How Safe Is It to Go to the Gym Right Now? After many gyms closed down in the wake of Coronavirus, fitness buffs have been anxiously awaiting the reopening of workout facilities. Now, we’ve been seeing some gyms open their doors and allow people back in with some restrictions.
If you’re thinking of going back to the gym, you may be wondering exactly how safe it is to get your pump on. Let’s explore some of the factors that may affect your decision, as well as some precautions you can take to make your trip as safe as possible.
Area You Live
One of the most important things to check before you hit the gym is your local laws and ordinances surrounding the pandemic. For example, if you live in a hotspot, like some states in the U.S., Spain, or the U.K., you may need to be more cautious about entering public spaces. Many local ordinances allow half capacity in stores with face coverings, so it’s always a safe bet to simply call up your local law administrator and ask.
In addition, keep an eye on your local case numbers to check for spikes in COVID positive tests, and try to avoid leaving your home if conditions are worsening. In these unprecedented times, it’s always better to be on the cautious side.
In addition to your area’s case numbers and local guidelines, you should also check that the gym you are visiting has the proper safety precautions in place to ensure the safety of all of their customers. This includes blocking off workout equipment to ensure social distancing, sanitizing equipment after each use, and the requirement of face coverings inside the facility. You can likely find your gym’s precautionary methods on their website, or you can pick up the phone and call the location to ask about sanitization practices.
A great example of proper sanitization guidelines is GymNation, a chain of gyms in the UAE. GymNation demonstrated proper sanitation by disinfecting every surface in their facility, thoroughly testing their workforce for positive cases, spacing out gym equipment, providing hand sanitizer to customers, and monitoring the temperature and symptoms of those entering the gym. If the workout spot you frequent does not employ techniques like GymNation, consider switching.
There are a few general precautions as an individual to ensure your safety if you decide to go to the gym. First and foremost, if you feel that you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, like respiratory problems, fever, fatigue, etc. stay home. By entering a public space, you will only be putting others at risk.
If you have no symptoms or prior contact with someone who has/had symptoms, feel free to go to the gym, but remember to bring a mask, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. If your gym, like GymNation, has sanitized equipment beforehand, you can likely feel comfortable using dumbbells, kettlebells, and bars without wiping them down; if not, carrying a terry cloth and a small bottle of disinfectant to wipe down equipment is a great idea.
Stay at least 6 feet away from other gym-goers. In fact, limiting yourself to 7 or 8 feet is probably best in a space where people are working out. Because cardio and strength training increase respiration, more spit molecules will be output into the environment. Keep your mask on, even if it gets hot or uncomfortable.
It is fairly safe to visit the gym during this later phase of the pandemic. Keep an eye on your local news station and legal authorities to ensure the coast is clear, and bring along some extra sanitization equipment to ensure your health as you work out.
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