GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Americans across the country obviously feel the pandemic has negatively impacted their health and wellness.
The decline in mental and physical health in Colorado is the reason Colorado Governor Jared Polis proclaimed may of this year to be Colorado Fitness Month. The proclamation prioritizes health and fitness as an essential part to the state’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Once you start going too, you just start feeling better just like, oh yeah that’s why I exercise, it’s for this,” says Patrick Goldsworthy, a manager at Crossroads Fitness. But hitting the gym 5 days a week isn’t all there is to fitness. For many Mesa county residents, outdoor recreation is not only a vital part of their fitness routines but of their lifestyles.

“It brings in tourism, it keeps people outside, it helps people explore places people haven’t been before and it keeps people active,” says Rachel Blank, a sales representative at Over The Edge Sports. This fact was highlighted during the pandemic. Bike shops saw such a big increase in their sales, on some days they found the supply could not keep up with the demand.

“Bike sales, the equipment that goes along with that…There are a lot more people exploring biking in general,” says Blank. But whether you’re taking a ride around a bike trail, or pumping iron in a gym, experts say what’s most important this colorado fitness month and really any month is to prioritize your health and wellness. “That was a big part of this pandemic, people were having issues with getting depressed, being sad about things, but the thing about exercising regularly is that’ll stimulate your mental process, and you’ll start feeling better about yourself,” says Goldsworthy.