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Obi Mora’s New Year’s resolution was to be more physically active.

The 30-year-old mortgage specialist joined 24 Hour Fitness in late 2019 and started working out at the gym three times a week in January.

That is, until news of coronavirus hit the U.S. 

“I’m legit worried about catching it,” the Dallas resident said. “I saw rumors online saying that it was in Texas. It made me paranoid that if I do go to the gym, I would need gloves, disinfectant wipes and all these things to make sure I’m healthy.”

Now, she’s choosing to work out at home instead.

The World Health Organization isn’t urging people to avoid fitness centers. However, there is hysteria surrounding being in enclosed spaces where bacteria, heavy breathing and warm, moist air are commonplace. 

Some home fitness apps report seeing a surge in users since the outbreak began spreading further from China. Stock market analysts say apps and home gym equipment companies like Peloton will likely see a boost in subscribers, as more fitness enthusiasts stay indoors. And doctors say calm down, contagion at the gym is not very likely if you simply wash your hands.

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FitOn, a digital fitness company that offers app-based workout classes with celebrities, has experienced a 200% surge in users in January. The company says it can’t pin the rise in downloads to coronavirus fears directly, as winter temperatures and New Year’s Resolutions also factor in.


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By Javier Manning

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