A Maccabi health services COVID-19 vaccination van parked outside a Holmes Place gym in Rishon Lezion to encourage people to get the shot and consider the benefits of regular exercise.
Calling Holmes Place gyms “green islands of safety,” Holmes Place CEO Keren Shtevy explained that the fitness chain only accepts clients who received both jabs of the COVID-19 vaccination and can present the vaccination certificate from the Health Ministry. People who have recovered from COVID-19 receive a different certificate that is also valid for entry to a gym.
"In the weeks since we reopened not a single confirmed patient was found in any of the Holmes Place gyms," she said.
She called on the state of Israel to invest more in the fitness industry, noting that those who keep active report better health, productivity and “surgeries can be avoided.”
While the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet have been repeatedly demonstrated by scientific studies, many people reported weight gain during the pandemic due to schools being closed and needing to work from home. Many have shared stories of overeating, indulging in comfort foods or high alcohol consumption.
Haggai Frenkel, head of Maccabi’s Jerusalem district, said that "getting vaccinated at the gym is saying 'My health, and that of those around me is important to me and I want to get back into training.' I call on all those who work out to show responsibility and come get the shot."