The “quarantine 15” is real, you guys, and it is up to you to shed that weight. Most of that weight came as a result of being stuck at home with an endless food supply and no gym to go to. Now that gyms are reopening, though, people look forward to getting back into their gym workouts with all the equipment they didn’t have during quarantine. Are they safe to go back to in the middle of the pandemic?
Let’s clear something up before we continue: gyms and fitness studios were never the most sanitary places. People fail to wipe down equipment and sweaty, hot environments are the perfect bacterial and fungal feeding grounds. That doesn’t even add COVID-19 into the equation. As gyms reopen, however, they have to follow stricter sanitation and social distancing protocols to ensure the safety of their patrons. Each gym is different and will implement these safety measures in their own way.
Going Back To The Gym Is Risky:
In this COVID-19 pandemic, there will always be risks when businesses begin to reopen. Cases will inevitably spike until we figure out how to control the virus. The gym brings people together in a close environment, and the heavier breathing means that more aerosolized droplets are present in the space. Not to mention, gyms have so many high-touch surfaces! Gyms cannot completely guarantee the safety of their members at the moment, so maybe they should not be opening. Most gyms require facial coverings and gloves during workouts, so keep that in mind if you decide to return to your gym.
Assess Your Own Risk:
Some people are ready to sprint out of the house to the latest reopened businesses, while others want to be cautious and wait to see how things play out. Whether or not you are going to be safe when you go back to the gym is complicated. Many factors contribute to an increased risk of contracting the virus. Your personal health, the amount of people in the gym, and the close proximity all influence your health in the gym. According to health officials, the safest place to exercise is outside, but this isn’t a viable option for everyone. Ultimately, you have to assess your own risk when returning to the gym. If you are 65 years and older or have underlying health conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system, consider avoiding the gyms for now.
Assess Your Gym’s Safety Practices:
It’s very easy to see whether or not the gym is maintaining cleanliness and following proper sanitation protocol. If workout benches, floors, bathrooms, and cardio equipment are dirty, mention something to management. Gyms are required to take everyone’s temperature as they enter, so consider putting your membership on hold if that is not happening at your gym. Are gym goers wearing masks? Is the gym at reduced capacity to prevent overcrowding? Assess the situation and make your decision accordingly. Additionally, consider going to the gym during off hours if you have that luxury.
How To Stay Safe As You Return To The Gym:
First thing’s first: don’t attend fitness classes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against group fitness classes or training at the moment. If you choose to engage in group exercise, wear a mask and keep your distance. When you use gym equipment, be extra vigilant about cleaning it before and after you use it. This is an extra step that takes time out of your workout, but it is essential to limit the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, don’t wipe your face with the same workout towel that you put on the equipment. This towel is exposed to germs on the bench and you don’t want to transfer them to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
The gym was never a clean place, but it is extremely important to correct that for a healthier future. Decrease your risk of COVID-19 by following protocol, safety recommendations, and assessing your risk.