better only after they have faith and they know it’s safe. But the people who turned up were comfortable with the arrangement. We sanitise the entire gym after every slot and make sure we have temperature check before and after the training. We used to have eight slots every day, but we’ve now reduced it to six.